Articles on this Page
- 03/14/18--22:14: _Aaron Sorkin Adapta...
- 03/15/18--08:34: _The Jessica Jones a...
- 03/15/18--08:37: _Hawkman Reboot Comi...
- 03/15/18--08:49: _Marvel Signs Chip Z...
- 03/15/18--11:39: _Shadowhunters Seaso...
- 03/15/18--12:00: _How Star Wars Infin...
- 03/15/18--13:33: _The Spanish Princes...
- 03/15/18--14:52: _Amma Asante to Dire...
- 03/16/18--09:10: _DC and Hanna-Barber...
- 03/16/18--13:07: _Avengers: Infinity ...
- 03/16/18--13:10: _Captain America Get...
- 03/16/18--13:12: _Avengers: Infinity ...
- 03/16/18--16:49: _Batman Meets Black ...
- 03/16/18--17:25: _Den of Geek Book Cl...
- 03/08/18--01:40: _Deadpool Relaunch C...
- 03/19/18--08:35: _Black Panther Spino...
- 03/19/18--08:42: _Green Lantern Corps...
- 03/19/18--08:59: _Wonder Woman and Ba...
- 03/19/18--09:17: _Krypton: Who is Ada...
- 03/19/18--11:45: _Star Wars: An Expan...
- 03/15/18--08:34: The Jessica Jones and Spider-Man Connection
- 03/15/18--08:37: Hawkman Reboot Coming From DC
- 03/15/18--08:49: Marvel Signs Chip Zdarsky to Exclusive Deal
- 03/15/18--11:39: Shadowhunters Season 3 Release Date, Trailer, Cast
- 03/15/18--12:00: How Star Wars Infinities Turned Leia into the Ultimate Jedi
- 03/15/18--13:33: The Spanish Princess: New Philippa Gregory Series Coming to Starz
- 03/15/18--14:52: Amma Asante to Direct Billion Dollar Spy
- 03/16/18--09:10: DC and Hanna-Barbera Crossover Coming in May
- 03/16/18--13:10: Captain America Gets New Shield in Avengers: Infinity War
- 03/16/18--13:12: Avengers: Infinity War - What is Thanos' Black Order?
- 03/16/18--17:25: Den of Geek Book Club Interview: Elan Mastai on All Our Wrong Todays
- 03/08/18--01:40: Deadpool Relaunch Coming From Marvel
- 03/19/18--08:35: Black Panther Spinoff Spotlights the Dora Milaje
- 03/19/18--08:42: Green Lantern Corps Needs a New Writer
- 03/19/18--08:59: Wonder Woman and Batman Take on Celtic Myths Together
- 03/19/18--09:17: Krypton: Who is Adam Strange?
- 03/19/18--11:45: Star Wars: An Expanded Universe Guide to Understanding The Last Jedi
A theatrical version of the famous novel produced by Scott Rudin is the source of a new lawsuit.
To Kill A Mockingbird is inspiring some real-life courtroom drama.
The estate of the late-Mockingbird author Harper Lee has filed a lawsuit against Rudinplay, the production banner of Scott Rudin, over the script for his upcoming To Kill A Mockingbird Broadway production.
On June 29, 2015, months prior to Lee’s death at the age of 89, Lee optioned a live stage version of her beloved novel to Rudin, with Rudin paying $100,000 plus a share of royalties for the right to adapt her work. Rudin hired acclaimed screenwriter Aaron Sorkin to pen the adaptation’s script. Now Lee’s estate claims that Sorkin’s treatment strays too far from the source material and is taking Rudin to court in Alabama, the setting of the novel, over creative authority.
The contract that Rudin signed stated, “Author shall have the absolute and unconditional right to approve the Playwright for the Play. … Author shall also have the right to review the script of the Play and to make comments which shall be considered in good faith by the Playwright, and the Play shall not derogate or depart in any manner from the spirit of the Novel nor alter its characters. If the Author believes that the Play does so derogate or depart, or alter characters, Producer will be given notice thereof as soon as possible, and will be afforded an opportunity to discuss with Owner resolutions of any such concerns."
The representative from Lee’s estate, Tonja Carter, used an interview Sorkin gave to Vulture as the basis of her lawsuit. In the interview, Sorkin said, “As far as Atticus and his virtue goes, this is a different take on Mockingbird than Harper Lee's or [writer of the 1962 big-screen adaptation] Horton Foote's. He becomes Atticus Finch by the end of the play, and while he's going along, he has a kind of running argument with Calpurnia, the housekeeper, which is a much bigger role in the play I just wrote. He is in denial about his neighbors, and his friends and the world around him, that is as racist as it is, that a Maycomb County jury could possibly put Tom Robinson in jail when it's so obvious what happened here. He becomes an apologist for these people."
Sorkin’s planned version definitely isn’t the truth north lawyer readers are familiar with, with Finch set to be a tad more naive. Carter’s other objections include addition of two characters not in the novel, the "alteration" of the characters of Jem and Scout Finch, and an “unfair” depiction of 1930s small-town Alabama.
A spokesperson from Rudinplay issued the following statement about the lawsuit:
“This adaptation by Aaron Sorkin of To Kill a Mockingbird is a faithful adaptation of Harper Lee’s novel, which has been crafted within the constraints of the agreement executed by both Harper Lee and the play’s producers before Ms. Lee’s death. This action undertaken by the estate of Harper Lee is an unfortunate step in a situation where there is simply artistic disagreement over the creation of a play that Ms. Lee herself wanted to see produced, and is the kind of disagreement which one expects would be worked out easily between two parties who have a mutual interest in seeing a work produced. The estate has an unfortunate history of litigious behavior and of both filing and being the recipient of numerous lawsuits, and has been the subject of considerable controversy surrounding its handling of the work of Harper Lee both during her illness and after her death. This is, unfortunately, simply another such lawsuit, the latest of many, and we believe that it is without merit. While we hope this gets resolved, if it does not, the suit will be vigorously defended."
