Tag Archives: defenders

What Could Be Expected in Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

After its initial success with Iron Man, the Hulk, Captain America and Thor, Marvel Studios quickly realized that it had a formula for success on its hands and seemed ready to take advantage of it.  To do so though required a plan, and studio head Kevin Feige soon had broken down the movies into various phases, with the most recent Ant-Man signaling the end of phase 2.  Aside from the developments inside the movies, there have been some developments outside the movies which have affected the universe as well, chief among those the partial reversion of the rights to Spider-Man back to Marvel, or at least the use of Spider-Man inside the shared universe in a collaboration with Sony.

At the moment, we kn ow the entire lineup for phase 3, starting with Captain America: Civil War and continuing through two new Avengers movies and the Inhumans.  What might be expected in the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?  The release of the newest Fantastic Four might signal some of the changes which we can anticipate ahead (there are some spoilers below).

Ant-Man and Wasp

waspMany expected Ant-Man to be one of the bigger disappointments thus far in the MCU, due to its ongoing problems with the direction, after it passed from Edgar Wright to Peyton Reed.  It seemed as though the studio was not going to take any risks with the character as they could not even confirm his role in any future movies.  This presumably will all change now that the movie has been released.  Although it can’t compare to the financial success of the year’s other Marvel movie, Avengers: Age of Ultron, it also is noteworthy as being a better critical success, with a better rating at Rotten Tomatoes than Avengers.  With both financial and critical success it seems as though there will be more to come from these characters.  As was hinted at the end of the movie, there is still a lot of story left to tell as well, as the end hinted that Janet van Dyne might not be truly lost.  Furthermore Hope van Dyne was presented with a Wasp suit by her father.  There could be a lot of places to take the story of the two heroes, though one in particular might make the most sense …


micronautsThe Micronauts are a bit of an oddity in comics.  They started out as a line of toys, who were written into comics after in the 1970s after Marvel writer Bill Mantlo saw his son open a box of the toys.  The series started as somewhat of a standalone, but slowly was incorporated into the Marvel Universe, with appearances by some other mainstream characters.  While the rights for the characters do not presently rest with Marvel, there is a long publication history with the characters and as the rights rest with other smaller comic companies, it would likely not be too difficult to reacquire the rights.  Furthermore for the film studio that might try to replicate the runaway success of Guardians of the Galaxy, they might look smaller instead of bigger and find their next surprise hit there.  There would be some hurdles, but also there might be a few benefits, as Janet van Dyne disappeared into the smallest dimension, the Microverse.  This small universe is not in itself small, but the pathways to enter it are, and could give an explanation as to where the character disappeared.  They might find Janet in the Microverse, but they might also be able to find some other heroes there as well…

Fantastic Four

fantastic fourThe Fantastic Four is one of the best known Marvel properties that does not lie within the company’s grasp at the moment, instead being controlled by Fox.  While Fox has managed to control the X-Men franchise strongly enough with some decent movies, the Fantastic Four has mostly been a sequence of failures.  The first of the series was good enough to warrant a sequel, but this was before the wake of Marvel movies changed how fans expected superhero movies to turn out.  Marvel Studios was looking to be innovative, not just rehash generic action/sci-fi plots with superheroes thrown in.  The most recent attempt by Fox to revamp the Fantastic Four might have been an attempt to do the same, to get some new excitement into the mix, but it evidently did not turn out that way.  Critical response (and probably financial) will mean that the characters will have to be shelved for a while before the public has forgotten enough about them.  Using the Sony/Spider-Man approach, lending the characters back to Marvel Studios might be a wiser choice, one that would probably make more money for both, and one which would keep the fans happy.  By this point though, with two origin movies behind them, it might make sense to jump straight into the Fantastic Four with them already established as heroes.  They could exist in a similar sense to Hank Pym in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, unknown but still present.  More so, one of the places that is visited by the Fantastic Four is the Microverse, and if they were stuck there then it would be an easy bridge between Ant-Man and the return of Marvel’s first family.


