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Marvel Debuts Anime-Inspired Peach Momoko Variant Covers

Marvel’s Stormbreaker artist Peach Momoko is back with an all-new collection of must-have variant covers! The top-selling cover artist recently depicted many of Marvel’s biggest stars for an entire line of Upper Deck trading cards. Now, these popular anime-inspired art pieces will serve as variant covers on some of your favorite ongoing series this July! From Captain Marvel to Groot, Peach Momoko once again brings Marvel’s heroes to life in her iconic style with these Peach Momoko Anime Variant Covers.

Collect all 12 Peach Momoko Anime Variant Covers starting in July!

  • AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #70 PEACH MOMOKO ANIME VARIANT COVER
  • AVENGERS #45 PEACH MOMOKO ANIME VARIANT COVER
  • IMMORTAL HULK #48 PEACH MOMOKO ANIME VARIANT COVER
  • X-MEN #1 PEACH MOMOKO ANIME VARIANT COVER
  • CHAMPIONS #8 PEACH MOMOKO ANIME VARIANT COVER
  • AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #71 PEACH MOMOKO ANIME VARIANT COVER
  • CAPTAIN MARVEL #30 PEACH MOMOKO ANIME VARIANT COVER
  • DAREDEVIL #32 PEACH MOMOKO ANIME VARIANT COVER
  • GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #16 PEACH MOMOKO ANIME VARIANT COVER
  • SHANG-CHI #3 PEACH MOMOKO ANIME VARIANT COVER
  • WOLVERINE #14 PEACH MOMOKO ANIME VARIANT COVER
  • THOR #16 PEACH MOMOKO ANIME VARIANT COVER

Super-Articulate: Marvel Legends Shang-Chi and Iron Man (A.I.)

So, this is a weird one. On Saturday, my friend Billy Cooper (of the Indiana Toy and Comic Expo and Indiana Toy Collectors Unite) posted a message on that Facebook group that he’d seen figures from the Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings/Mr. Hyde BAF wave at a nearby Target. And while we’ve seen some leaked pix of that wave online, there has as yet been no a) official announcement, b) solicitations that we’ve seen, or c) pre-order listing.

I rolled over the check it out later, and there were indeed five of Shangi-Chi and six of Iron Man (AI) on the pegs. The other four figures (Civil Warrior, Death Dealer, Wenwu, and Xialing) weren’t out. I asked an employee for help, and she scanned the backs. Normally, the scan will show if they have the rest of the assortment. This time was odd, as the scan of Shang-Chi only correlated to the five figures preset; same with the Iron Man, leading us to believe that the individual figures were solid cases. She even graciously checked the back to see if the other four were present, but they weren’t. I had no issues at check-out; they rang up for $19.99.

Again, this is unusual precisely for the reasons that I mentioned. Also unusual is the fact that their assigned system numbers (087167874 and 087163271) don’t show anything when you search them on the website. This is the opposite of what normally happens; in the case of the recent ML Storm and Thunderbird two-pack, for example, the number pulled up a listing even weeks before the on-sale date and arrival in stores. These two numbers, which obviously have to be active for the employee’s scan and completed sale, just don’t pull up anything.

Granted, this isn’t a mystery on the order of the Mary Celeste, but it’s just very peculiar. In our hyper-regulated retail world, it’s unusual for a previously unannounced product to just show up. It’s weirder still for coming the day after HasbroPulse Fan Fest, which teased a new Domino/Cannonball two-pack and set up the Iron Man/Ursa Major BAF wave for pre-order and didn’t release any information on this wave at all. Everything we’ve seen so far has been leaks to the likes of Rektangular and various Instagrams. Those figures showing up in a Target in the middle of Indiana is just . . . odd.

Fortunately, I have photos. This isn’t Bigfoot hunting, people. I’d also like to thank Jay at www.toynewsi.com who posted some of my photos as well. But here you can take a look at the figures, which include out-of-package shots. Each one comes with a Mr. Hyde BAF leg in addition to appropriate accessories.

Iron Man (A.I.): A comic-specific figure, the only real new part of this one is the holographic head. If you’ve followed the comics in the past few years, you know this iteration comes from a point where Tony spent some time dead, and an A.I. version of himself occupied an armor. The figure sculpt itself is a redecoed version of the 80th Anniversary figure; this one has a bright and shiny red-and-yellow scheme that kind of echoes that Secret Wars Iron Man figure from the ‘80s. It would almost be a perfect classic Iron Man as is were it not for the more modern blue on the chest. It’s a decent figure, and the A.I. is fun in you know the story.