It looks like the two sides are prepared to meet in court. Hopefully they play as fair as Atticus himself.
There are some surprising references to Spider-Man in Jessica Jones Season 2 and Marvel Comics.
The words super strong, street level, wise cracking superhero could apply just as well to Jessica Jones as Spider-Man. Well...maybe not. Jessica drinks a lot more, is way more harsh and cynical, wouldn't be caught dead in a costume of any kind, and...I could go on, but you get the picture. But believe it or not, there are a number of similarities between the two characters, and a few direct references to Spidey on Jessica Jones Season 2, as well.
We'll start with the comic book connections, though. For one thing, Jessica was co-created by Brian Michael Bendis, the writer who had one of the longest creative runs on Spidey ever with the Ultimate Spider-Man comics. He's known for rapid-fire dialogue and wit, and you can see how the guy who puts words in Jessica's mouth was right for Peter Parker, too. But he added a story connection to Spidey and Jessica, although one that isn't explored on the show (and won't be).
In the comics, Jessica grew up in Queens, probably Forest Hills. She even went to the same high school as Peter Parker. The pair were actually classmates (and she had a crush on him). Of course, TV's Jessica Jones is older than the teenaged Peter Parker we have in the Marvel Cinematic Universe these days, so that will never be a thing. But it's a pretty solid connection in the comics. Jessica eventually went to work for The Daily Bugle (a paper we have yet to see pop up on Marvel's Netflix shows OR in the new Spider-Man movies), and had to catch all kinds of crap from nobody's favorite newspaperman, J. Jonah Jameson. Jessica and Spidey spent some time together when he was on the New Avengers roster with Luke Cage, too.
Jessica Jones Season 2 features some direct Spider-Man references, although they aren't exactly directed at Spidey himself. In season 2 episode 2, "AKA Freak Accident" Jessica makes a crack about someone's "scrotey sense," since his "balls tingling" is how the gentleman in question senses that something isn't quite right. While we didn't get much "Spidey sense" in Spider-Man: Homecoming, it looks like it plays a role in Avengers: Infinity War, if the trailer is anything to go by.
In that same episode, the poor, doomed Whizzer is seen on an old recording saying "with great power comes great mental illness. This is, of course, a play on the old Spidey motto (courtest of poor, dead Uncle Ben) that "with great power comes great responsibility." Jessica actually speaks those words in a later episode, although she isn't really thrilled about saying them. Where anyone would have heard this in the MCU is beyond me, but hey.
In season 2 episode 6 "AKA Face Time" there's a moment that isn't an explicit Spider-Man reference, but it sure does feel right out of "the old Parker luck" playbook. Jessica's phone sustains some water damage at the aquarium. A PI is useless without their contacts, but her resources are limited...so she pops into a bodega to buy a bag of rice to fix her phone. I feel like this is the Jessica Jones equivalent of Spidey needing to wear a paper bag over his head because he lost his mask, or hitching a ride him on a garbage truck because he's hurt and out of web fluid, or any number of ridiculous, low-rent superhero scenarios.
There's one other thing that Jessica has in common with Peter Parker. Neither has a driver's license.
There are two perfectly valid reasons for this. On the one hand, both characters spent their entire lives in New York City, where nobody needs a car, and very few residents bother owning one. Peter learned he could climb walls and swing on webs when he was 15. You need to be 16 in New York State to get a learner's permit. Why drive when you can do that, right? Jessica, of course, has other, exceedingly valid reasons for not wanting to get behind the wheel of a car. Also she is drunk all the time, so that would be extra bad.
Know of any other Jessica Jones and Spider-Man connections that we missed? Let us know in the comments!
Hawkman is coming back to the DC Universe in a big way.
Oh, Hawkman. Nobody understands you. No, for real. I don't mean this in an existential, emotional sense, I mean that your continuity and history is an absolute mess and most of the time it's tough to figure out which version of the character anybody is looking at at any given time. Are you a reincarnated Egyptian prince trying to find your place in the world and using ancient weapons to fight modern menaces? Are you a policeman from the planet Thanagar...also using ancient weapons to fight modern menaces? Are you a combination of both?
You can see why this is confusing. Legends of Tomorrow made good use of Hawkman (and Hawkgirl) in its first season, but you get the impression that the character is ripe for the big screen treatment at some point. Fortunately, DC has made that (at least a little) easier lately with the events of their totally bonkers event, Dark Nights: Metal. And the best way to get a character as confusing as Hawkman ready for more general audience consumption is to kick off a brand new series that helps explain his origins. That's exactly what DC is doing with Hawkman #1 in June from the creative team of Robert Venditti (who has been doing really brilliant work on Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps) and Bryan Hitch (who recently wrapped a huge run on Justice League).
Here's the official synopsis for the new Hawkman series, courtesy of DC:
Spinning out of the events of Dark Knights: Metal and Hawkman: Found, Carter Hall resumes his role as an explorer of the DC Universe’s ancient and unknown. As Hawkman, Hall is on a quest to find out the true nature of his many incarnations throughout time, but he quickly finds out that elements from those past lives want to keep that secret hidden at any cost.