namorIt is not entirely clear where the rights to Namor presently rest.  Kevin Feige has indicated that Marvel, if they desired, could make a Namor movie, but that there would be some “entanglements”.  Rights to the movie have rested with Universal, but seem to have at least partially lapsed.  What remains is speculated to be the same arrangement with 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, that Marvel creates but Universal distributes.  While it was not a problem when the Marvel Cinematic Universe was still nascent, it seems moving forward that Marvel likes to create and distribute, and to get rewarded financially at 100% for its efforts.  It might make exceptions for Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four but maybe less so for Namor.  Another factor to consider is what DC Comics will manage to do with its own movies.  The other of the big two comic companies is playing catchup, but also has the benefit of controlling the movie rights to nearly all of its characters.  They have already greenlit an Aquaman movie, but it remains to be seen just how well it will do.  Aquaman is after all a hero that is taken not so seriously in pop culture, but if DC can make it work, maybe it will give Marvel second thoughts about its own underwater hero.


thunderboltsThe fact that DC Comics is playing catchup in the movie game can also be to the advantage of Marvel.  Marvel has already taken its gambles and seen those pay off, as with Guardians of the Galaxy.  DC Comics, who are eager to catch up, are also taking their own gambles, and chief among those is the Suicide Squad.  Featuring a group of villains forced into a heroic role, it might catch on, or it might flop.  Fans certainly will not be very familiar with the concept, and the concept in itself is strange enough that it might not work.  On the other hand, it might work, and if yes then it could serve as a gamble that Marvel gets to witness the results of without gambling anything itself.  If popular it could use its own villain-turned-heroes team the Thunderbolts and catch the wave of people wanting more Suicide Squad before a sequel to the DC movie comes out.  If played right as well it could help quieten those that think that the MCU’s villains are the weakest part of the movies.


defendersMarvel is already a long way along in its development of the Doctor Strange movie, and holds the exclusive rights to the Hulk as long as he is not the featured character in a movie.  A Namor movie could be forthcoming depending on the success of Aquaman, and if Fox sees the benefits of doing so, a collaboration might be in the works to return the Fantastic Four and associated characters to the MCU, which would include the Silver Surfer.  Those four make up the original four members of the Defenders.  For those that are getting a bit tired of seeing the Avengers over and over again on the big screen, it might be an excuse to feature this other Marvel team (although Marvel is working on a street level Defenders television show as well.)  One interesting aspect about this team is that as opposed to the Avengers that the original team is made up of all non-street level characters, meaning that the stakes could be higher and that bigger things might happen as a result, such as …

World War Hulk

wwhThis has been a long rumored development in the MCU, but also not one that has not yet come to fruition.  Marvel has been careful to include in story arcs from the comics, and it has made for some great connections for fans of both mediums.  Although World War Hulk is not necessarily the best all time Hulk story, it is up there, and would be a better vehicle for putting a new spin on the Hulk stories, more so than what we are seeing at the movies, with both Hulk movies fitting the same general pattern of the Hulk being hunted by the government after smashing up a bunch of stuff.  It would also allow the character to move beyond the Avengers, which is a connection that is not as strong in the comics.  Also if all the pieces fell into place, it would mean that a lot of the major players from the crossover might be able to make it into the movie, save for the X-Men.


kateRumors abound that another major character will die in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War (especially that there are pictures from the set of a funeral sequence), and without any other way to verify this other than by seeing a movie that will not be released until 2016, it still seems likely that one of the characters that might be easiest to kill off would be Hawkeye.  He is among the less popular of the main characters in the MCU, and has been almost a footnote to the movies series, appearing to provide fans with another superhero, but also one that doesn’t really do much.  Even if he does not die in the movie, it is also worth noting that the character is one which is on the verge of retirement, being somewhat older than the other heroes and with responsibilities to his family.  This could leave open the possibility for a Hawkeye movie except not as we might expect.  As the movies expand in popularity it makes sense to be closer to four quadrant movies, and one way to do this is to introduce more female characters.  If Clint Barton were to retire on screen, it could open the door for Kate Bishop to step up, providing the MCU with another superheroine, and one with a lot more of an edge than Clint.

