Tag Archives: marvel

Spider-Powered Heroes Take to the Warzones! in Spider-Island #1!

Enter an arachnid-infested realm like you’ve never seen as Spider-Island #1 crashes into Battleworld this July! Two exciting creative teams bring you two stories per issue jam-packed with wallcrawling and webslinging!

First writer Christos Gage and artist Paco Diaz bring you a domain under siege! The Spider-Queen has won, turning her domain into an island full of Spider-Madness. Peter Parker has been lost, her dangerous gambit all but complete. With Spider-Man defeated and captured, all hope lies in the hands of Flash Thompson – the symbiote wielding hero known as AGENT VENOM! But does he stand a chance?

In an interview with Marvel.com, Gage said:

Flash carries a great burden here. Due to his symbiote’s vulnerability to the Spider-Queen’s sonic powers, he failed to save his hero, Spider-Man or New York. Now he drives himself mercilessly to find redemption, by any means necessary.

Then, return to a fan-favorite MC2 character as Mayday Parker takes center stage in a new story from her original creators – Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz and Sal Buscema! Now adorning the title of Spider-Woman, does May have what it takes to brave the horrors of the Secret Wars!

In a release, DeFalco said on his return to the character he helped make famous:

A good roller coaster ride is promised for all.

It’s a double dose of Spider-Insanity this July as Flash Thompson and May Parker swing into comic shops for the can’t miss Spider-Island #1!

SPIDER-ISLAND #1
Written by CHRISTOS GAGE & TOM DEFALCO
Art by PACO DIAZ & RON FRENZ
Cover by HUMBERTO RAMOS
On Sale in JULY!

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Marvel Reveals the Full All-New, All-Different Avengers and Uncanny Inhumans

Marvel has been slowly revealing the teams all week, but we now know the full teams for the All-New, All-Different Avengers, and Uncanny Inhumans, which will debut during this year’s Free Comic Book Day which takes place on May 2nd.

Get a look into the Avengers of tomorrow with the All-New, All-Different Avengers! Eisner-award winning writer Mark Waid and artist Mahmud Asrar (take this new squad for their very first spin! Newcomers Nova, Miles Morales, and Ms. Marvel join Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, and the Vision for a team of Avengers unlike any you’ve ever seen before!

Then, Charles Soule joins artist Brandon Peterson to lay new groundwork for the future of the Inhumans. As the Terrigen Mists continue to awaken new Inhumans across the globe – it’s up to Medusa and her squad to protect them from a world that would use their new powers for evil. And why is Johnny Storm, the Human Torch now counted among their ranks?

Plus, don’t miss Marvel’s other exciting FCBD offering, Secret Wars #0 – the epic prelude to the biggest comic event of the year, just in time for the release of Secret Wars #1 the very next Wednesday!

ALL-NEW, ALL-DIFFERENT AVENGERS FCBD
Written by MARK WAID & CHARLES SOULE
Art by MAHMUD ASRAR & BRANDON PETERSON
Covers by JEROME OPENA & NICK BRADSHAW
Coming Free Comic Book Day!

 

SECRET WARS #0
Written by JONATHAN HICKMAN & HAJIME ISAYAMA
Art by PAUL RENAUD & GERARDO SANDOVAL
Cover by ALEX ROSS
Coming Free Comic Book Day!

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GroupOn’s Too Good to Be True Comic Deal and False Advertising

Exactly a month ago I brought you the story of GroupOn‘s “deal” where you could buy a bundle of comics for a pretty impressive discount. For $24.99 you can purchase 25 Marvel or DC comics. $1 a comic isn’t too bad. For $39.99 you can get 50 comics, 25 from Marvel and 25 from DC (plus tax). The “deal” also claimed the 25 comics had a “value” of $99.99, and the 50 comics had a value of $249.99. That’s a “discount” of 75% or 84%. What prompted this was really how those two values worked out, because even that doesn’t make sense. I decided to see how honest this deal actually was, and the answer is not so honest, and probably qualifies as “false advertising.”

First, the unboxing video.

You can see, the comics do run the past 30 years, with some comics from the 80s, 90s, and 00s. But, does the package live up to the claimed value? The answer is no.

False Advertising“Any advertising or promotion that misrepresents the nature, characteristics, qualities or geographic origin of goods, services or commercial activities” (Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C.A. § 1125(a)).

I went through and priced out both cover and “guide” value of the comics. The 25 DC Comics came out to be valued at $60.14 going by the cover, and $75 looking at guides (and that’s a generous pricing for issues). For the 25 Marvel comics, their value is $51.26 going by cover, and $78.25 looking at the pricing in guides. That’s a total of $111.40 or $153.25, well over $100 less in “value” than the advertised claim. Each package was also less than the $100 value claimed for the separate 25 comic packages. At the end you can find a complete list of comics received and value noted. To add insult to injury, one of the Marvel “comics” received was the Avengers/Invaders sketchbook produced by Marvel and Dynamite and I’m pretty sure came from with Wizard Magazine. In fact that one had “Not for Sale” printed on the back.

