Well! Now that Comic Con is over and the cats are roaming free out of their respective bags, what can we really say besides … GO TEAM MARVEL! Sure, the Distinguished Competition let some things slip and seem to be doing well for themselves, but as a True Believer, I just gotta say how awesome it was to watch the next year or so unfold at panels, hear word of exclusives, catch hints and secrets and yes, see ‘Stan The Man’ Lee cruising down the halls on his way to his next panel.
The con is sort of a surreal experience with so much happening all at once, it’s hard to take in. I know I missed a bunch of panels and events waiting in one line or another, so here’s just a bunch of things that caught my eye that might have gone under your radar, what with all the Stephen King mobile video episodes, exclusive contracts, Marvel movies and assorted madness.
War of Kings!
Oh man, this is big. BIG big! Momentous big! Not only is this coming out of Secret Invasion and whatever became of the Monarch of the Inhumans, not only is this a big way to bring in the X-Men’s Shi’ar side of things back into the spotlight and get back to dangling plotlines with some pretty popular characters, but it’s the next big cosmic event from the people who brought you Annihilation, bringing characters together who normally don’t get to hang out to get it on in truly epic fashion. WAR OF KINGS! Black Bolt and the Inhumans versus Vulcan and the Shi’ar! WOW! Abnett and Lanning mention specifically in interviews that the characters out of the X-office do remain sort of separated because they have a continuity all their own (outside of Wolverine of course), but the more story lines like this come through, the more Marvel’s Merry (and sometimes Morose) Mutants become part of a larger story and the Marvel Universe becomes complete. I’m glad of the upcoming storyline mostly on a fan basis because Annihilation was incredible and I love the idea that I’m seeing more, but I’m also looking forward to a bigger picture unfold throughout a wider cast of characters. No one has to have their own little corner or continuity anymore.
Mark Millar’s Full Three Inch Erection- I mean, Coming Back to Ultimates
We tease but it’s true, Mark Millar coming back to the Ultimates line is really a nice fit for the universe he helped create. It’s been kind of a weird wild place without him and the idea that the man with the most flash and splash is coming back to a series of characters who are all movie bound and designed, well. What more can we say?
NRAMA: Going back to the similarities between the Marvel Universe and the Ultimate Universe for a moment – in your view, what makes the characters you’re working with in the Ultimate U different from their Marvel U counterparts?
MM: I love them both in their own ways, but as the writer behind the revamps of Ultimates, Ultimate X-Men and the co-writer on Ultimate Fantastic Four, I feel a real affinity there. I’ve had a great time and insane success in the Marvel Universe with Civil War, two big Wolvie projects, Fantastic Four, 1985, etc, but this is the stuff that gives me a full three-inch erection.
Andy Diggle on Thunderbolts
Now, I’ll admit to reading some of the Distinguished Competition’s work when Mr. Diggle is involved and I have highly enjoyed his very intense writing style, able to pack pathos and action in the same panels. He is without a doubt a fantastic choice for Marvel’s terrible heroes. As much as Christos Gage could fit the book, I think Diggle could more so thanks to those issues of Losers I won’t admit to buying religiously. What caught me out of the interview was an interesting little quote that tells me that not only has Mr. Diggle been reading his Marvel comics but shows me how dangerous this all could get: “If even Scott Summers is willing to rack up a bodycount these days, just imagine how far a bunch of former villains might be willing to push it… ”
Director of SHIELD out, War Machine in
Invincible Iron Man is a fantastic book and can easily bear the weight of such a mega movie character so I can see them wanting to move what was the ‘main’ book over to the new hotness and open the Marvel Universe back up to the world of James Rhodes. And why not? As much as no one wants the studios to start dictating what the comics can produce, I think it’s fair for characters who were a hit on the big screen to take a four-color bow on the page. “The book’s going to be hard, period, core, period,” said Pak about the book, dropping in a nod to the humanity James Rhodes brings and at least I’m taking this to mean this will not only be an action packed comic, but something solid in Tony Stark’s rather awkward post-Secret Invasion status. The first issue comes in December, so enjoy the status quo while it lasts.
Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon give us Six More Punisher issues
God bless those men, really. Just in time for the big movie release (which, if you have not seen the exclusive ‘music video’ they put together for Punisher: War Zone, might I direct your browsers this way? WARNING; OH SO VIOLENT), Ennis and Dillon are coming back to the very strange style that all had us picking up copies of the Marvel Knights Punisher. While the ‘MAX’ stylings really set a tone and theme for Frank Castle that will remain the bar for years to come, the stranger stories and nearly madcap violence of those first stories grabbed attention and brought the Punisher back from … well, the gimmick route. And with the movie tinged toward the very serious side of a one man war on crime that takes no prisoners, there’s something to be said about an amputee crime boss and punching a polar bear for being too cute that is a great stress relief. This is probably the last we’ll see of this kind of ‘dafter Punisher stuff’, so enjoy it folks this Christmas season.
So, that’s what caught my eye, how about you? You know you missed something, so take a look and enjoy the view from the trenches in the comfort of your own home.