She-Hulk and Spider-Woman

shehulkOn that same note, if Marvel is looking to keep its female fans happy it might look to develop these characters as well.  Most of the main Marvel superheroines would be tied up elsewhere, with most of the major heroines being members of the X-Men, and other such as Sue Storm or Medusa mostly only operating as parts of teams.  Others such as Elektra and even Hellcat are tied to the television series, which mean that only a few major female characters would be left to get the big screen treatment.  She-Hulk and Spider-Woman could both be strong contenders to hold down their own movie, especially if Marvel did something unexpected and went off the script with the Spider-Gwen version of Spider-Woman.  It would also help to fill the ranks of the Avengers, a team which needs to be mixed up a bit from time to time to keep the roster fresh and the fans intrigued.


tigraKa-Zar is one of the longest running Marvel characters, but also one that has not had a very solid fanbase in modern years, although unquestionably popular among many.  Although Marvel is keen on taking risks, could it make the Savage Land work the same as it made Guardians of the Galaxy work?  The Savage Land is the source of many stories within the Marvel Universe, though most of them with the X-Men.  Why might the MCU be interested in the Savage Land?  It is a fantasy setting, and while it does not match up with other heroes, could still serve as an explanation for the re-appearance of some characters who also happen to be Avengers – Hercules, Tigra or even the Black Knight.  It might be a stretch, but Marvel will be looking for new blood for its Avengers as it moves forward, as is evident from the new roster after Age of Ultron.  Tigra especially might be interesting, as she not only is her own character, but is also indirectly responsible for the development of Hellcat, whose non-superpowered version is already set to be introduced in the Marvel television show Jessica Jones.

Iron Man 4

iron manThis is perhaps the biggest question to solve in phase 4.  A big part of what made the MCU so popular is that it based its hopes on the initial movie, Iron Man.  If this movie had failed so too would the plans for the shared universe.  Success would probably have still come the way of the studio, but it would have been a longer road.  Part of the runaway success of the original Iron Man was that Robert Downey Jr. was perfectly cast as Tony Stark, what some might say is not even really acting as he seems to be mostly playing himself.  That having been said, superheroes never really age but actors and actresses do.  While the studio can get a few more years out of Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson (all in their early to mid 30s), and even a lot more out of Paul Bettany (whose character the Vision wears so much makeup as to be ageless) and Elizabeth Olsen (who is in her mid 20s), it can probably expect less out of Robert Downey Jr, who is now 50.  They might push him for a couple more movies, but eventually he will need to be replaced, and the biggest question would then be by who, as the character is one that is of highest importance to the MCU.  There might be no bigger question heading forward in the MCU than who will fill this role.

Around the Tubes

The weekend is here and I’ll be at the Baltimore Comic Con. If you’re there, track me down and say “hi”!

Around the Blogs:

Comics Alliance – Kansas Artist Campaigns To Rename Hometown Smallville -No one has done this yet?


Around the Tubes Reviews:

ICv2 – Amulet Vol. 5: Prince of the Elves TP

CBR – Defenders #10

CBR – Hawkeye #2

Talking Comics – Love and Capes: What to Expect #2

Talking Comics – X-Factor #243

Your First Look at Defenders #8!

Your First Look at Defenders #8!

Marvel is pleased to present your first look at Defenders #8 as red-hot artist Jamie McKelvie joins superstar writer Matt Fraction for a story like no other!  After traveling to Wakanda, the Defenders must journey into the forbidden land of Z’Gambo to face off against the evil John Aman, Prince of Orphans! What sort of secrets is he protecting, and can the Defenders find out before it’s too late? But they’re not the only ones after his secret, as the Black Cat makes her own bid to steal it away! It’s a race against the clock in Defenders #8, which hits comic shops everywhere, the Marvel Comics app and the Marvel Digital Comics Shop this July.

DEFENDERS #8 (MAY120697)
FOC – 6/18/12, On-Sale – 7/11/12

Around the Tubes

It’s a new week… and I’m into countdown mode for The Avengers and Free Comic Book Day!

Around the Blogs:

Kotaku – Sunday Comics: Born to Kill – Each week Kotaku posts some great web comics.


Around the Tubes Reviews:

Cambs Times – Avengers: Origins

CBR – Defenders #5

Bleeding Cool – Wonder Woman #8


Around the Tubes

It’s a new week and C2E2 is over.  Any announcements folks are excited about?

Around the Blogs:

IGN – C2E2: Marvel Reveals Ultimate Universe Event Should be interesting.

MTV Geek – C2E2 2012: Avengers Vs. X-Men Panel Brings The Fight To ChicagoDoesn’t this event cover all the cons?

MTV Geek – C2E2 2012: Did DC’s “All Access: Before Watchmen” Panel Have Fans Saying “Hurm,” or “Hurm!”Still not sure what to think.

