Marvel Comics Multimedia Video

Video: Marvel’s Avengers VS X-Men Press Conference Replay

For posterity and reference, if nothing else.
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2013 Fetish Favorites: Publishers Fetish Five

I’ll keep this brief. As listed on the sidebar, this list has not changed much throughout the year as far as which publisher appears on it, mainly because it is subjective to my personal tastes and what I’m reading. Without further ado, here is, in my humble/esteemed estimation, the best comics publishers of 2013.

1. Image
(including imprints: Shadowline, Skybound & Top Cow)
The Activity, Artifacts, Cyber Force, East of West, Fatale, Five Ghosts, Jupiter’s Children, Lazarus, Manhattan Projects, Nowhere Men, Rat Queens, Revival, Rocket Girl, Saga, Sex, Sex Criminals, Snapshot, Thief of Thieves and The Walking Dead.
2. Marvel
Avengers, New Avengers, Uncanny Avengers, Young Avengers, Daredevil
Hawkeye and X-Men
3. DC
(including the Vertigo imprint)
100 Bullets: Brother Lono, Batman and Robin, Batman Incorporated,
Coffin Hill, Harley Quinn and Justice League Dark
4. Valiant
Harbinger, Shadowman, Harbinger Wars, Bloodshot and X-O Manowar
5. Boom!
Day Men, Hit!, Polarity and Suicide Risk
If this list was six, Dark Horse would fill that slot due to …KilljoysStar Wars & The Victories, but, alas.How’s your list shake down? Where ya got Archie, Avatar, Dynamite, IDW, Fantagraphics and others?

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Broken News: Dark Horse Comics Publisher Mike Richardson on Loss of Star Wars License

Press Release via Dark


All things come to pass. So too, do all licensed deals. I am sad to report that Disney, the new owner of Lucasfilm, has notified us here at Dark Horse of their intention to move the Star Wars publishing license to another of their recent acquisitions, Marvel Comics, beginning in 2015. This will end a partnership that has lasted more than two decades.

For those who are new to the industry, Dark Horse revolutionized the treatment of comics based on films. After a history of movie properties being poorly handled with little regard for execution and continuity, Dark Horse took a new approach, carefully choosing licenses and approaching them with excitement and creative energy. Our goal was to create sequels and prequels to the films we loved, paying careful attention to quality and detail, essentially treating those films as though they were our own. Star Wars has been the crown jewel of this approach. We began chasing the title as far back as 1989, and with the launch of Tom Veitch and Cam Kennedy’s Dark Empire, a new era in comics was born. I’m not ashamed to admit that we were Star Wars geeks, and we have been determined to spare neither effort nor expense in the pursuit of excellence.

It is ironic that this announcement comes at a time when Dark Horse is experiencing its most successful year ever. For obvious reasons, we have prepared for this eventuality by finding new and exciting projects to place on our schedule for 2015 and beyond. Will they take the place of Star Wars? That’s a tall order, but we will do our best to make that happen. In the meantime, 2014 may be our last year at the helm of theStar Wars comics franchise, but we plan to make it a memorable one. We know that fans of the franchise will expect no less. The Force is with us still.  — Mike Richardson

(end of press release)
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Broken News: STAR WARS comics to Leave Dark Horse in 2015 for Disney/Marvel

We all knew this day was coming even before the ink dried on the contract that turned over ownership of LucasFilm (and subsidiaries) to Disney, the House of Mouse that also owns Marvel Entertainment/Studios/Comics from a previous acquisition some four-plus years ago. I feel bad for Dark Horse Comics and all who work on the comics there. I’ll have more to write on this sea change at a later date. For now, I will repost the official announcement for archival purposes below.