“Hawkman is one of the richest, most storied characters in comic book history, a cornerstone of the DC Universe,” Robert Venditti said in a statement. “His adventures have taken him from ancient history to the far-flung cosmos, and everywhere in between. It’s been too long since he had a series of his own, and I’m excited to bring him back to the DC Universe.”
“Hawkman has one of the most amazing visuals in comics,” added Hitch. “He’s the greatest warrior in all of the DCU, and with such a robust history to (literally) draw on, the sky’s the limit for how far we can take this.”
This cover by Bryan Hitch certainly looks like the most iconic version of Hawkman you can possibly imagine, right?
Hawkman #1 hits (you with a mace, probably) on June 13.
Chip Zdarsky, currently writing two of Marvel's best series, isn't going anywhere any time soon.
Chip Zdarsky, whose legendary "Marvel Ideas Journal" mysteriously disappeared from the internet the minute any of those stories became a realistic possibility, was announced as Marvel's most recent creator exclusive.
“I’m thrilled to be with Marvel,” Zdarsky shared. “This deal means I get to do whatever I want with whatever characters I want and nobody can stop me, which is great. I feel reinvigorated, like someone slapped a new #1 on me and, honestly? I couldn’t be happier.”
Zdarsky has risen over the past decade from perverted indie alter ego to a National Post illustrator and fake advice columnist to secretly the best writer working for Marvel. His current slate of books includes Peter Parker: Spider-Man with artist Andy Kubert, which captures Peter's voice better than any Spidey comic since at least the Big Time relaunch and has featured sarcasm, note-perfect one liners, and a staggering amount of genuine tension and emotion for a book where that is not expected; and Marvel Two-in-One, the Fantastic Four stealth relaunch that features the best Thing since that panel in Fantastic Four #587 where his powers come on on the other side of the Negative Zone gate from a dying Johnny.
He's also worked on Star Lord and wrote a love letter to Steve Gerber in a recent Howard the Duck relaunch. On the creator owned side, he is famous for his detailed art on Sex Criminals, and will hopefully return someday to the book he created with studio-mate Kagan McLeod, Kaptara about naked wizards and cat tanks.
When announcing Zdarsky's exclusive, Marvel also announced his art partners for Two-in-One and Spider-Man annuals coming in June: Declan Shalvey and Mike Allred, respectively. You can see the covers to each below.
Marvel Two-in-One and Peter Parker: Spider-Man continue to come out monthly. For more on these, Sex Crimz, brimping, Spideying, or any other Chip news, stick with Den of Geek!
The Shadowhunters will be back on Freeform for a third season. Here's everything we know about Shadowhunters Season 3...
Good news, Shadowhunters fans! The Freeform series has been renewed for a Season 3. It has an official release date and everything.
The show has released a few sneak peeks from the season premiere. Check it out...
In other news, Chai Hansen has joined the cast as Jordan Kyle, a new character in Season 3. Jordan and Simon become friends and roommates in the new season, so it makes sense Alberto Rosende would be the one who introduces his new castmate to the fandom...
We are thrilled to welcome Chai Hansen (@ch8i) to the #Shadowhunters family. He will be playing Jordan Kyle in #ShadowhuntersSeason3. Here's an exclusive video from Chai himself: https://t.co/UD1wF1IkTmpic.twitter.com/mMq1NcUaZo
— Shadowhunters (@ShadowhuntersTV) January 15, 2018
Here's everything else we know about Season 3...
Shadowhunters Season 3 Release Date
Shadowhunters Season 3 will hit Freefrom on Tuesday, March 20th at 8 p.m. ET. The upcoming season will have 20 episodes.
Shadowhunters Season 3 Trailer
Shadowhunters debuted a trailer for Season 3 at NYCC, complete with some Jace/Clary action, Simon and the Seelie Queen, and Magnus adjusting to his new life. Check it out...
Shadowhunters Season 3 Cast
Arrow's Anna Hopkins will join the Shadowhunters Season 3 cast as Lilth. The role is recurring.
Also joining the Shadowhunters team is Hamilton's Javier Muñoz. Muñoz will appear as one of Magnus' warlock rivals.
Season 2 showrunners Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer will be staying on as showrunners for the third season, along with executive producers McG, Michael Reisz, Matt Hastings, Mary Viola, Martin Moszkowicz and Robert Kulzer.
Though Shadowhunters has dipped somewhat in the ratings since its Season 1 premiere, it has one of the most passionate fanbases of any Freeform show (or TV show, really). More news as we hear it.
Before we ever witnessed her awesome Force powers in The Last Jedi, Dark Horse gave us the Leia we all deserved.
This Star Wars article contains spoilers.
By the time the credits rolled on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we were sure of one thing: Leia is incredibly strong in the Force! We won't spoil anything here, but there are one or two things we learn about Leia in Episode VIII that completely change our perception of the character.
Leia's tale in the Sequel Trilogy has been one of transition, brought about by an evolution in her leadership role. For one thing, she's not called "Princess" anymore. Now she's the General of the Resistance. This isn't the first time she's taken on a new role in the history of Star Warseither. In the Legends timeline, she was also Chief of State several times during the New Republic Era and even picked up a lightsaber once or twice and joined Luke Skywalker's Jedi Order.
Her role in the new film, plus the miniseries, inspired me to take a look back at one of my favorite moments in Princess Leia's long comic book history. While many will call to your attention her original appearances in the classic Marvel comics or her post-Return of the Jedi adventures in Dark Horse's legendary run, I direct you to a series that imagined the Leia that we all deserved: Leia, the mother of the New Jedi Order. Best of all, the miniseries wasn't even canon BEFORE the Legends rebranding...