Shang-Chi: Our first MCU Shang-Chi comes with a staff and four extra hands for various fighting stances. The overall poseability works out great for a figure like this, especially the double-elbows. I didn’t go super-deep into all of the possible fight poses, but you get a feel for the scenic versatility that the figure can carry. The Simu Liu likeness is pretty good, too. I feel like this is a good entry for the MCU section of the line, and I look forward to seeing the others.

Well, there you go, campers. If you’re interested in this line, happy hunting. I can’t guarantee their release pattern, as we just don’t know. I’ve reached out to my regular contact for comment, and we’ll pass it along if we have anything to share. Until then, if you have comments or questions, drop ‘em below.

Spider-Man’s Greatest Villains take on the Marvel Universe in Variant Covers

Doctor Octopus. Kraven the Hunter. Green Goblin. These iconic Spider-Man villains and many more belong to one of the most legendary rogues gallery in pop culture history, and this June, they’ll be getting the spotlight on 20 all-new variant covers by some of the industry’s leading artists. See explosive matchups like the Immortal Hulk taking down Rhino, Daredevil going head to head with Shocker, Miles facing off against Lady Octopus, and Shang-Chi caught in the grip of King Cobra on incredible artwork on the covers of your favorite ongoing Marvel series. Fans can collect all 20 pieces from a range of top artists. Here are some of the action-packed brawls you can expect from this collection:

  • Black Cat vs. Scorpia
  • Black Widow vs. Electro
  • Captain America vs. Kraven the Hunter
  • Captain Marvel vs. Vulture
  • Fantastic Four vs. Sandman
  • Iron Man vs. Boomerang
  • Jean Grey & Emma Frost vs. Beetle (Janice Lincoln)
  • Silk vs. White Rabbit
  • Spider-Man vs. Chameleon
  • Spider-Man vs. Doctor Octopus
  • Spider-Man vs. Taskmaster & Black Ant
  • Star-Lord vs. Trapster
  • Thor vs. Lizard
  • Wolverine vs. Stegron

Check out the first four now and stay tuned for more Spider-Man Villains Variant Cover reveals in the coming weeks!

  • AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #67 SPIDER-MAN VILLAINS VARIANT COVER by JAVIER GARRÓN
  • BLACK CAT #7 SPIDER-MAN VILLAINS VARIANT COVER by TERRY DODSON
  • FANTASTIC FOUR #33 SPIDER-MAN VILLAINS VARIANT COVER by DIKE RUAN
  • IMMORTAL HULK #47 SPIDER-MAN VILLAINS VARIANT COVER by DECLAN SHALVEY
  • AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #68 SPIDER-MAN VILLAINS VARIANT COVER by LEINIL FRANCIS YU
  • IRON MAN #9 SPIDER-MAN VILLAINS VARIANT COVER by DAN PANOSIAN
  • X-MEN #21 SPIDER-MAN VILLAINS VARIANT COVER by EMA LUPACCHINO
  • CAPTAIN AMERICA #30 SPIDER-MAN VILLAINS VARIANT COVER by TAURIN CLARKE
  • DAREDEVIL #31 SPIDER-MAN VILLAINS VARIANT COVER by GREG LAND
  • MILE MORALES: SPIDER-MAN #27 SPIDER-MAN VILLAINS VARIANT COVER by ROSE BESCH
  • THE MIGHTY VALKYRIES #3 SPIDER-MAN VILLAINS VARIANT COVER by TBA
  • AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #69 SPIDER-MAN VILLAINS VARIANT COVER by TBA
  • CAPTAIN MARVEL #29 SPIDER-MAN VILLAINS VARIANT COVER by DAVID LAFUENTE
  • GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #15 SPIDER-MAN VILLAINS VARIANT COVER by CARLOS PACHECO
  • SILK #4 SPIDER-MAN VILLAINS VARIANT COVER by BETSY COLA
  • THOR #15 SPIDER-MAN VILLAINS VARIANT COVER by TONY DANIEL
  • WOLVERINE #13 SPIDER-MAN VILLAINS VARIANT COVER by RYAN BENJAMIN
  • BLACK WIDOW #8 SPIDER-MAN VILLAINS VARIANT COVER by DAVI GO
  • GIANT-SIZE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: CHAMELEON CONSPIRACY #1 SPIDER-MAN VILLAINS VARIANT COVER by RYAN STEGMAN
  • SHANG-CHI #2 SPIDER-MAN VILLAINS VARIANT COVER by NATACHA BUSTOS

