Tag Archives: spider-man

Mouthy Merc Meets Webbed Wonder This Fall in Spider-Man/Deadpool #1!

Yes you heard right True Believer! Two great heroes that hero great together! Later this year, the two most popular characters in the world are together for their very own ongoing series! That’s right – Spider-Man/Deadpool #1 is coming your way, chock full of wallcrawling, wisecracking and bad guy punching! Blockbuster creators and the legendary Deadpool creative team of Joe Kelly and Ed McGuinness reunite once more to chronicle the ongoing adventures of Peter Parker and Wade Wilson!

But what to call this terrible twosome? The Merc-y Neighborhood Deadpool? The Spider with a Mouth? They’ll figure it out eventually. Deadpool LOVES Spider-Man. Spider-Man hates Deadpool. Sounds like a perfect match! So what on Earth could be enough bring these two together for a titanic team-up in the merry Marvel manner?

In an interview with Marvel.com, Kelly said:

I will say that there is an assassination involved, a case of misplaced trust and their names are on the book so they sort of have to show up.

Seriously, I’m having a blast writing the banter. It’s your favorite buddy-cop movie on steroids if it was written by a swill-minded teenager.

This Fall, the Marvel Universe’s newest odd couple is taking comic shops by storm. Be there as the webs and bullets fly!

Written by JOE KELLY
Art & Cover by ED MCGUINNESS
Coming This Fall!


Review: Amazing Spider-Man – Renew Your Vows #2

asmryv002One of the common themes across the entire Secret Wars crossover has been that of a broken future.  It has shown up in a variety of titles, including several this week alone such Inferno, Civil War and Age of Apocalypse.  It should not come as any surprise then that Renew Your Vows, one of the several Spider-Man tie-ins to Secret Wars, is also included in using this as a theme.  The one difference with this though is that it is not really based on any particular crossover or story from before, rather it is a new story which uses similar themes, with perhaps only minor inspiration from elsewhere (like the MC2 Spider-Girl).

As was seen in the first issue, this freedom from any story in the past actually allows for a very different approach to storytelling.  Gone are the big flashy events and they are instead replaced with strong storytelling focused on characterization over concept.  Generally speaking this is going to put a comic ahead as comics all too often relegate characters to being two dimensional in the interest of some otherworldly threat, and as expected the approach has worked.  Instead of focusing on a superhero team, the focus is on a family, of which two have powers, and are hunted for it in this future where powers are outlawed.  There are some clever uses of plot devices here as well.  When the villains converge on the school to abduct young May, the outcome is as expected, that is until it isn’t as there is a bit of a surprise through this part.  So too is the art used intelligently here as a dream sequence is shown completely differently from them remainder in order to highlight its craziness.

So many of the Secret Wars settings seem something like experiments, a little bit of an excuse for the creators to let loose in world with few rules as to continuity.  The problem with this is that it seems very temporary.  While this is also the case here, it is unfortunate, for this is a reality that would be well explored over several dozen issues as opposed to four or five.  As it stands, this is one of the best tie-ins to the Secret Wars crossover, and it does so with barely any reference to the bigger series.  That is because this is a great story which is executed well and deserves praise for being a little bit better than the rest.

Story: Dan Slott Art: Adam Kubert 
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5  Overall: 9.5  Recommendation: Buy

Review: Civil War #1

civilwar001The Civil War tie-in to the Secret Wars crossover is something that has not really been seen yet with Secret Wars, at least not to this degree.  While other of the stories have relied on retelling their specific crossovers through replacement of characters, or fitting the series into Secret Wars, the story here plays out somewhat differently.  It doesn’t even seem to tie into Secret Wars at all, instead acting as an elaborate “What If?” story.  In this case though it is an elaborate take on this kind of story asking what would have happened if the Marvel Civil War had never ended and had continued.

After a decent setup to show what drove the two factions of heroes apart for good, the new ground rules are laid out for the torn apart country.  One half of the USA is ruled by Stark and is called the Iron.  Here registration rules where those with super abilities are registered and led to leave a life which protects them from society and which protects society from them.  The other half of the divide is the Blue, the Western portion controlled by Captain America.  This is much more like a libertarian homeland, where the only rules are the most basic.  As the two sides are brought together for peace talks, things will obviously not go so easily.  Instead a major incident leaves both sides once again at each other’s throats.

