Tag Archives: Mark Millar

Comic Rack: New JLA, A New Green Lantern, & Jack Kirby’s Birthday!

Welcome to Comic Rack! My pick of the top five comic news stories in no particular order…

A New Justice League In 2013!

Jim Lee and Geoff Johns have been hitting it off pretty hard with the New 52’s Justice League, a book that’s been breaking sales records in an industry that people thought was growing stagnant. Now with a book that’s selling well and a movie that’s in the works, it’s clear that the Justice League is back to the forefront of fans’ interest. Accordingly, Geoff Johns, DC”s head maestro, is looking to re-debut the more traditionally named Justice League Of America, next year.

Via [GEEK]

“This is a very different kind of team book,” says Geoff Johns in a DC blog post. “On first glance, people might think the heroes of the JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA stand in the shadows of Superman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the JUSTICE LEAGUE, but [they] thrive in the shadows. They’re underdogs who have everything to prove and something to lose. They’re a team of unlikely heroes who will help one another discover they’re as A-List as anybody — yes, even Vibe. Though getting there won’t be easy. Why they’re formed, why each member joins, what they’re after and who the society of villains is they’re trying to take apart will all be clear in the first issue when it hits early 2013. David and I are really focused on delving deep into what it’s like to not be a member of the big seven and why, sometimes, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.”

The roster of heroes to be joining will be Green Arrow, Katana, Martian Manhunter, The New Green Lantern (Baz I presume), Star Girl, Vibe, Hawkman, and Catwoman. Which really does sound like an… eclectic team to say the least. But if there’s one thing that Geoff Johns is good at, it’s making lesser, forgotten, or wayside characters shine and pop like they’re brand new again. Case in point being Aquaman, which is one of my favorite DC books right now, and that in and of itself is a sentence I never thought I’d type. So I’m looking forward to the new JLA, since at the very least, it’ll be interesting to see Green Arrow try to hit on Catwoman.

Invincible’s Spin-Off Finally Looming Into Becoming A Reality.

For a while in 2010, Invincible was probably the best superhero book on the shelves. Not that it’s gotten bad or anything, just the opposite, but back then the Viltrumite War was happening, and that story arc was really kind of the climax of the entire story that Invincible had been building up to. Now it’s rebuilding it’s world, and it’s heroes to that effect, and in doing so, is expanding it’s actual line up by bringing back the Guardians Of The Globe, who fans of the book will remember as the Justice League analogue in the book. A few months ago,the book’s writer, Phil Hester, spoke about the book, and where it falls into place regarding the Invincible Timeline:

Via [Newsarama]

“The Invincible Universe has outgrown its parent title and I’m very excited about being able to tell larger, more in depth stories with some of the key players from that book in this series,” said GUARDING THE GLOBE creator/writer Robert Kirkman, “Phil Hester and Todd Nauck are well known to fans of superhero comics and I think people are fully aware that they’re going to knock this book out of the park.”

I’m interested to see where he takes the heroes we’ve come to know and care about in the Invincible/Image universe, and the idea of seeing Brit back in action sounds pretty great. Best of all, you can even check a 6-Page preview of the book right here.(link)

The New Green Lantern, Baz, Is Arab-American.

I know, for some of you, this shouldn’t mean anything, and good on you for thinking it doesn’t, because it shouldn’t. However, it unfortunately does, and a small section of xenophobic comics fans, whether they want to admit it or not, will have a problem with this.

via [Newsarama]

 “The confirmation comes from an unlikely yet reliable source:  Green Lantern writer and DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns is appearing on Sept. 8 at the Arab American National Museum in Detroit to mark the hero’s debut, according to a story in the Detroit Free Press.

The article, which called the hero the “first Arab-American Green Lantern,” is also the first DC confirmation of the character’s name — ‘Baz’.”

Believe me, I want to say that this kind of story should be no big deal, but the fact is that some people will make it out to be. A similar thing happened a long time ago when they had Nightrunner back in 2011 for Batman Inc. Nightrunner was a Muslim character who lived in France, of all places, who was taking up the mantle of Batman there. Unfortunately, the mere fact he was Muslim led people to thinking he was “Terrorist Batman”, (which is literally what Mark Millar does, but that’s neither here nor there), and people judging the character before even reading anything or knowing anything about him, and that’s without that character even BEING Arab or anything. Hopefully, I’m over-speculating, and it’ll be no big deal at all, but I do have to give kudos to Geoff Johns for trying to expand the idea of an establishing the idea that a superhero doesn’t need to be a white person, and having a representation in the book there for the plenty of Arab-American comics fans.