Shang-Chi Returns in May with Gene Luen Yang and Dike Ruan

Last year, award-winning writer Gene Luen Yang and rising star artist Dike Ruan transformed the Shang-Chi mythos in a critically-acclaimed new series. Marvel has announced that the incredible team will continue their bold work on the character this May in a new ongoing series. Shang-Chi #1 will kick off a surprising new journey for Marvel’s greatest fighter as he finds himself on the opposite side of Marvel’s heroes.

After the events of his latest series, Shang-Chi has finally taken his place as the leader of the Five Weapons Society but using an evil secret organization as a force for good won’t be easy. And it’s about to get a lot harder when Shang-Chi’s fellow superheroes from Spider-Man to the X-Men to the Avengers, start to question his motives! Don’t miss what happens when Shang-Chi and his newfound family of warriors collide with the Marvel Universe’s biggest heroes!

Through their expansive world-building in their previous series, Yang and Ruan have successfully modernized Shang-Chi for a new age. Don’t miss the next revolutionary story in his saga when Shang-Chi #1 hits stands in May.

Shang-Chi #1

Around the Tubes

Maniac of New York #1

It’s a new comic book day! What are you all getting? What are you excited for? Sound off in the comments below. While you think about that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.

Kotaku – Japanese Politicians Are Sorry For Ripping Off Anime Logo – What logo do you want to see American politicians rip off?

The Beat – A Year of Free Comics: JACKSON’S DIARY features superpowers wrapped in a charming ‘80s package – Free comics!

Reviews

Comic Attack – Cyberpunk 2077: Trauma Team
CBR – Deep Beyond #1
CBR – Maniac of New York #1
Talking Comics – Shang-Chi #5

Preview: Legend of Shang-Chi #1

Legend of Shang-Chi #1

(W) Alyssa Wong (A/CA) Andie Tong
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Feb 03, 2021
SRP: $3.99

Deadly Hands vs. Deadly Blades!
• Someone has been stealing artifacts of WMD potential.
• It’s up to Shang-Chi to find this person and stop them.
• But is he prepared to go toe-to-toe with Lady Deathstrike?!

Legend of Shang-Chi #1

Review: Shang-Chi #5

Shang-Chi #5

Shang-Chi has revitalized the character and brought what was a troublesome past into modern times. With a new movie on the horizon, Marvel has put their trust into a creative team to update the character. That team has done so while also honoring the roots of the character as well. Shang-Chi #5 wraps up the first volume of this new direction while planting the seeds for much more to come.

Writer Gene Luen Yang delivers a solid finale as Shang-Chi and his newly found allies battle his sister who has attacked London. The motivations for the attack are rather thin but really, the action and visuals are more the point. There’s a lot to overlook in the comic as far as story. But, it’s the type of thing where you don’t ask too many questions and just roll with it. There’s things that aren’t quite explained and some plot points dropped but it’s a comic you can just pick up and enjoy without thinking too much.

With Shang-Chi #5, it feels like Yang has taken inspiration from zombie/disaster films mixed with a martial arts flavor. There’s some good action and beautiful art to go with it but it’s the big picture and motions that matter more than the small details.

The art, provided by Dike Ruan and Philip Tan, is top notch as it has been for the series. Sebastian Cheng‘s colors give the comic an amazing look overall that pops off the page. The art team does a fantastic job of mixing emotion and action. You get a sense of the exhaustion the characters experience and some of the trauma experienced. Travis Lanham‘s lettering too adds a punch to it all really bringing the art and dialogue together. Visually, the comic is top-notch stuff.

Shang-Chi #5 wraps up this chapter of the new direction for Shang-Chi but sets up what’s to come. The team has done a great job of resetting the character and delivering a fantastic groundwork to launch many more stories to come. There’s a lot of potential here and it should be interesting to see where this goes and the impact on the rest of the Marvel Universe. Overall, a solid story that’s worth checking out.