This first issue is interesting, not only because of the different approach that it takes to the Secret Wars crossover, but also because of the fundamental questions which the original crossover posed, questions to which there are no real easy answers, and they are also the questions which underlie much of the public discourse in politics at the moment, especially in the USA.  The nuances are here as to deeper questions, and while it doesn’t exactly get around to addressing them, they are still there.  This issue thus borders on something a lot deeper, while still giving an engaging story to get into.  It might not be the best overall tie-in thus far to Secret Wars, but it definitely one of the most thought-provoking, and deserves to be placed at the head of the pack.

Story: Charles Soule Art: Leinil Francis Yu
Story: 9.2 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Spider-Island #1

si001In some ways the entirety of Secret Wars has at times read like a fan fic.  Although there is a strong enough core to the overall story to hold it together, it is equally a relatively fertile ground for creators to let loose in terms of creativity.  Some tie-ins have benefited from this and others have not, and in the case of Spider-Island it is very like the former.  The creative team here has taken the crossover from four summers ago and repurposed it, asking some common fan fic questions like what if the Spider Queen had managed to take over the Avengers?  Or what if Flash Thompson as Venom was the one fighting for the city, not Spider-Man.

The plot here focuses on Flash and his few allies – Jessica Drew, the Vision and Werewolf by Night.  They are fighting a losing battle against the spread of the spider virus, and they are desperate to find something which they can do to counter it.  Werewolf by Night is himself infested but only comes to the side of the heroes when her turns into a wolf at night, and he manages to give Flash the information that he might need to finally stop the spread of the virus.  He launches a covert mission with the Vision, Jessica and himself, but things don’t turn out exactly as planned, though in this case neither for the heroes nor the villains.

The result is a fresh take on the crossover by recasting some of the main characters and by changing the baseline of the setting.  It is a bit grittier than the original, but the reimagining works well as the reader is drawn into the story almost immediately and the pace never lets up.  It is also nice to see the backup feature showing us a slightly older Spider-Girl (now Spider-Woman) from the MC2, which also sort of ties into the Secret Wars crossover.  In the end this is a pretty decent tie-in to Secret Wars, proving once again that those who are willing to push the boundaries that the freedom of the crossover allows, also benefit from those risks, as they have paid off here and elsewhere for these tie-in series.

Story:  Christos Gage, Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz Art:  Paco Diaz and Sal Buscema 
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Spider-Verse #3

Spider-Verse003Of all of the big crossovers to tie into the Secret Wars event for the summer, Spider-Verse is maybe the strangest of all of them.  The theme of Secret Wars has been to resurrect the old crossovers and to put them into the Secret Wars context, but Spider-Verse was in itself a very intricate and layered crossover as well, one which employed the use of every Spider-Man that had ever been written from across the multiverse.  It gave us a new version of the old Spider-Woman and two new Spider-Womans (all of whom are absent here) but it was also sometimes confusing and overly complicated.  It is also the most recent of crossovers, so the memories of it are still pretty fresh in the collective minds of the readers, which means it has a lot to compete with.

If this series has anything going for it, it is that it at least doesn’t dwell too much on all of that, neither of the ties to Spider-Verse nor of the ties to Secret Wars.  There is still a lot of Spider-people in this book, from regular Peter Parker all the way to Spider-Ham, but the focus remains on the threat posed by the Sinister Six.  As they came up against these villains, the heroes realize that they are ill-equipped to deal with them.  Although Spider-Man has handled them alone on several occasions, this proves that less might be more, as six Spider-Mans are ineffective in taking them down, and they are subsequently brought before Norman Osborne.  This segment ties in more closely to the Secret Wars crossover, yet still leaves it at a safe distance.  Instead the issue goes back to focusing on Gwen Stacey, one of the fan favorites of the past year and one of the characters pretty much guaranteed to return to the post-Secret WArs landscape at Marvel.

Secret Wars has been really effective at times in putting together fun takes on old stories, but it has also fallen a bit flat with others.  That Spider-Verse is so fresh hinders it, but the series doesn’t really dwell on it either, instead giving us what is essentially a fairly average comic, except for a few deeper moments with Gwen.  The first half of the issue might have easily been lifted from a comic from the 1980s, and it is only with Gwen towards the end that there is any redeeming material here.  It is fun at times, and a bit of a disappointment, but it at least provides some hope for an interesting resolution with the plot development at the end.

Story:  Mike Costa Art: Andre Araujo 
Story: 6.8 Art: 6.8 Overall: 6.8 Recommendation: Pass

Diversity In Comics: We’ve Come A Long Way, But We’re Not There Yet

THOR 001_coverThe comic book industry has been making great strides when it comes to introducing more cultural, and ethnic, diversity in the last decade. Superheroes are no longer just straight white men with the odd woman around, but depending on who you talk to about diversity in comics, you could easily  be mistaken for thinking that there really isn’t any. There is diversity, but not as much as perhaps there should be.