Star Wars: Infinities was a three-part series released between 2001 and 2004. In the same vein as the Tales series, which ran roughly concurrently from 1999 to 2005, Infinities stories were never presumed to be canon. Think Marvel's What If? series or DC's Elseworlds. Star Wars Tales and Star Wars: Visionaries had similar premises, and contained everything from Legends canon stories to outright parodies, but the Infinities series stuck specifically to the Original Trilogy and told longer alternate universe stories.
In Star Wars Infinities: The Empire Strikes Back, written by Dave Land and drawn by Davide Fabbri, we receive the gravest galaxy far, far away of all: Luke freezes to death on Hoth and Leia travels to Dagobah to train as a Jedi. And believe it when I tell you that things really get out of control. That's the sort of twist that Infinities uses as its thesis. What's the absolute most ridiculous way to turn these stories on their heads?
(For example, in Infinities: A New Hope, Leia becomes a Sith Lord after the Rebels are defeated at the Battle of Yavin...)
Because Luke dies in the ice after hearing Obi-Wan Kenobi's voice, a new potential Jedi must take up the young Rebel's mission to restore the Jedi Order. Before Luke perishes, he manages to tell Han to train as a Jedi and bring balance back to the Force. Han, who suffers from a bad case of delusions of grandeur, likes the idea. In fact, Han runs the first half of the miniseries pretty much, since he, hilariously and perfectly in-character, thinks that he’s the one with Jedi powers.
More things that happen because Luke is dead:
- Wedge Antilles and Wes Janson, members of Rogue Squadron, die during the assault on Hoth;
- Han doesn't go into the asteroid field, and instead travels straight to Bespin;
- Lando prevents Han's capture on Bespin, so Vader blows him up along with the rest of Cloud City;
- Han, Chewie, Leia, 3PO, and R2 travel to Dagobah to meet Yoda, who bluntly tells Han that Leia is the new chosen one;
- Han and friends leave Leia with Yoda to begin her training.
Much of the rest of this miniseries could be categorized as really bad fan fiction that thankfully never made it onto the big screen. After all, who could see The Empire Strikes Backhappening any other way? But it's a noble effort to try and make something new out of an already perfect film. And it's with Leia's journey that the true gift of this series is revealed.
Some scenes of her Jedi training are beautiful. They paint Leia as a scintillatingly powerful Jedi lacking only some common sense. She earns praise from Yoda, and then gets messy when her lightsaber strike causes an attacking swamp slug to explode. The scenes of her Jedi training work - and they do, even though they’re brief - because Leia takes to the training like she was destined to do, with a combination of Padme Amidala’s smarts and patience and Anakin Skywalker’s ferocity and bravery.
Leia is a fast learner, and you begin to see the difference between her and her deceased brother. She is more obedient, more open to the ways of the Force, and ultimately more successful in her training because she is patient. While Luke craves the adventure, Leia has seen enough death to make her wise to such urges. That is perhaps the true essence of her character.
Luke was taken by his boyishness in The Empire Strikes Back into a defeat that cost him his hand and his spirits (for a brief moment), but Leia is already a true leader by the time she begins her Jedi training. It fits together quite well. It almost makes you wonder if that should have been the true outcome of the Trilogy.
The comic contains one of Leia’s great moments: fresh from acquiring a lightsaber crystal, she faces Darth Vader on Dagobah, which has become a battleground. Leia dons a purple blade and fights valiantly. She doesn’t win, of course. Just like Luke, it takes someone else’s assistance for her to kill Vader. In fact, characters who aren’t even from the same trilogy come forward to save her.
The spirits of Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan, and Mace Windu all attack Vader, and Han, who manages to return to Dagobah on the Falcon after a lot of trouble back in Jabba's Palace, delivers a killing shot with his blaster. With his dying breath, Vader recognizes that he had a daughter.
And thus, the Star Wars saga came to an abrupt and less satisfying end. But it's really what we learn about Leia in this alternate version of the tale that stands the most true. Even if Luke hadn't died and Leia had learned to use the Force, she might have still been a more effective student and leader than her brother. She definitely wouldn't have spent so much time chasing Han around...
A dying Yoda tells Leia to find more Jedi. “Teach them as I have taught you,” Yoda says, and this, perhaps, is the most powerful result of the Infinities story - that Leia was directly instructed to become a teacher. Maybe she could go on to create a Jedi Academy like Luke’s. A better one, in fact.
Leia is presented as a legendary warrior in the Sequel Trilogy. She is dutiful, hardened, and perhaps a bit angry and frustrated with the result of her battles with the Empire and how little the galaxy has changed since the fall of the Emperor. But despite her doubts, she remains brave, decisive, and intelligent. Leia can be a well-characterized leader, like the end of Infinities version of The Empire Strikes Back story implies, even if she isn’t a Jedi. It's a shame that Episode IX will not be able to explore Leia's Force powers further, as Carrie Fisher passed away unexpectedly in 2016, but at least we got to see a wonderful tribute worthy of the character before we said a tear-filled goodbye to the great leader from Alderaan.
*A version of this article ran on March, 2, 2015.
Megan Crouse is a staff writer.
Following its adaptations of The White Queen and The White Princess, Starz continues its exploration of Tudor England...
Starz is continuing its on-screen adaptations of Philippa Gregory's bestselling historical royalty series. The premium cable channel just announced that it will be adapting The Constant Princess and The King's Curse into a limited series called The Spanish Princess. This will be the channels' third limited series adaptation of a Philippa novel, following a miniseries adaptation of The White Queen and and eight-episode limited series run of The White Princess.