I followed up with GroupOn’s customer service. The first response is below:

Hi Brett,

Sorry for any confusion. It is never our intention to mislead anyone about the value of a Groupon.

The value and discount percentage listed on each deal reflect the regular full price for that product or service. If the business offers other temporary discounts or decides to change their standard pricing after their deal is featured, the relative savings and value might change.

Unfortunately, we cannot foresee or control these changes. That said, we work very hard to make sure that the deals we feature are the best around.

I hope this helps to clarify the situation, and we appreciate your continued support.

Regards,

Jahnavi Mathuradas
Groupon Customer Support

Doesn’t really answer my question of the discrepancy of the value of goods advertised versus what was received. I followed up for clarification, and received the next response:

Hi Brett,

I’m very sorry for the trouble. Unfortunately, books, beauty products (excluding electronics), undergarments, perishable items, any items marked “final sale,” and items that have been worn are nonrefundable and may not be returned. You can find this information in our Return Policy at http://gr.pn/GoodsReturns, and in the Fine Print on the purchase page for this Groupon at http://groupon.com/deals/gg-dc-comics-and-marvel-comic-book-bundles-1.

Of course, if your item was damaged prior to delivery, please let me know and I can assist you in returning the product in that case. However, due to the nature of this deal, we aren’t able to provide a replacement.

I checked and see that you have purchased Comic Book Bundle: DC-Marvel/50. Could you please provide us the details of the items received by you if you have further questions?

If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

Regards,

Parasu R
Groupon Customer Support

Ok, again not answering my question. I also followed up with GroupOn’s press department, and have yet to hear back as this has gone to print after giving them a few days.

But, is it false advertising? To establish false advertising, you must prove five things:

  1.  a false statement of fact has been made about the advertiser’s own or another person’s goods, services, or commercial activity;
  2. the statement either deceives or has the potential to deceive a substantial portion of its targeted audience;
  3. the deception is also likely to affect the purchasing decisions of its audience;
  4. the advertising involves goods or services in interstate commerce;
  5. the deception has either resulted in or is likely to result in injury to the plaintiff.

To this purchase, all five of the items are checked off. The “value” is falsely stated. There is deception, again with the value stated and discount received. If the deal was just 25 comics for $24.99, I would not have purchased it, most shops have a better selection of dollar bins or 50 cent bins. It does involve goods. It also involved “injury” which is the money lost in purchase.

With over 1,000 packages bought, GroupOn has a pretty big potential lawsuit on their hands. But, as with all things, buyer beware, especially when too good to be true claims are made.

And the list of comics.

Extra! Extra! Read All About it! Marvel Announces the New York Bulletin Newspaper!

Coming this May – dispatches from the world of Secret Wars come straight to you in this special edition of the New York Bulletin! The New York Bulletin Secret Wars Newspaper is an actual, real newspaper featuring all the news you care about from the surface of Battleworld. New articles, new features, news from other domains – if it’s happening on Battleworld, the New York Bulletin has the scoop!

Your number one source for late-breaking news from the brink of destruction, the New York Bulletin Secret Wars Newspaper is coming to comic shops one week before Secret Wars #1. From Greenland in the North to New Xandar below the Shield – our reporters have eyes and ears everywhere!

Who is the mysterious and “quiet” vigilante who leads the Inhuman rebellion? This tell-all expose will keep you up-to-date on Inhuman affairs! Homicide, mischief and mayhem! Scan the Police Blotter for a list of major crimes put to a halt by the Thors! Looking for a great vacation spot? Don’t miss the new, expanded Travel section!

Plus, prepare for Secret Wars like never before with an exciting roadmap charting important moments, relevant stories, and can’t-miss collections to get you caught up for the highly anticipated first issue!

For all the Secret Wars news you care about – don’t miss the New York Bulletin Secret Wars Newspaper, coming to comic shops this April!

NEW YORK BULLETIN SECRET WARS NEWSPAPER (FEB158111)
FOC – 04/06/11, On-Sale – 04/29/15

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A Short History of Turning Disney Rides Into Fiction

Tower_of_Terror_VideoCoverOne of the common criticisms of modern media is that people have run out of ideas, and that everything that we see is a repetition of something that came before. While this is a contentious enough claim based partially in an over-analysis of tropes and truisms, it is true that those looking to create popular culture stories for movies have looked elsewhere for inspiration in recent years. There have been movies based on blogs for instance, which is a form of media copying another.

