MARVEL UNLIMITED EDITION: THE STERANKO EFFECT
By Douglas Wolk
The Marvel Unlimited app is a gigantic, messy cache of awesome and terrible old comic books: a library of 13,000 or so back issues of Marvel titles, available on demand for subscribers with tablets or mobile phones. Like any good back-room longbox, it’s disorganized and riddled with gaps, but it’s also full of forgotten and overlooked jewels, as well as a few stone classics. In Marvel Unlimited Edition, Eisner-winning criticDouglas Wolk dives into the Unlimited archive to find its best, oddest and most intriguing comics.
Jim Steranko’s reputation as one of the great American comic book artists rests almost entirely on the comparatively tiny body of work he drew for Marvel between 1966 and 1970: nine complete comic books, eighteen “Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.” episodes that each occupied half of an issue of Strange Tales, and a pair of seven-page stories from anthologies, as well as a handful of covers. All of his Marvel stories can now be read on the Unlimited app… except for Nick Fury #5, for whatever reason. If you’ve never gotten to sample Steranko’s psychedelic delights, here are three excellent starting points.
MARVEL STUDIOS HEAD: EDGAR WRIGHT’S ‘ANT-MAN’ APPROACH JUST WASN’T WORKING
Marvel Studios and director Edgar Wright have both been pretty mum about the reasons for why they ended up parting ways on the Ant-Man movie, but Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige did open up a bit to The Guardian last week to try to quash some of the scuttlebutt about Wright’s vision being too out-there for Marvel.
ORIGINAL SPIN 6: BLACK CAPTAIN AMERICA! (DOES NOT APPEAR IN THIS COMIC) [MARVEL ORIGINAL SIN RECAP]
Welcome back to Original Spin, the unofficial recap of the Marvel comic event Original Sin, by Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato — which probably feeds in to the Marvel comic event AXIS, and somewhere in all that we’ll get a lady Thor and a black Cap, and that will be very exciting. Black Captain America!
In the meantime it’s still dude Thor and white and surprisingly Irish Captain America, and you have to read all these other comics that aren’t the ones they’re talking about in USA Today. Ugh, comics are dumb. So, to catch you up; the Watcher got shot and someone did it, and black Captain America isn’t in this comic but we’re desperate for attention.
DAN ABNETT HOPES TO ENTERTAIN FANS WITH FAST-PACED ‘GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY’ MOBILE GAME
After a couple years of focusing on non-comics work — novels and screenplays — Dan Abnett is returning to write some of the characters that rocketed him and writing partner Andy Lanning into the comics stratosphere a few years ago, the Guardians of the Galaxy, with the new Guardians 3000 series, which comes out in October.
Before that, though, Abnett has another Guardians-themed project coming out. He co-wrote the new mobile game from Disney Interactive, titled Guardians of the Galaxy: The Universal Weapon, and it’s more than just a movie tie-in. He told ArcadeSushi, ”What we didn’t want to do was create a game that tied so tightly to the movie that they strangled each other. The movie has its own story and the game has its own story.”READ MORE
MARVEL AND ICON COMIC BOOK RELEASES FOR OCTOBER 2014 [SOLICITATIONS]
Courtesy of Marvel, ComicsAlliance brings you an advance look at new periodical comic books, collected editions and graphic novels going on sale in October 2014 (and in some cases beyond) from the publisher’s mainline Marvel Universe titles, Ultimate Comics, the mature readers MAX imprint and the creator-owned label Icon. All of the following books can be purchased at finer comic book shops, where you can also pre-order your selections to ensure you’ll get a copy before they sell out.
MS. MARVEL: ALIENATION, EXHILARATION, AND THE BEATING HEART OF SUPERHERO COMICS
By Juliet Kahn
As the daughter of two very different cultures, as someone who grew up in a Spanish-speaking home, and as someone who has always turned to books to explain the vagaries of life, I’ve grown used to fiction aimed at “ethnic” young adults. It wears its consciousness on its sleeve, and ranges from the excellent — everything by the recently deceased Walter Dean Myers — to the execrable. The latter is didactic, joyless, and feels less written than assembled by a band of preening academics. There is no truth at the heart of it, only a clinical estimation of “otherness” that, in addition to feeling false, is nearly always boring. Comics have fallen into this trap for decades, though the character of color in question is almost never the protagonist. One weak swipe at relevance, usually in the introductory issue, is all we get before they slowly, implacably, fade into the background.