Beginning with Luke Cage, the Black Panther, and Shang Chi in the 60’s and 70’s, Marvel Comics did begin to slowly introduce ethnically diverse characters to their roster, but in a medium traditionally dominated by straight white superheroes, diversification had been a comparatively slow process. Not because publishers were against diversifying their lines (although that may have been a part of it for some) but because the publishers wanted to make money, and because the existing popular characters they had were primarily white, and it was those that were selling the comics. In roads have been made over the years, however, with the previously mentioned characters, and also characters such as Marvel’s Northstar, who famously came out in a 1992 story, finally married his long term boyfriend a few years ago; and the hugely popular Kamala Khan, the current Ms Marvel, is a Muslim American teenager.

Stan Lee has been quoted as saying in an interview with Newsarama about the casting of a white Peter Parker as the latest on screen Spider-Man;

I just see no reason to change that which has already been established when it’s so easy to add new characters. I say create new characters the way you want to,” he also added “it has nothing to do with being anti-gay, or anti-black, or anti-Latino, or anything like that. Latino characters should stay Latino. The Black Panther should certainly not be Swiss. I just see no reason to change that which has already been established when it’s so easy to add new characters. I say create new characters the way you want to. Hell, I’ll do it myself.

While he certainly has a point, it can be difficult to launch a new superhero into the public consciousness, but by casting a person of colour into a previously white character it can be an immediate show of support.

The same is also true for replacing existing characters in story for various reasons; most recently Steve Rogers retired as Captain America and so The Falcon stepped up to the plate. Thor Odinson became unworthy of his hammer, and then gave his name (Thor) over to the woman who was worthy. Likewise for reinventing existing characters; when DC rebooted their universe with the New 52, the Green Lantern Alan Scott was a gay man.

Progress is being made, but we’re not quite there yet.

Just in the last month there have been some controversies; during a recent Batgirl story objections were raised over the portrayal of a male character impersonating the lead character (however in the collected edition, the creators revised their original script).

More recently, Image Comics has long been championing diversity and inclusion for all with many of the comics they publish. Up until, that is, Airboy #2 came out this week. Whether it was the creators’ intent to show the cultural differences between the modern day and the Golden Age (from which Airboy both literally and figuratively comes from), and how far we’ve come as a society from the 1940’s in accepting transgender individuals, (or not – I may be giving too much credit here to a misguided depiction of support for the LGBTQ community) the message that many have received loud and clear from Airboy #2 isn’t one of support and acceptance, and as such, it isn’t resonating very well – if at all.

As an industry this is obviously not the message we want to give.

Regardless of the intentions behind that scene in Airboy #2, this kind of portrayal of transgender individuals not only harms the progress the industry has made in the past, and continues to make, but it can also potentially harm real life individuals.  Admirably, the writer of the comic recognized the outcry and responded.

Comics have come a long way when it comes to inclusion and acceptance for all, but we, as an industry and as a community, still have a long we to go. We need to ensure that comics are inclusive to everybody, and when they’re not then we should follow the examples that the very comics we love have shown us so many times, and speak out in favour of those who are being treated unfairly.

It was Stan Lee who said “with great power, there must also come great responsibility,” and we’ve all got the power to speak up when we see something that isn’t right.

Also published on Ramblings Of A Comics Fan.

We Talk About Mary Jane Watson’s Dress with a Couple of Wedding Experts

dress001Marvel recently got inspired by all of the Secret Wars crossovers to release a tie-in with Spider-Man titled “Renew Your Vows” which features a poorer version of the hero as he struggles through married life as a superhero with his wife and daughter. The married life for Peter Parker has been something which has been a factor in the character’s recent history after having his first wedding special in the 1987, which set off a wave of other wedding specials in comics.

The Secret Wars series got a variant cover from J. Scott Campbell, which featured Mary Jane Watson on a presumably alternate universe wedding, in an intricate though maybe too improbable dress. We got together with Jennifer LaVie from Kiss The Bride and Fannie Vavoulis to discuss the dress and comic book weddings.
Graphic Policy: First of all, would you say yes to this dress?

Fannie Vavoulis: YES! If I had a body like that there is no question I would say YES!!

Jennifer LaVie: I’d have to say a big no to this dress.

GP: What are some things that are right about it?