Here's the official synopsis from Starz:
The Spanish Princess is a powerful, epic story that not only returns the audience to the world of royal court intrigue as seen uniquely through the perspective of the women, but also sheds light on a previously untold corner of history – the lives of people of color, living and working in 16th century London.
Catherine of Aragon, is the beautiful teenaged princess of Spain who was promised the English throne since she was a child. She arrives in a grey, rain-lashed England with her glorious and diverse court including her lady-in-waiting Lina - an African Moor. She is Princess of Wales now, but when her husband Prince Arthur dies suddenly, the throne seems lost to Catherine. Until she claims her marriage was never consummated and that as a virgin she may set her sights on the new heir, the charismatic and headstrong Prince Harry who will one day rule as King Henry VIII.
Emma Frost (The White Queen, The White Princess, The Man in the High Castle) and Matthew Graham (Life on Mars, Electric Dreams, Doctor Who) will serve as showrunners, with Colin Callender (The White Queen, The Dresser, Wolf Hall) and Scott Huff (Howards End, The White Princess, The Missing), Charlie Pattinson (The White Queen, Requiem, The Missing 1 & 2), and Charlie Hampton (Shameless, Wild at Heart) also serving as executive producers. In other words, this adaptation is in good hands.
The A United Kingdom director has signed on to helm the Cold War spy thriller based on a true story.
From 18th-century England in Belle to 1940s/1950s London and Botswana in A United Kingdom, British director Amma Asante has proven herself a master of bringing other periods to life on the big-screen. Now, she will take on Cold War-era Moscow in a big-screen adaptation of David E. Hoffman's The Billion Dollar Spy. According to Deadline, Asante has signed on to direct the feature for Walden Media and Weed Road Pictures.
The Billion Dollar Spy is the true story of Adolf Tolkachev, a Soviet electronics engineer who became the Pentagon's most valuable spy when, between the years of 1978 and 1985, he stole classified military technology secrets from the Soviets and gave them to the U.S. His intelligence in the form of tens of thousands of pages of highly classified documents is projected to have saved the U.S. government up to $2 billion in research and manufacturing costs.
The book the film will be based on journalist David E. Hoffman, and was published in 2015. Hoffman previously won a Pulitzer in 2010 for his book about the arms race The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy. The film adaptation of The Billion Dollar Spy will be written by Ben August (Remember).
"We are so proud to have Amma at the helm of this prestigious project," said president/CEO of Walden Media Frank Smith. Asante's next film will be the British romance drama war film Where Hands Touch, starring Amandla Stenberg and George MacKay.
More news on Billion Dollar Spy when we hear it.
Heavens to Mergatroyd! The Flash races Speed Buggy, Robin fights Blue Falcon, and more!
Imagine going back several years and telling someone that not only did DC Comics release a handful of comics based on Hanna-Barbera properties – many with adult reimaginings – but that there would be a series of weird-ass DC superhero crossovers that would then be followed by a series of equally-crazy DC/Looney Tunes crossovers. Those Hanna-Barbera crossovers would be successful enough that they’d do it again about a year or so later.
That’s where we’re at. That’s the society we live in. Previously, we got such matchups as Adam Strange/Johnny Quest, Green Lantern/Space Ghost, Suicide Squad/Banana Splits, and best of all, Booster Gold/Flintstones. Now it’s time for the second wave and it’ll be coming May 30.
That’s my birthday! Perfect, since I’ve kind of always wanted to see a Hong Kong Phooey comic book. No, really. Wizardonce did a news story about there being a Hong Kong Phooey comic on the way, but it was just an April Fools' Day prank and my heart never recovered.
There will be four 48-page specials, each at $4.99. First up is Aquaman/Jabberjaw Special #1 by Dan Abnett and Paul Pelletier, where Aquaman is called in to take on some kind of talking shark that’s been pestering people. As it turns out, Jabberjaw’s home has been turned into a hellscape at the hands of Aquaman’s brother Ocean Master. Now the two must team up to save Aqualand and bond over their inability to get respect.
The backup for this one will be Jeff Parker and Scott Kolins doing a crossover with Captain Caveman meeting the Spectre and the wizard Shazam.
Up next is Michael Cray, Bryan Hill, Denys Cowan, and Bill Sienkiewicz coming together to bring us Black Lightning/Hong Kong Phooey Special #1. Taking place in the 70s, Hong Kong Phooey is a detective fresh from surviving Vietnam. He and Black Lightning cross paths as part of a plot to stop a trio of assassins from gaining ultimate martial arts power. Also, the cover is made to look like the first issue of Power Man and Iron Fist and I love everything about this.
The backup has Jason Blood team up with the Funky Phantom because why the hell not?
Scott Lobdell, Brett Booth, and Norm Rapmund give us Flash/Speed Buggy Special #1. In this reality, Speed Buggy is a STAR Labs creation, imbedded with the Speed Force. As Flash and Speed Buggy race to figure out Speed’s limits, the two go on a time-travel adventure that involves having to fight Savitar, Speed Demon Buggy, and the devious Reverse Speed Buggy.
Finally, it’s Super Sons/Dynomutt Special #1by Peter J. Tomasi, Fernando Pasarin, and Oclair Albert. Jon Kent and Damian Wayne head to Big City due to some family stuff and they find their ally Dynomutt, the cyborg dog, is in some bad shape. The two of them now have to not only help Dinomutt, but defeat and save Blue Falcon, who appears to be turned evil against his will.
Sounds like a lot of fun. Here’s looking forward to the inevitable Animal Man/Hair Bear Bunch crossover in phase 3.