CBR – C2E2: Jhonen Vasquez Talks Johnny, Zim & MoreI want more Johnny!

CBR – C2E2: Tom Morello on “Orchid,” Music & PoliticsOne of the people I’d love to interview.

Bleeding Cool – ComiXology At C2E2: Alex De Campi, A Digital PioneerSome good hints as to what to expect.

Comics Alliance – Marvel’s Sunday at C2E2: ‘Thor’ Crossover with ‘Journey into Mystery,’ McKelvie on ‘Defenders’ Lots of Marvel news during this con.

Your First Look At Defenders #4!

Your First Look At DEFENDERS #4!

It’s the book that MTV says is “big, bold and bravura work” and we have your first look at Defenders #4! From the creative team of Matt Fraction and Michael Lark, Doctor Strange embarks on an all new mission after discovering the mysterious Concordance Engine! Can the former Sorcerer Supreme unlock it’s secrets without damaging the very fabric of the Marvel Universe? Find out in Defenders #4, hitting store shelves and the Marvel Comics app everywhere this March!

DEFENDERS #4 (JAN120682)
FOC – 2/13/12, ON SALE – 3/7/12

Scarlet Spider #1 Leads The Charge On A Slew Of New Year Second Printings!

Official Press Release

SCARLET SPIDER #1 Leads The Charge On A Slew Of New Year Second Printings!

Marvel is pleased to announce that several critically acclaimed books have sold out at Diamond and will be going back to press. Leading the charge as it hits stands, Scarlet Spider #1 Second Printing Variant brings fans a whole new brand of web-slinging action as Kaine takes up the mantle of the Scarlet Spider and heads to Houston! But the new Scarlet Spider isn’t the only one fans are clamoring for as The Avengers, the Incredible Hulk, Carnage, the Defenders and Uncanny X-Force also continue to fly off store shelves.

Here’s a full list of blockbuster titles with superstar creative teams going back to press:

  • Avengers Annual #1 Second Printing Variant by Brian Michael Bendis & Gabrielle Dell’otto
  • Avengers: X-Sanction #2 Second Printing Variant by Jeph Loeb & Ed McGuinness
  • Carnage USA #2 Second Printing Variant by Zeb Wells & Clayton Crain
  • Defenders #2 Second Printing Variant by Matt Fraction & Terry Dodson
  • Incredible Hulk #3 Second Printing Variant by Jason Aaron & Marc Silvestri
  • Uncanny X-Force #19 Second Printing Variant by Rick Remender & Robbi Rodriguez

Did you miss the previous issues of these amazing titles? Well Marvel has you covered with these additional printings!

  • New Avengers Annual #1 Second Printing Variant by Brian Michael Bendis & Gabrielle Dell’otto (JUL118236)
  • Avengers: X-Sanction #1 Second Printing Variant A by Jeph Loeb & Ed McGuinness (OCT118095)
  • Avengers: X-Sanction #1 Second Printing Variant B by Jeph Loeb & Ed McGuinness (OCT118096)
  • Carnage USA #1 Second Printing Variant by Zeb Wells & Clayton Crain (NOV118101)
  • Incredible Hulk #1 Second Printing Variant by Jason Aaron & Marc Silvestri (SEP118121)
  • Incredible Hulk #2 Second Printing Variant by Jason Aaron & Marc Silvestri (OCT118116)
  • Uncanny X-Force #18 Second Printing Variant by Rick Remender & Jerome Opena (NOV118069)

With so many red-hot new series quickly gaining steam, Marvel wants to ensure that comic shops have enough copies on hand to meet demand. No fan can miss out on these exciting new titles taking place in all corners of the Marvel Universe!

Written by CHRIS YOST
FOC – 1/23/12, ON SALE – 2/15/12

FOC – 1/23/12, ON SALE – 2/15/12

Written by JEPH LOEB
FOC – 1/23/12, ON SALE – 2/15/12

Written by ZEB WELLS
FOC – 1/23/12, ON SALE – 2/15/12

FOC – 1/23/12, ON SALE – 2/15/12

Written by JASON AARON
FOC – 1/23/12, ON SALE – 2/15/12

FOC – 1/23/12, ON SALE – 2/15/12

Discover The Secret Of The Marvel Universe In Defenders #2!

Discover The Secret Of The Marvel Universe In DEFENDERS #2!