Story: Gene Luen Yang Art: Dike Ruan, Philip Tan
Color: Sebastian Cheng Letterer: Travis Lanham
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.85 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Exclusive Preview: Shang-Chi #5 (of 5)

Shang-Chi #5 (of 5)

(W) Gene Luen Yang (A) Dike Ruan, Philip Tan (CA) Marcus To (VCA) Iban Coello, Skottie Young
Rated T+
In Shops: Jan 27, 2021
SRP: $3.99

THE GRAND FINALE!
• SISTER HAMMER launches her final attack on the Western world with her army of vampires!
• Will SHANG-CHI and his family be able to stop her?
• And will Shang-Chi finally accept the destiny laid out by his father?

Shang-Chi #5 (of 5)

Brett’s Favorite Comics of 2020 and a Reflection on the Past Year

The Recount #1

It feels weird writing a “best of” list for the past year since it’s been so difficult for so many. Writer Ron Marz Tweeted something like any comic that helped to get you through it is a favorite, and deep down I agree with that. It’s been a rough year for so many and it’s one where the comic industry was forced to mature and face reality in many ways.

Things shifted for everyone.

Publishers canceled projects, shifted schedules, and looked to go directly to the consumer. Creators looked for new ways to earn money and also go directly to the consumer. Stores were forced to market more taking to video, email, and social media to keep customers aware of the latest offerings and remind them of classics they might have missed. Some stores didn’t make it through the year. Others expanded. New ones joined the industry. Consumers had more choices than ever before that made it easier to escape the world burning around them and find enjoyment in make-believe worlds where justice prevails in the end.

In the end, though 2020 looked bleak, it left the comic industry as a whole stronger than ever before.

It feels weird doing this “best of” but at the same time I feel like I want to “honor” and spotlight the comics that got me through the year and had me excited to read the next issues. This is what I’ve read so if you don’t see something mentioned it’s not that I didn’t enjoy it, I just might not have read it. Sorry, I can’t read everything (there was a massive glut in webcomics and manga for me).

So, in a bit different spin I’ve split this list into three sections.

  1. Comics where I’ve only read one issue so far, because that’s what’s been released, but am excited to see what comes in the new year.
  2. Comics I enjoyed each month and are kind of a “silver medal” for me. I wanted to acknowledge them but also didn’t want this to be an overwhelming essay. They’ll get more of a nod when I do a video of this.
  3. The ones I was excited to read each month or had an impact on me. These are the ones that go into my regular suggestions of comics to read down the road. The art, the stories, the presentation, they’re all at that “top of the game” level.

All of these are listed in no particular order (hell it’ll probably just be in alphabetical). Enough with the rambling… lets get on with some comics!

2020 gave us one, here’s ones I’m excited to read their second issues in 2021!

  • Batman: Black & White #1 – The first issue had some solid stories but it’s the art that really stood out. It was mind-blowing and one of the best comics visually released this year. Almost every story broke away from standard panels and was just amazing to look at. I have no idea if future issues will be like this but here’s hoping.
  • Black Cat #1 – The last volume was a lot of fun to read and this first issue continued that. Despite being a King in Black tie-in, the issue kept the focus on what Black Cat does best, steal things as everything collapses around her. There’s just a certain style and attitude that the creative team nails with this. It was a fun debut that you could just sit back, laugh while reading, and enjoy.
  • M.O.D.O.K.: Head Games #1 – Marvel’s trying to make M.O.D.O.K. a thing. It’s kind of been his year between an upcoming HULU series, a popular miniature in Marvel: Crisis Protocol, and this comic. The first issue had me laughing and I’m hoping that continues.
  • The Other History of the DC Universe #1 – John Ridley is one of my favorite creators out there. His work in film and television have blown me away. It looks like DC has given him the opportunity to deliver a brutally honest take about the DC Universe from the perspective of people of color and the first issue is one of the best things I read all year. I can’t wait until the second and this man should be allowed to do whatever he wants.
  • The Recount #1 – The issue hit a bit close to reality. The President is a crook and assassinated and there’s an uprising to purge the country of everyone who supported him, from the Vice President down to voters. It was a hell of an opening issue and one that was chilling in so many ways.
Shang-Chi #1

Comics to check out…

These were all great reads and should go on your reading pile. These are ones I made sure to read every month and jumped at reading as soon as they crossed my desk. They’ll all get more love in my video version of this.