Gavin Jasper doesn’t need intelligence drugs because he doesn’t know what they are. Follow him on Twitter!
As Marvel inches closer to Infinity War, here are some different takes on Thanos' epic story, from video games to alternate history.
In just over a month, the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be hitting us with Avengers: Infinity War, where they’re going to tangle with Thanos the Mad Titan. Since showing up at the end of the first Avengersmovie, it’s been pretty apparent that Thanos would be scouring the cosmos for the Infinity Gems/Stones so as to do an adaptation of the hit early 90s miniseries Infinity Gauntlet.
The comic has become rather iconic in Marvel history and it makes sense that they’d spend the better part of a decade building towards it. Although, don't expect it to resemble the original comic too closely. Not only are there plenty of liberties to be had, but it also seems to take a lot from the more recent comic event Infinity. Not that that's a bad thing. Infinity Gauntlet is a storyline that’s been retold, adapted, and twisted in all sorts of ways since first appearing 27 years ago.
Here are all the different variations of Thanos and Adam's Excellent Adventure.
INFINITY GAUNTLET (1991)
Jim Starlin, George Perez, and Ron Lim
We’re going full spoiler on this.
As a follow-up to the two-part story Thanos Quest, the Mad Titan Thanos has control of all six Infinity Gems and is essentially God. Mephisto hangs around to feed his ego, while naturally plotting to overthrow him. Thanos also has his granddaughter Nebula hanging around, stuck in a catatonic zombie state because Thanos is a jerk. Since Thanos wants to win the love of Death herself, he uses the Gauntlet to wipe out half of the universe. 50% of all living things simply vanish, including a big chunk of the superheroes. Adam Warlock is reborn and goes to the remaining heroes, coming up with this awesome plan of going to Thanos’ space home and punching him in his stupid scrotum face. This is really a swerve because he plans to have them all killed off as a distraction so Silver Surfer can sneak by and steal the Gauntlet off Thanos’ hand.
Meanwhile, Thanos’ whims have caused Earth to drift away from the sun, making it colder and colder by the hour. Odin and all the other heavyweight god types on Earth are blocked off from interfering. As a way of making Death jealous, Thanos uses the Gauntlet to create a mate in Terraxia.
Mephisto suggests that Thanos hold back against the heroes to impress Death, so he scales it back a lot, which gives the heroes a 1% chance. As hard as they try, they still lose horribly and are killed one-by-one by Thanos and Terraxia. After Captain America goes full-on badass and stares down Thanos despite everything, Silver Surfer flies in and misses his mark completely. About then, all the galactic heavy hitters – the tapestry of the universe itself – show up. Thanos goes back to full power and makes mincemeat of them all. He transforms himself into a form that’s one with the universe, which leaves his physical Gauntlet out in the open. Nebula takes it and steals the power, reverting everything to how it once was...except for the part where she still has all the power.
Thanos teams up with Warlock and a couple of the more powerful heroes, ultimately defeating Nebula when Warlock takes control of the Soul Gem and shorts it out a bit, causing Nebula to drop the Gauntlet. A fight breaks out and Warlock comes out wielding the Infinity Gauntlet, swearing to use it wisely. Thanos fakes his own death, but is later seen living a quiet life as a farmer.
So that’s Infinity Gauntlet Prime. Let’s see how other writers and mediums have messed around with the formula.
WHAT IF THANOS CHANGED GALACTUS INTO A HUMAN BEING? (1992)
What If v.2 #34
Scott Gimple and Tom Morgan
What If #34 was a humor-based issue of the series and while most of it is painfully unfunny, the opening seven-page short story is humorous and even a little bit uplifting in its own weird way. No joke, this is actually my all-time favorite comic book story.
As Thanos fights the cosmic entities, he decides to get creative when dispatching Galactus. He transforms him into a human being and sends him down to Earth. Galactus awakens naked in a trailer park, forgetting who he is while being a 100% facsimile of Elvis Presley! A single mother named Gertrude takes him in and thinks he’s the real deal with amnesia. She explains everything about Elvis to him and while he still has no memory, he trusts her and decides that he is indeed the King. He swears to do good with this second chance by not getting involved with the pitfalls of fame, such as drugs.
Also, the comic features the million dollar line, “Ma’am, the hunger gnaws.”
Galactus gets back into music, trying to stay on the down low, but soon people take notice and we’re about to get the second coming of Elvismania. Right as he’s about to see to the public, Galactus is confronted by Adam Warlock, now in possession of the Infinity Gauntlet. He wills Galactus his memory, but the Eater of Worlds doesn’t want to return. He’s found a better identity as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll and chooses to stay with Gertrude and her son, giving both Galactus and Elvis Presley’s legacy a second chance.
WHAT THE--?! #24 (1992)
Hilary Barta, Doug Rice, and Rubik Tyler
Marvel’s lesser-known humor book from the early 90s once featured a Mad Magazine-style spoof of Infinity Gauntlet called “The Infinity Mitten.” Thermos and his advisor McFisto go on a double-date with Death and Taxes, but Thermos is disappointed that Death has no interest in him. Using the Mitten, he removes half of life in the universe...except on the first try he accidentally just removes everyone’s lower half. Earth’s heroes go after him, but brute force isn’t enough. After talking over various ideas to remove the Infinity Mitten, they go with challenging Thermos to strip poker. They all lose and die of embarrassment.
The cosmic beings show up to throwdown, but Thermos points out that he’s an atheist and they all vanish. Silver Surfer (or whatever his parody name is) starts whining about all the death he’s seen, causing Adam Warlox to finally snap at him for being such a downer. Warlox shoots him with a revolver, which Thermos steals and uses on Warlox and McFisto.