A dangerous secret lies deep within the Marvel Universe, and the only ones who can protect us against its calamitous consequences are… THE DEFENDERS! The team of Doctor Strange, Namor, Silver Surfer, Iron Fist & Red She Hulk must race to stop the Breaker of Worlds from unleashing terror across the Marvel Universe in Defenders #2. From the critically acclaimed creative team of Matt Fraction & Terry Dodson, one of the Marvel Universe’s biggest secrets is about to be uncovered, and you can only find the answer HERE!

Fans and critics agree, Defenders is a smash hit!

“Defenders #1: Big, Bold, Crazy and Awesome” – Chris Sims, ComicsAlliance.com

“It’s a must buy.” – Alex Zalben, MTV Geek

“The book has an enthusiasm and energy that is evident from page one, even when it’s being all grim and world ending.” – Kelly Thompson, ComicBookResources.com

“[T]he Dodsons are a glorious team that continues to shine within these pages” – Jim Mroczkowski, iFanboy.com

“This book deserves your attention and dollars” – Matt Demers, ComicVine.com

“This book definitely deserves a spot on your pull list” – Paul Mallory, AComicBookBlog.com

“The art by the always-stellar Terry and Rachel Dodson looks fantastic!” – Jason Bowles, ScienceFiction.com

Will Nul prove to be too much of a threat for the Defenders? And what do those small notes on the bottom of the pages mean? Is everything tied together? Find out the answer to SOME of those questions as our protectors from the impossible continue their journey in Defenders #2!

DEFENDERS #2 (NOV110487)
Pencils & Cover by TERRY DODSON
FOC – 12/12/11, ON SALE 1/4/12

The Defenders #2 Cover

Venom Infects The Marvel Universe This January!

Official Press Release

VENOM Infects The Marvel Universe This January!

February is going to be an action packed month for Venom, but before the insanity begins we’ve got your first look at January’s jaw dropping Venom Variants! Brought to you by some of the best artists in the industry, get ready for a unique look at your favorite Marvel heroes as they get infected by symbiotes!

Kicking off February with a bang, Venom makes unholy alliances with Red Hulk, Ghost Rider & X-23 to save Sin City, Las Vegas, from total chaos in Venom: Circle of Four. Then, just as Rick Remender and Gabriel Hardman take the reins as the new creative team of Secret Avengers, they draft Venom to the team’s lineup!

So what are you waiting for True Believer, go out and tell your retailers to make yours VENOM!

Written by ED BRUBAKER
Pencils by ALAN DAVIS
Variant Cover by MIKE PERKINS
FOC- 12/19/2011, ON SALE- 01/11/2012

Variant Cover by CHRIS STEVENS
FOC-12/12/2011, ON SALE- 01/4/2012

FF #14 (NOV110542)
Variant Cover by MICHAEL RYAN
FOC-01/2/2012, ON SALE- 01/25/2012

Variant Cover by KHOI PHAM
FOC- 01/2/2012, ON SALE- 01/25/2012

VENOM #12 (NOV110533)
Pencils by LAN MEDINA
Variant Cover by MIKE DEL MUNDO
FOC-12/26/2011, ON SALE- 01/18/2012

Written by JASON AARON
Variant Cover by MARK BROOKS
FOC- 12/19/2011, ON SALE- 01/11/2012

X-MEN #23 (NOV110570)
Pencils by WILL CONRAD
FOC- 12/12/2011, ON SALE- 01/4/2012

Marvel Unveils Stuart Immonen’s Variant To Defenders #1!

Official Press Release

Marvel Unveils Stuart Immonen’s Variant To DEFENDERS #1!

This December, an all-new team is about to embark on a bold mission to protect humanity from the impossible – they are the Defenders! To celebrate the launch of one of this year’s biggest new series, Marvel is pleased to present your first look at the Defenders #1 Immonen Variant from red-hot artist Stuart Immonen! Don’t miss the powerhouse team up of Doctor Strange, Namor, Silver Surfer, Red She-Hulk, and Iron Fist as they go head to head against threats that no other team can handle in Defenders #1 Immonen Variant!

*Retailers should check the Marvel Mailer for special ordering incentives on Defenders #1 and it’s variants.

DEFENDERS #1 (OCT110587)
Pencils & Cover by TERRY DODSON
Variant Cover by STUART IMMONEN
FOC—11/7/11, On-Sale—12/7/11

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