In terms of media, many people don’t consider theme park rides to be a form of media, but under certain circumstances they can be. Of courses roller coasters are not really a form of media, but some rides are. After all at Disney World and Disney Land many of the rides consist of a moving vessel which undergoes some mild thrills in the form of chutes or slides, and a story of sorts being told through the depiction of various themes.  In short it serves as a sort of moving theater without a real plot, and is thus is kind of its own form of media (or at least a weird version of theater).

Country_bearsWith the crossover of almost all forms of media from on into another, it thus stands to reason that eventually that someone at Disney would get the idea to base some stories on their own rides, which doubled as extra incentive to take children to the theme parks (if they actually needed more incentive). Surprisingly though, with one notable exception, the transfer to other forms of media has been pretty mediocre, yet recent developments with Disney and Marvel might indicate the path forward for these ventures.

The first movie in this short history of Disney attractions is the Tower of Terror, released in 1997. Featuring Disney staple Steve Guttenberg and pre-Spider-Man Kirsten Dunst, this is the only film of this kind that was released directly to television. It is also notable for its use of the actual ride as a set for the filming as opposed to the other movies which have relied on different settings. This features a fairly typical ghost story and was filmed for a younger audience as it originally appeared on the Wonderful World of Disney.

The second movie in the sequence is the Country Bears, a film based on the ride/show Country Bear Jamboree. This film was released in 2002 and mixed animatronics with real life actors to tell the story of one of the youngest of the Country Bears who discovers his true destiny after being raised by human parents. This was another Disney movie aimed at a younger crowd as it contained rehearsed dance numbers by children and a silly enough premise. Not surprisingly the film grossed back less than half of its budget in ticket sales.

piratesOut of two mediocre films that were either failures or forgettable came Disney’s greatest success. Although it might have seemed absurd at the time, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl was a film which ventured well past what was offered in the ride. Although the plot was perhaps a little basic in certain respects, it was equally a movie that was full of a lot of elements that make a movie exciting. Special effects provided a realistic enough supernatural element, but the movie is tied mostly to the over-the-top role played by Johnny Depp, which resulted in an Academy Award nomination for best actor. Additionally the movie helped to make stars out of its other two leads, Oralndo Bloom and Keira Knightley, who while already known well enough in Hollywood, had not yet been considered to be proper A-list actors. The 2003 film was followed by sequels in 2006, 2007 and 2011 with another sequel expected in 2017, with the latter to each featuring one half of the married couple of Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem.  It is by far the most successful of the Disney rides turned into movies, with gross ticket sales surpassing $3.5 billion.

haunted mansionAfter the success of Pirates of the Caribbean, some thought that Disney might be entering into a period of success for these adaptations, but the follow-up to its big hit was another poorly received movie as the Haunted Mansion failed to gain critical success, even if its box office draw was not as bad as the others. Starring Eddie Murphy in a story that was once again loosely based on the ride, many criticized it for now being scary enough, or funny enough considering that Eddie Murphy was involved. Despite its lackluster final product interest rests in retelling the story by Guillermo del Toro, who might be able to realize a stronger concept considering some of his previous works.

In a bit of a twist, the next movie in the Disney catalog, is not one based on a ride specifically, but rather an entire section of the park, known as Tomorrowland. Although it is still unreleased, it holds a great deal of promise, telling a broader story as Pirates of the Caribbean did, and it doesn’t hurt either that big names like George Clooney and Brad Bird are associated. While there are also rumours of a movie based on “It’s a Small World” (which would presumably be somewhat Carmen Sandiego-like), this is maybe not the way forward for Disney films.

big thunderSince 2009 Disney has owned Marvel Comics, and while speculated on what that might mean for the future of Marvel, it has mostly remained unchanged in terms of the Marvel universe of superheroes. What is in interesting possibility though is the new miniseries Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. After the hit-and-miss (though mostly miss) run of fiction based on rides, this is a chance for Disney to test ideas in a safer market without investing millions of dollars into an idea that might make back less than half of the money invested.  If this is the case, Marvel could also act as an incubator for movie ideas which Disney thinks might fail on the big screen, and this could be a place to see if they could succeed and to fine tune the idea before putting it into production.  Thus maybe if there is to be a “It’s a Small World” movie, it might show up at Marvel first.

Review: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad #1

big thunderIf Disney is looking for a modern evolution of its princess characters, then Abigail from Big Thunder Mountain Railroad very well might be it.  She is introduced as a headstrong and capable young woman, one that even refers to herself as a princess at one point, but at heart she is nothing of the sort.  Although forced into conformity due to her gender at this specific point in time (the Old West) she does not let this stop her from living the life that she wants to live, a life of adventure and exploration.  It helps of course that she has been sent to live with her father, a fickle though not necessarily cruel owner and operator of a potentially prosperous mine which has not yet found fortune.