Wait, what? Why are they beating him up? Oh Man…

Uncanny Avengers Spearheads The Lineup of Marvel Now, Marvel Insists It’s Not A Reboot.

Fans of Marvel will have a lot to look forward to in the coming months, as we’ve previously detailed here at GB. But what’s interesting is the basic idea of trying to unite the two different sides of Marvel fandom. One being the Avengers/Marvel U fans, and the other being the longtime X-Men fans. This summer’s big event AvX was an attempt to start this, and really has kicked things off for them to cancel, revamp, and re-begin (I’m trying to avoid the word “re-boot”) certain main titles in the effort to make all X-Men fans, Marvel fans, and vice versa.

via [CBR]

“It’s a team of characters comprised of characters coming both from the Marvel heroes, Avengers side of the fence and characters from the X-Men side of the fence,” said Brevoort. “It’s our cats and dogs in the same pen book.”

Alonso added that part of the major appeal of “AvX” is that it spans the entire Marvel Universe as opposed to just the Avengers, Spider-Man or the X-Men segments — something he hopes will continue with “Uncanny Avengers.” “With ‘Uncanny Avengers,’ you’re going to see a book that’s going to be relevant to both types of fans: the fans who gravitate towards the Avengers and the larger Marvel Universe and fans who are all about the X-Men.”

That’s just one of the main focal points that they’re trying to get across to their fan base, but along with that is their plans to with Marvel NOW! Point One, which is a collection of stories by big name Marvel Creators such as Brian Michael Bendis, Steve McNiven, Jeph Loeb, Ed McGuiness, Nick Spencer, Matt Fraction and more.

“Marvel NOW! Point One’ is sort of the kickoff of our entry into Marvel NOW! and also gives a new setup and little taste,” said Brevoort. “Completely all-new stories that are not the first eight pages of the individual books that are involved of a number of new titles that are coming out in the context of a full story. All — I think it’s 50 pages of this thing — are new content by the biggest creators.”

There’s a ton more in the article where they even mention the New 52, and it’s switching of creative teams early on, as an example of what they will NOT be doing. Along with that, there’s the brief mention of digital content codes being included in books priced at $3.99, and a few other tidbits that are all very enlightening about the longterm goals of this re…launch. Ahem. Anyhow, make sure you go back to CBR and read the whole thing, because there are loads more interesting anecdotes from the Marvel VP of Sales and Marvel’s Editors on the whole shebang.

In Case You Didn’t Know Or Forgot, This Week Was Jack Kirby’s Birthday!

August 28th was the day, and if the man was still alive today it would have been his 95th birthday. If for some sick reason you don’t know, Jack Kirby is the one who many believe to be TRULY responsible for the myriad Marvel characters you enjoy, and that the credit is unfairly balanced towards Stan Lee in his stead. Personally, I’ve always loved both, but it is pretty prevalent that Kirby, outside of the comics world, has never gotten the recognition for his work that Lee has. Regardless, Kirby has contributed to the comics landscape with unforgettable, imaginative characters and worlds that are timelessly evocative and creative. He was the guy who brought us Captain America, many of the X-Men, The Fantastic Four, Hulk, Thor, Darkseid, The Fourth World, The Anti-Life Equation, The New Gods, and so many others that we love.

I’m not hating on Stan Lee, but there’s a reason he’s Stan “The Man”, and Kirby is “The King”.

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Hero Express: Iron Man 3 Casting, Thor 2 Finds a Villain, & The Dark Knight Returns First Images!

Welcome back to the Hero Express, your one-stop sometimes SPOILER filled shop through the top five stories in comic based Film & TV news!

Continue reading Hero Express: Iron Man 3 Casting, Thor 2 Finds a Villain, & The Dark Knight Returns First Images!

Grizzly Graphic Novel Review: Marvel Knights Spiderman – The Mark Millar Collection

Spiderman is sometimes a hit and miss read for me. I love the character, but you go from the great early 90’s dumb action of a story like Maximum Carnage to a debacle like the Clone Saga. Then you have a bunch of filler before Joseph Michael Straczynski makes his mark going into the 2000’s by basically redefining the character and a bit of his back story involving his spider powers. After that you have crap like a Brand New Day that completely craps on continuity, but in recent years it has recovered a bit with Dan Slott taking over writing duties on the sole Amazing Spiderman title.