JL: Well, exposed and dramatic backs are really trending and hot right now, so that is definitely something people have their eyes peeled for. The applique detail on the dress straps/sleeves is very nice and in my opinion would appeal to many people.

FV: It shapes her figure really well, very sexy yet still classic in my opinion.

dress002GP: And what did the artist get wrong?

FV: It may be a bit too revealing along the back.

JL: It’s over sexualized and would not appeal to all body types. A “normal” female probably won’t say “that could be me” but likely would be more apt to say “that could never be me”. It takes away from the fantasy when you cannot be a part of it. Plus as a female myself, I have to say it’s almost offensive.

GP: Are there any issues that you can think of that don’t make sense as far as dresses are depicted in art as opposed to the reality? In this case for instance, the dress is supposedly made with spider webs.

JL: I actually like the spider webs, to me that is something that relates to the bride and speaks to her personality, making the dress original and unique to her. The only thing I really can say is that in most cases as I mentioned above things are over sexualized and completely unrealistic to every day people, men and women. Perhaps that is the point of the art, I suppose it would depend.

FV: Well the sleeves in this dress don’t make any sense. I am not sure in reality how they are supposed to stay up around the shoulders. Also – no one could really wear this dress unless you’re Kate Upton. It is so fitting that it would show a LOT of flaws (can you say cottage cheese??) : )

GP: As a real life wedding expert, what are some things that fiction always seems to get wrong about weddings?

FV: I think the most common is the perfection of the day. Most brides will tell you that the day doesn’t always go as planned and hiccups are to be expected. But those minor details are never noticed by the guests – usually just the bride or the person planning it. A lot of things can go wrong – weather issues, time delays, vendors not arriving on time, etc. Stories and comics always depict the day as being perfect – not always the way.

dress003JL: That they are perfect. Nothing is ever perfect. Ever.

GP: It doesn’t happen very often but there are occasionally wedding specials in comics. Do these have any appeal outside of comic book fans?

JL: I think so, if you love weddings you are going to love them in all forms. Cartoons, comics, reality tv etc etc. Weddings appeal to a lot of people!

FV: Wedding specials? Meaning an entire comic book dedicated to a wedding theme?


Many thanks to our two contributors, they took time out of their busy summertime wedding planning schedules to talk with us. Also as an editorial note, it would seem that no one knows about comic book wedding specials other than comic book readers.

Sony and Marvel Find Their Spider-Man and Director

Tom HollandRemember when all those sites in the know said Asa Butterfield was cast as Spider-Man? Guess who ISN’T Spider-Man. That’d be Asa Butterfield.

Today, Marvel and Sony have announced they have cast Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. The 19-year-old English Actor has mostly been in movies I’ve never heard of including The Impossible, How I Love Now, and the upcoming films Pilgrimage, In the Heart of the Sea, and Back Country, all out in 2015, as well as the television miniseries Wolf Hall.

In the release it said that producers Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal were impressed with his performances as well as his “complex screen tests.”

Also announced today is that Jon Watts will be directing the film. Watts is an interesting choice (continuing a string of interesting choices by Marvel) and his previous work involves numerous episodes of the televisions series Onion SportsDome and The Onion News Network, and the films Clown and Cop Car. Again, none of which I’ve seen.

The film will be financed and released by Sony and they will “collaborate” with Marvel on a “new creative direction for the Web-Slinger.”

The next Spider-Man film hits theaters July 28, 2017, though the character is rumored to first appear in a Marvel film beforehand.

Miles Morales, Sony, Marvel, and Spider-Man Films

Spider-Man Miles MoralesThis weekend it was announced that Miles Morales would be taking over as “the” Spider-Man in comics when the new Marvel Universe gels after Marvel‘s Secret Wars event wraps up. Part of the reason cited for the change was the lobbying by fans to get Morales to be the big screen Spider-Man in the Marvel/Sony movie reboot.

Some sites have attempted to generate controversy by mining the leaked Sony documents currently hosted by Wikileaks. There are various documents that have Peter Parker remaining Caucasian, straight, and having gotten his powers in high school or college. You know, like he is in the comics. In other words, Sony couldn’t go and change the character without Marvel’s permission. Also mentioned was he was male, doesn’t torture, doesn’t kill unless in self-defense or defending others, doesn’t smoke, does not swear beyond PG-13, doesn’t sell illegal drugs, doesn’t abuse alcohol, and doesn’t have sex before the age of 16 or with anyone younger than 16.