Press Release (via Star

Disney’s Lucasfilm and Marvel Entertainment Join Forces to Publish Star Wars Comics and Graphic Novels
January 03, 2014
Jedi, Sith, and the Rest of the Star Wars Universe Come to Marvel Comics in 2015
The Walt Disney Company’s Lucasfilm Ltd. and Marvel Entertainment are joining forces to bring new Star Wars adventures to readers across the galaxy, with Marvel granted exclusive rights to create and publish Star Wars comics and graphic novels beginning in 2015.
The agreement marks a homecoming for the Star Wars comic books. Marvel Comics published the first Star Wars comic book, Star Wars #1, in March 1977, which went on to sell more than 1 million copies. Marvel Comics published its Star Wars series for nine years. In 1991, Dark Horse Comics took over the license, publishing fan favorite titles like Dark Empire and Star Wars: Legacy. Last year, Dark Horse released The Star Wars #1, an adaptation of George Lucas’ original rough-draft screenplay for the film, garnering rave reviews and national media attention and ranking among the top-selling Star Wars comics of all time.
“Dark Horse Comics published exceptional Star Wars comics for over 20 years, and we will always be grateful for their enormous contributions to the mythos, and the terrific partnership that we had,” said Carol Roeder, director of Lucasfilm franchise publishing, Disney Publishing Worldwide. “In 2015, the cosmic adventures of Luke, Han, Leia, and Chewbacca will make the lightspeed jump back to Marvel, to begin a new age of adventures within the Star Wars universe.”
“We here at Marvel could not be more excited to continue the publication of Star Warscomic books and graphic novels,” said Marvel worldwide publisher and president, Dan Buckley. “The perennial brand of Star Wars is one of the most iconic in entertainment history and we are honored to have the opportunity to bring our creative talent pool to continue, and expand Star Wars into galaxies far, far away.”
“We’re incredibly excited by this next chapter in the Star Wars saga,” said Andrew B. Sugerman, executive vice president of Disney Publishing Worldwide. “Bringing together the iconic Lucasfilm and Marvel brands to tell new stories will allow us to continue to thrill lovers of the original Star Wars comic books and entertain generations to come.”
Marvel has continued to push comic book publishing forward with innovations and experiments like motion comics and digital-only releases, in addition to its deep, ongoing catalog of monthly series and graphic novels created by some of the industry’s most gifted artists and writers. All Star Wars, all the time.

(end of press release)
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1st Issue Fetish: BLACK WIDOW #1 by Nathan Edmondson & Phil Noto

This is one of the All-New Marvel NOW! titles I’d be most interested in giving a read (along with a new series featuring a certain green-skinned powerhouse bombshell). I enjoy Nathan Edmondson’s writing on his creator-owned book The Activity (with artist Mitch Gerards). As for Phil Noto, he can be a little hit n’ miss if only due to the sameness in the likeness of his characters (particularly the ladies). But this should be a fun ride of a book full of (mis)adventure. 
Black Widow #1 will be released next week on January 8, 2014 from Marvel Comics. Check out CBR’s exclusive preview here.
Marvel Comics Repost Reviews

Captain America #1 | Spoiler-Free Review

Fetish Flashback.

* Originally posted @ World of website. Archive now defunct. *

Captain_America_Vol_6_1Captain America #1 (Marvel) | “American Dreamers” Part 1 | (S) Ed Brubaker | (A) Steve McNiven & Mark Morales

* Spoiler Free *

“It’s probably hard to believe…but sometimes I actually forget I’m a man out of time”

– Steve Rogers

The all-new, but not-quite-all-that-different Captain America #1 (technically Volume 6 if you don’t count Captain America Comics from 1941) is a slight return to form of sorts for the star-spangled man-out-of time, soldier of misfortune and sentinel of liberty (coincidence that all of those start with an ‘s’?).

Long-time Cap writer Ed Brubaker, who has been chronicling the adventures of Marvel’s time-displaced Boy Scout for the better part of a decade, and Steve McNiven (he of Marvel Civil War fame) bring Steve Rogers, now the undisputed Captain America again, out of the shadows  and murkiness, which suited the dark intrigue of the previous volume’s tone. This volume apparently aims to be slightly brighter with a feel that is more typical of a superhero adventure comic. This back-to-basics approach is obviously deliberate considering the choice of McNiven as the penciler. He’s joined by Justin Posner (The Mighty Avengers, Young Avengers) on colors, and inker Mark Morales (Avengers: The Children’s Crusade, The Mighty Thor).

It’s an Ed Brubaker story so it still has its share of intrigue and mystery, but unlike many of his stories this one does not have that slow-burn feel as he gets straight to the plot and adventure right away in this first issue with a nice bit of action to balance things out.

The issue opens with Steve Rogers attending the funeral for a fallen comrade with some old friends, the frequent supporting cast of grizzled veterans Dum-Dum Dugan and Nick Fury, plus the lovely Sharon Carter. By the sixth and seventh pages, this battle-tested band of buddies are forced to spring into action. By page nine we get a glimpse of an old friend-turned-foe who Cap hasn’t seen since…you guessed it, 1944. After that page, cue the flashback to that bygone era of at-large Nazis, Allied Forces and superspies. These flashback scenes are vital because they set up and support the present day situation of a past mission that went awry and the backlash of that mission coming to fruition in the present and (gulp) future. The issue closes with the resurfacing (new incarnation?) of an old foe apparently in cahoots with that aforementioned new ‘old’ character who once was a friend, but certainly hasn’t had Cap on his Christmas card list since, well, a lifetime ago because he now wants to “destroy Captain America.”

This first issue of Captain America kicks the new series off really well and is a lot of fun. You don’t have to know a lot of backstory to follow along because Brubaker does a great job of feeding you exactly what you need to know without spoiling the intrigue of what looks to be a doozy of a plot for our flagged intrepid. Here’s hoping that each issue will be as balanced as this one.

Four Stars (out of five)