I was excited for Ms. Marvel from the moment it was announced. I reblogged it, retweeted it, called my mother about it, chatted it up at my local comic shop. But secretly, I was more than a little certain that it would suck in all the usual ways. Sure, the Jamie McKelvie cover was splashy, and sure, I was hearing good things about series writer G. Willow Wilson and artist Adrian Alphona. But I was girded for — and expected — twenty or so lackluster issues before cancellation.
The first issue came out, and it was good. Really good. It was bright and fun and electric with personality in every way a comic can be, from its color palette to its ending splash. Still, though, I was unconvinced — fantastic first issues have given way to mediocrity before.
But the second issue was great. And the third. And the fourth. And with the fifth issue and the first arc completed, I feel that I can finally let out the breath I’ve been holding and say that Ms. Marvel is truly wonderful work.
‘SPIDER-MAN 2099′ #1: LIGHT AND FUN BUT WITH ONE REALLY CRUMMY MOMENT [REVIEW]
On sale now, the first issue of the new Spider-Man 2099 series by writer Peter David, artist Will Sliney and colorist Antonio Fabela is the very definition of a light comic. It’s loaded with jokes and goofy asides — most of them pretty funny. There’s a throwaway villain. The colors are bright and appealing. It’s mostly a really enjoyable read.
Until the one moment that bothered the hell out of me. Expect some spoilers.
STAN LEE’S LEAST FAVORITE PART OF A MOVIE IS THE ONLY PLACE JACK KIRBY’S NAME CAN ACTUALLY BE SEEN
Ravage 2099 and Stripperella co-creator Stan Lee has been channeling Andy Rooney in a series of videos on World of Heroes called “Stan’s Rants.” Like those missives of the late American broadcaster, these clips are mostly benign “cranky old man” bits. His newest one is about how he hates being on hold, for example.
But the video above, which is from last week, is a knife in the guts of less famous comics creators — which is to say, nearly all of them. In the video, Lee complains about having to sit through long credits at the end of movies, including superhero movies.
“Nobody knows who [these people] are, nobody can read them and nobody cares,” he says, astonishingly.
But here’s the problem: Those credits are usually where the names of comics creators who wrote and drew the characters the movies are based on actually get seen.
JASON AARON & RON GARNEY ANNOUNCE CREATOR-OWNED ‘MEN OF WRATH’ THROUGH MARVEL’S ICON IMPRINT
By Chris Sims
Since its inception, Marvel’s Icon imprint has been a way for established Marvel creators to pursue creator-owned work while keeping things “in the family,” so to speak, resulting in books like Kick Ass from Mark Millar and John Romita Jr., and Brian Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming’s Powers. Now, though, Icon is adding another pair of long-time Marvel creators to its roster, as Jason Aaron and Ron Garney launch Men of Wrath, a comic with a title so metal that it actually rivals their previous collaboration, which was a comic about Norse gods bashing things with hammers.
Set in the South, the story is described by Aaron as an examination of a cycle of violence, from its beginning to its culmination as it’s passed down through a family to “the worst of the bunch.”
BARNES AND NOBLE’S ‘GET POP CULTURED’ CELEBRATION INCLUDES BATMAN DAY, MARVEL DAY, NINJA TURTLES EVENT, AND MORE
Starting July 18, Barnes And Noble will launch a three week celebration of different aspects of pop-culture – or, quite frankly, fandoms — in what’s clearly an effort to bring people into its brick-and-mortar stores.
But hey, there’s some cool stuff happening, and quite a bit of it comics-themed. First, B&N will celebrate Batman’s 75th anniversary with a special Batman Day, then it’ll have several days of discounts of DC trade paperbacks, then a day of Marvel specials, and then almost a week of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles activities.