That’s not too controversial in my mind. Is the rest of the list a problem too? I surely hope not. But some websites like clickbait and don’t present all the pertinent information in their articles, especially during their attempts drum up controversy. I’m not going to link to the original article that started it all, but it’s a site that does this a lot, and unfortunately other sites regurgitated what the original site wrote unchallenged.

I decided to see what I could turn up about Sony’s interest in Miles Morales. The character made his debut in 2011, and in late 2011 there’s a memo written by Jim Underwood currently the Global Head of Entertainment Strategy for Facebook, but from 2010 to 2012 he was the Executive Vice President, Corporate Development, that specifically mentions the character as part of the discussion between Marvel and Sony about characters.

The initial document from August 2011 lays out the discussion between Sony and Marvel over some of Marvel’s characters, and who could do what with each, and what could be done with them. It goes over various an impressive roster of characters even the most die-hard fans might not know about. It also give insight into some of what Sony was looking at for their movies like Venom, The Jury, and Kraven.

In the document entitled “Spider-Man Disputed Characters List” the first bullet point discusses Miles Morales, even adding the characters to something called the “‘Alternative Spider-Man’ schedule.” It is specifically mentioned that Morales isn’t “Caucasian” getting around Marvel’s requirement for Spider-Man as far as that characteristic. This indicates that as far back as 2011 Sony was thinking about diversity in its Spider-Man films. That’s completely opposite of what many sites would lead you to believe. Also of interest is the mention of rumors that Morales was to be gay and Sony would like the right to portray him as so.

Spider-Man_2099_1_Cover_BianchiThere’s also the mention of lots of other IP include various diverse Spider-Man characters. There’s Miguel O’Hara, Spider-Man 2099, and Paviitr Prabhakar who is the Spider-Man of India. Yes, diversity was on people’s minds. Also was Spider-Man as a member of the Fantastic Four, that was to be discussed as well.

While there were some articles that said Sony wasn’t interested in a movie with Morales or O’Hara, the documents say otherwise. They were on their mind to use at some point.

There’s also a list of characters/organizations that were no-go, some of which dealt with Daredevil. One of the non-exclusive characters was Jessica Drew, also known as Spider-Woman, a character that has been rumored to show up as a member of S.H.I.E.L.D. Marvel wouldn’t be able to call her Spider-Woman.

Some of the characters and locations discussed as having to do with Daredevil include The Arranger, Brainwasher, Flint, the Kingpin, Vanessa Fisk, Julius, Fisk Tower, Gloom Room A-Go-Go. Kingpin looks to be shared between the companies with Marvel’s use being specific to Daredevil and other characters Fisk interacted with previously.

Interesting characters, groups, and locations that are mentioned as reserved by Marvel include Bullseye, Cloak and Dagger, Elektra, Jigsaw, The Owl, Moses Magnum, The Punisher, Werewolf by Night, Speedball, A.I.M., Hydra, High Evolutionary, Roxxon, and a whole lot more.

The final document was from September 2011, and who knows when/if it was signed. It’s unknown how these documents were adopted, but it’s interesting that Sony was very interested in Miles Morales, especially for those things that make him a character for the new generation.

Miles Morales is Spider-Man Post Secret Wars

It’s not a shock that Miles Morales is “a” Spider-Man after Marvel’s current world shaking event Secret Wars. The character was featured in Marvel’s Free Comic Book Day release All-New, All-Different Avengers which took place after Secret Wars wraps up.

In an exclusive to the Daily News (I thought we weren’t going to have to scour the web to get all these announcements!?) Marvel has revealed that there will be a new series entitled Spider-Man that will feature Miles Morales under the mask.

Miles Morales will the “the” Spider-Man in the new Marvel universe continuing his role that began in 2011 in Marvel’s Ultimate Universe, which was destroyed in the event currently running through Marvel’s comics. The teen character is part African-American and part Puerto Rican bringing some diversity to the line, and continuing a character today’s generation relates to. Morales will be joined by a grownup Peter Parker who will act as a mentor to the character.

Part of the reason for the change was the lobbying by fans when Marvel and Sony were deciding what to do with the Spider-Man movie franchise. Morales won’t be on the screen any time soon, and we’ll have more about that tomorrow.

The series will be written by the creator of the character Brian Michael Bendis who will be joined by Sarah Pichelli on art.

Bendis in the exclusive article emphasized that this is “the” Spider-Man, not one with an asterisk. It’ll be interesting to see how the publisher gels everything together to make this happen when their event wraps up.

Spider-Man Miles Morales

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