It takes no longer than the first few pages to throw her into an unexpected action sequence which works to help build her character as much as it does to raise the pulse of the readers a bit.  This works much better to introduce her character, as she reveals her knack for being feminine while also being head strong and inventive.  The story follows her into the town, which is a place full of characters that one would expect to see in the Wild West, but the focus remains Abigail.  She first sneaks into a saloon and then figures a way to sneak into the mine where she is forbidden from entering.  There are a couple of things out of place (a standing dinosaur fossil) but mostly the story proceeds at a quick pace and keeps the fun going.

Of all the Disney rides expanded to a story elsewhere, this one has as much potential as Pirates of the Caribbean.  Disney put a lot of resources into 2013’s The Lone Ranger, but this single issue is proof that this focus should have been placed on a concept such as this one.  As it stands, this is an exciting and fun issue from the very first panel and doesn’t let up throughout, and promises a solid future of adapting theme park rides into stories, provided that the creative team thinks outside the box.

Story: Dennis Hopeless Art: Tigh Walker
Story: 9.4 Art: 9.4 Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Inhuman #13

inhuman014There is a common enough formula within comics, and especially for superhero comics.  Not every issue can contain a big spectacular action sequence, as those require several issues to build up to, and equally some issue have to be set up to allow for the development of characters and to introduce new plot points to build other stories from.  After the last issue of Inhuman which resulted in the attack of the Ennilux Corporation against New Attilan, it should not be a surprise to see that this issue is at a much slower pace, instead of the action packed previous few issues.

There is a change of focus somewhat at Marvel, at least is some fundamental ways, as the Inhumans have become the mutants, at least in certain applications.  A few years ago, a popular character like Miss Marvel would have likely been introduced as a mutant but now she is given a background as an Inhuman.  This might have some inspiration from who owns which movie rights, but it is undeniable that the Inhumans have a change of focus which examines them as people first and as superhumans second, and that is the case here.  There is therefore the need from time to time for an issue to build up the characters is stronger.  As this issue focuses on the development of certain characters, it comes at a good time, after Iso has been added to the mix of NuHumans.  At the same time, some ground is laid here for an upcoming story arc as Lineage finally begins to reveal his true intentions.

This series maintains its same level of quality here, even if it is not as pulse pounding as some that have come before.  This simply serves as an intermediate issue, though one which is necessary for the series to catch its breath after recent events.  It still serves as an example of the focus put on characters as opposed to other series which rely more on a concept, and it is that which this series is best known for.  This is not the issue that fans will remember fondly, but rather the one that sets up ones that will become memorable.

Story: Charles Soule Art: Andre Araujo
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Read

 

 

Marvel Reveals More Uncanny Inhumans

Marvel is slowly revealing the characters that will make up the focus of their new series The Uncanny Inhumans. So far, none of the reveals should be surprising as they are also the focus on the current series featuring the Inhumans, Inhuman.

Uncanny_Inhumans_2

Marvel Reveals More All-New, All-Different Avengers

The “all-new, all-different” Avengers team is sure living up to their name. Kamala Khan aka Ms. Marvel, female Thor, Nova and Vision are part of the line-up. That looks like FalCap in the center, probably Iron Man on the left, and could that be Spider-Man bottom center? Maybe even Miles Morales Spider-Man?!

All-New_All-Different_Avengers_Assemble_2

Glory to the Hydra Empire! Hail Hydra #1 Takes to the Warzones! This July!

Peace through strength! Honor through obedience! Continuance through conformity! Rick Remender and Roland Boschi bring you the new Hydra – stronger, better, superior. It’s coming this July in the pages of Hail Hydra #1 – a new Secret Wars series! Hail Hydra! Glorious and immortal Hydra! We shall never be destroyed! Cut off one head – two more shall take its place!

It is a beautiful Utopia that Hydra has created. But it is tarnished. One from outside the regime has appeared, sullying it’s beautiful landscape. He is Ian Rogers, son of Captain America, and the man called Nomad. Could his presence be enough to bring this perfect society to utter ruin? We serve none but the Master – and the world shall soon serve us. But first – we must eradicate Ian Rogers!

In an interview with Marvel.com, Remender said:

This is what we’ve seen in All-New Captain America taken to its logical but exponential conclusion. This is an opportunity to explore a world where Hydra got a head start and insinuated itself into the United States much earlier. This is a world run by Hydra, a fascist dystopia…a police state.

Can one man survive the onslaught of an entire country dominated by Hydra? Can he survive the rage of Eddie Brock and the rest of Hydra’s top assassins? He is a man without a world. No hope, no backup and no escape! Hydra will prevail. Hydra will perservere. Glory to the regime this July!

HAIL HYDRA #1
Written by RICK REMENDER
Art by ROLAND BOSCHI
Cover by ANDREW ROBINSON
On Sale in JULY!

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