The comics that really stood out for the year.

All of these comics were ones that kept me thinking well after I read them and I’d be happy to read them again. Many are still ongoing while others have wrapped up their runs. Each stands out in its own special way.

Ginseng Roots #3
  • Black Widow – Kelly Thompson, Elena Casagrande, Jordie Bellaire, and Cory Petit are the main creators on what’s been released so far and every issue has been amazing. Black Widow has been captured and brainwashed into believing a domestic life is real and hers. There’s been a great mix of humor, action, in this spy thriller and it’s sure to ramp up now based on the latest issue’s final moments. This is a great mix of storytelling and visual coolness.
  • Dead Day – Man, I really want this to be done as a television series and absolutely need more comics. Ryan Parrot, Evgeniy Bornyakov, Juancho!, and Charles Pritchett deliver a masterclass in world-building. Not only do they deliver an interesting story but have crafted a bigger world. For one night, the dead return, and while the comic really told the story of one family, each issue fleshed out enough of what this event’s impact would be elsewhere to get you to think and imagine.
  • Far Sector – N.K. Jemisin, Jamal Campbell, and Deron Bennett have breathed a breath of fresh air into the Green Lanterns with this series. We’re taken to an alien world where a new Lantern named Jo must solve a murder which takes her deep into a corrupt society. It does what science fiction does best, explore our real world. The visuals are stunning as well in what is a comic that’s timely capturing the current zeitgeist.
  • Ginseng Roots – Craig Thompson explores his childhood in what’s one of the most original comics this year. In a small format and with minimal colors, the comic tells us the history of ginseng and Thompson’s childhood.
  • Harley Quinn Black + White + Red – DC really shook things up this year and one way was a greater focus on digital releases. This series was an anthology that delivered a different creative team with every chapter. We got to see over a dozen different takes on Harley Quinn each of which was entertaining. If you want to see how much the creators matter when it comes to the storytelling, here you go. This is also a perfect example of where digital comics should be going from major publishers.
  • Kill a Man – This story focused on a gay man’s battles within the world of MMA was an updated take on the Rocky formula and done so well. You can come at it as a fan of MMA, as someone who’s LGBTQ, both, or just wanting good storytelling. Emotional with great action, it’s a home run from the team of Steve Orlando, Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Al Morgan, and Jim Campbell.
  • Superman Smashes the Klan – The miniseries was collected and it’s amazing. Gene Luen Yang, Gurihiru, and Janice Chiang deliver a comic that captures the heart of Superman. Based on the groundbreaking radio play where Superman takes on the KKK, this comic is amazing in every aspect, from the story to the visuals. Add in some extra material from Yang about his own experiences and it becomes a comic everyone should read and one that helps define Superman in one of his best depictions ever.
  • Vlad Dracul – Matteo Strukul, Andrea Mutti, Vladimir Popov, and Joel Rodriguez tell us the story about the very real Vlad, the inspiration for Dracula. I learned a hell of a lot and would love to see more comics like this. It’s a crazy read that can be enjoyed for the history and education and/or the brutal story itself that would fit any fantasy world.
  • We Live – The first issue was perfection and got me to choke up. Each subsequent issue has built upon the world. In this story humanity is almost over but a mysterious entity from space will save 5,000 children but first they must get to extraction points. This is a few kids’ stories and their journey of survival. By Inaki Miranda, Roy Miranda, Eva De La Cruz, and Dave Sharpe each issue is visually amazing plus there’s some awesome bonus music you can listen to while reading.
  • Yasmeen – Talk about an emotional gut-punch with each issue. Saif A. Ahmed, Fabiana Mascolo, and Robin Jones tell the story of Yasmeen who was captured and tortured by Isis and her attempt to deal with the PTSD while settling after in the United States. Just an amazing blend of storytelling and real recent history.

Preview: Shang-Chi #4 (of 5)

Shang-Chi #4 (of 5)

(W) Gene Luen Yang (A) Dike Ruan, Philip Tan (CA) Bernard Chang
Rated T+
In Shops: Dec 30, 2020
SRP: $3.99

Shang-Chi is at death’s door!
• The Deadly Warrior is dying from a mortal wound, and it looks like there’s only one person who can save him…
•…his father? But he’s dead…right?

Shang-Chi #4 (of 5)
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