Thinking that killing off an entire universe of heroes and villains is enough, Thermos is shocked to see that Death is now dating Nintendo's Mario. Death explains that her new boyfriend is killing off the entire comics industry by himself!
WHAT IF THE SILVER SURFER POSSESSED THE INFINITY GAUNTLET? (1993)
What If v.2 #49
Ron Marz, Scott Clark, and Kevin West
I absolutely love this issue and would have liked a variation of this as the actual ending of Infinity Gauntletinstead of what we got. Surfer succeeds in snatching the Gauntlet from Thanos’ hands. First thing he does is set everything back to normal. Then he sends everyone back home except Warlock and Thanos, who he keeps as advisors...but really as witnesses as he makes the universe a better place. He starts off with the well-meaning moves you’d expect. He eliminates disease, hunger, soothes hatred (a Kree and a Skrull are shown greeting each other happily), and even makes Death into a more alluring figure instead of something to be feared. Then he goes to Hell to see if Mephisto would be cool being remade into something a bit more pleasant, but Mephisto instead starts a fight. Surfer vaporizes him and goes back to his home to think about stuff.
Warlock and Thanos go to Dr. Strange because, boy howdy, Surfer’s going nuts with all that power. Strange figures the best way about this is to summon Surfer’s old flame Shalla-Bal to talk some sense into him, especially since Surfer’s thinking of removing randomness completely and giving the universe complete order. Arguments and fighting happen, but seeing Shalla-Bal so hurt brings Surfer back to sanity. He uses the Infinity Gauntlet’s power to destroy itself – and seemingly he and Shalla-Bal with it – but we discover that the two of them are secretly alone on a paradise planet of their creation to live the rest of their lives in secret.
As everything returns to normal, Thanos stands alone, holding up the scrapped remains of the Gauntlet. With a smirk, he says, “So close. Oh, yes... So very close.”
MARVEL SUPER HEROES (1995)
Arcade Fighting Game
In a follow-up to X-Men: Children of the Atom, Capcom released a one-on-one fighting game called Marvel Super Heroes, which is loosely based on Infinity Gauntlet. In it, you control a hero or villain as you gather the Infinity Gems from your opponents, working your way to fighting Dr. Doom and then Thanos. Upon meeting him, Thanos will steal your Gems and complete the Infinity Gauntlet before the final battle. While there isn’t much story in the game, it definitely stays loyal to the comic in ways. For instance, Thanos’ battleground is his base from Infinity Gauntlet, where you can see the likes of Thor, Nova, Drax, Scarlet Witch, and She-Hulk frozen in stone as Mephisto and Death idle in the background.
The game is kicking rad if you haven’t played it, letting you unleash the power of the various Gems in battle, each giving you a different ability. The console version includes playable versions of the bosses, as well as Anita, the emotionless little girl from Capcom’s Darkstalkersseries.
Here are the various endings based on the different characters defeating Thanos:
Anita: Simply uses the Gems to free the heroes from their statue forms. Nothing else.
Blackheart: Is asked to hand it over from his father Mephisto, but Blackheart turns on him and chooses to rule reality.
Captain America: Reverts the heroes to normal. Then pals around with Thor and throws the Infinity Gems into a black hole so nobody can use them.
Dr. Doom: Bitches out Thanos and rules the Earth with the Infinity Gauntlet. Yeah, they don’t get very fancy with this one.
Hulk: Reverts the heroes to normal. Thanos wants to die, but Hulk leaves him begging. Hulk goes on a second honeymoon to Vegas with Betty, but he chooses to get there by leaping with Betty holding on for dear life.
Iron Man: Reverts the heroes to normal. Considers using the Gauntlet, but then refuses. Later, he’s bummed to discover that his nervous system problems are gone. He selfishly used the power after all. Cap tells him not to worry about it.
Juggernaut: Is ready to grab the Infinity Gauntlet and get his vengeance on Xavier. Suddenly, Adam Warlock pops in to take it away, thanking Juggernaut for saving reality and then sending him back to Earth. I hate Adam Warlock.
Magneto: Creates a second moon around Earth and makes it a permanent home for mutants, finally separating himself from the humans. He is the eternal ruler of New Avalon.
Psylocke: Reverts the heroes to normal. She returns to the mansion, thinking about how she has experienced being molded to the will of others before and would never, ever do that to another person.
Shuma-Gorath: Absorbs the power of the Infinity Gems and grows in size, allowing it to feast upon reality itself.
Spider-Man: Reverts the heroes to normal. Goes home to Mary Jane to find out that he’s going to be a father. This is a lot less uplifting when you remember that this game was released during Clone Saga. Ugh.
Thanos: Has two separate endings. Either he chooses to become one with the cosmos as the true ruler of the universe, or he gives up the power and lives on as a farmer.
Wolverine: Reverts the heroes to normal. He realizes that he could use the power to find out about his past, but refuses. Instead, he leaves the X-Men to find the answers himself.
Thanos would return in Marvel vs. Capcom 2, still with the Infinity Gauntlet, but the game lacks anything resembling a coherent storyline. Then in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, the Gauntlet is treated as a red herring as Thanos is more interested in fashioning Ryu's dark energies into a Satsui No Hado Gauntlet so he can kill (or at least hurt) Death.