In the mix between some of that stuff in 2004, Mark Millar started writing duties on Marvel Knights: Spiderman, culminating in 3 story arcs that spanned 12 issues. Now, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the Scotsman responsible for writing in such comics as Kick Ass, The Ultimates, Ultimate X-men, Wolverine, Old Man Logan and Marvel: Civil War, now you are familiar with him. And that’s just some of the titles just from Marvel. It seems to me like his run on Marvel Knights Spiderman is seriously overlooked because to my mind it’s almost right on the same level as the work Straczynski did with the character. The Marvel Knights brand itself was supposed to be a little more dark and edgy, dare I say a little more grown up and violent. Marvel Knights Spiderman was definitely a mixture of all of those but never failed to capture the true essence of the character. Sure Spiderman has moments of rage in the series when his Aunt’s life is threatened and takes some savage beatings along the way, but he never loses his wisecracking cheerfulness that makes him stand out from other heroes without being too cheesy.

The story itself reminds me a lot of Batman’s Hush storyline that DC brought us 2 years previously. Someone has kidnapped Aunt May, and that kidnapper knows Spiderman’s true identity and sends him on a search that will test his limits both physically and morally. Pretty much every Spiderman villain in existence at the time shows up in this story arc, from the Green Goblin to Venom and Doc Ock to Electro. Hell, even Hydro Man shows up for a few minutes to give ole’ Spidey some grief. Aside from truly capturing the spirit of Spiderman’s character even in such dire circumstances, Millar succeeded in making a couple of the villains a little more respectable. One in particular by far.

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

Throughout the Millar run, Venom and Eddie Brock factor into things heavily as a supervillain auction is called so that everyone can bid on the Venom symbiote that Eddie Brock is willingly giving up due to him having cancer and wanting to contemplate the remainder of his life in peace. The suit doesn’t initially go to the villain I mentioned above, but when it does, it reinvents him and the Venom symbiote as well. Mac Gargan, the Scorpion is the villain who was calling Peter at the beginning of the storyline and he is working for none other than Norman Osborn who Spidey initially discounted from the suspect list. Gargan explains to Spiderman that Osborn has dirt on plenty of politicians out there and goes into a long conspiracy theory about how the government has created certain supervillains to sort of keep the superheroes in check, Osborn being an upgrader of sorts to a lot of supervillains out there. I’d hate this whole idea, but Gargan clears it up and explains that most villains are natural, there’s just those random jobbers out there that were created for the sole purpose to keep the superheroes busy. Gargan went from being  a B lister to a guy who knew Spiderman’s secret identity. Then to further raise his status the Venom symbiote seeks him out and offers a partnership which Gargan takes, creating a whole new Venom. This version of Venom would stick around even past the Dark Reign storyline as he masqueraded as Spiderman on the Dark Avengers. Even though there is a whole new take on Venom with Flash Thompson now owning the symbiote, Millar’s run on Marvel Knights Spiderman made Venom a little more relevant for little over half a decade.

Even casual fans of Spidey should check this one out. There’s a great story and mystery throughout (if you didn’t read the spoiler) and some stellar artwork by heavyweights Frank Cho and Terry Dodson. There are a few unnecessary cameos by the Avengers and some X-men but other than that, this is one fine read. Don’t pass it up! 4 out of 5 grizzlies!

Hero Express – ‘Green Lantern 2’, ‘Man of Steel’ Casting, and ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Set Photos

Welcome to Hero Express, your one-stop shop through the news filled world of superhero’s in Film, TV, Video Games and whatever else floats your boat.

This is the Hero Express for June 27, 2011:

Continue reading Hero Express – ‘Green Lantern 2’, ‘Man of Steel’ Casting, and ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Set Photos

Marvel Comics: Ultimate Universe Reborn…Again!

Fans of Marvel’s Ultimate line will in no way be surprised to hear that once again, a new creative team will be taking the reins of the line and completely changing the status quo. It happened before when Jeph Loeb took over and brought about the insane Ultimatum series, which had wide sweeping effects across the whole universe. Basically, every character you really liked ended up dying horribly tragic deaths.

So we were then given Ultimate Comics, a fresh take on what was left of the Ultimates Universe, but it was bogged down with poor shipping schedules and unconnected storylines. So now it has been announced that the new creators Jonathan Hickman and Nick Spencer are coming in to turn the Ultimate U. into a more cohesive involved universe, promising at least monthly shipping and another batch of wide sweeping chances to kick off after the “Death of Spider-Man” storyline currently running in Brian Michael BendisUltimate Spider-Man.

Over the last week they have revealed 4 books that will be released under the new Ultimate Comics Reborn initiative, so keep reading to see if your favorites make the cut.

Continue reading Marvel Comics: Ultimate Universe Reborn…Again!