MARVEL SUPER HEROES: WAR OF THE GEMS (1996)
SNES Side-Scrolling Brawler
You would think that this would just be a lesser incarnation of the one-on-one fighter I just talked about, but no. This Capcom release is more of a sequel to the side-scroller beat ‘em up X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse. In it, you play through with your choice of Hulk, Captain America, Spider-Man, Wolverine, and Iron Man. Coincidentally, Iron Man’s select portrait is just a picture of his sprite from the arcade game. Go figure.
The game is one big mishmash of both Infinity Gauntlet and Infinity War, which makes sense, considering Infinity Gauntlet wasn’t really filled to the brim with villains to fight. Here, you get to fight evil doppelganger clones of various heroes, like Hawkeye, Vision, Sasquatch, Iron Man, etc. At first you search for the various Infinity Gems, trying to stop the likes of Magus and Dr. Doom from getting their hands on them, but Thanos gets the last one. After going through Nebula, you face Thanos and...well, it doesn’t really have the same dire sense of danger when he isn’t at full godhood. At least in the arcade game, he’s got all six Gems. Here, he has one against your five. That’s hardly impressive.
I guess Thanos has the Reality Gem because literally all he does is cause fire to burst from the ground and summon a closing stone wall. That’s it. He’s slow as molasses and his death throes feel like they take an hour.
Afterwards, Adam Warlock takes all the Gems for himself and sends everyone home. Feeling the need to give this epilogue some filler, they ask if Earth will ever truly be safe. When all your enemies move like snails, Earth isn't in that much danger, I suppose.
WHAT IF THE IMPOSSIBLE MAN OBTAINED THE INFINITY GAUNTLET? (1998)
What If v.2 #104
Thomas Virkaitis and Gregg Schigiel
So you know that part where Silver Surfer tries to swipe Thanos’ Gauntlet? It almost works in the sense that he removes the glove, but he fumbles and drops it. It’s then grabbed by none other than the annoying shape-shifter of the cosmos, the Impossible Man! Although Thanos is no threat to him, he does basically pee himself once all the cosmic beings show up. He escapes with Surfer and points out that he’s totally capable of handling the burden of wielding the Infinity Gauntlet. To prove his point, he brings Surfer to Zenn-La, his lost home planet. He’s reunited with Shalla-Bal and all should be good, but Surfer can’t help but feel that things aren’t quite right.
He’s summoned by Galactus because although Impossible Man’s claimed to be about using the Gauntlet justly, he’s in the middle of exacting revenge on Galactus for eating his home world of Poppup way back when. Surfer fights him and loses, but convinces him to do the right thing by pointing out that he can just rebuild Poppup and return all its people. Galactus agrees to help, but due to plot device BS, Poppup can only be created at the expense of the fake Zenn-La. Surfer ultimately goes along with it because while he can never accept his fake world as real, Impossible Man is too oblivious and simple-minded to really question his.
Poppup is reborn, the Poppupian race is reborn, and Impossible Man gives up his power to the Elders of the Universe. Everything seems fine, but then Surfer realizes that the Poppupians are all purple and green versions of heroes and villains, fighting it out like a bunch of goofs. He looks on in horror while a purple and green Forbush Man waves at the reader from behind his back.
WHAT IF: NEWER FANTASTIC FOUR (2009)
What If One-Shot
Paul Tobin and Patrick Scherberger
A little backstory on this one. Jeff Parker and Mike Wieringo were working on a What If issue about the New Fantastic Four (Spider-Man, Hulk, Wolverine, and Ghost Rider) remaining as a team. Unfortunately, Wieringo passed away during the making of it, so they had various artists finish the book in his place as a tribute. Even if it wasn’t such a heartwarming sentiment, What If This was the Fantastic Four? is an excellent comic to read.
This is the sequel, which asks what would happen if Infinity Gauntlet happened in a timeline with the New Fantastic Four, except that Ghost Rider is wiped out of existence from Thanos’ power and is replaced by Iron Man. Their first meeting with Thanos doesn’t go so well, since Hulk’s attempt to intimidate him with how strong he is in relation to his anger causes Thanos to wipe out a chunk of the Milky Way and state, “And I’m not even angry.” The omnipotent Thanos also separates Hulk and Banner out of curiosity and his desire to show off. During all of this, Wolverine notices how Mephisto is able to steer Thanos around with his words.
Like in regular continuity, Adam Warlock brings up his awesome plan of, “Do what I say and don’t ask questions so you don't know that I’m using your horrible deaths as a diversion,” but this time it doesn’t fly. As Stark puts it, “I don’t [know what I’m doing], but I don’t think he does either.” When they go at Thanos, Wolverine is the only one with a plan. He chooses not to fight Thanos and instead badmouths his partners while talking Thanos into thinking that Mephisto is trying to horn in on Death. Thanos buys this lie and vaporizes Mephisto. Wolverine worms his way into position as Thanos’ new right-hand man and explains to the other Fantastic Four members that he hopes that Thanos will reward his loyalty by forcing Jean Grey to love him.
Thanos continues to effortlessly defeat all challengers, even when Iron Man creates a suit of armor out of a fallen Celestial. Wolverine talks up how Thanos hasn’t even physically touched Death and that love is all about contact. Thanos gets all flustered because it isn’t proper, but Wolverine eggs him on to just touch her face. As the nervous Thanos reaches out to do so, Wolverine chops his arm off with a smiling, “Sucker!” and has successfully cut off his source of power.
Hulk punches Thanos out, Spider-Man uses the Gauntlet to put everything back the way it was, the Gauntlet is given to the Watchers to guard, and Bruce Banner becomes an honorary Watcher. Free from being one with the Hulk, he lives in the Watchers' citadel for the rest of his life, practically bathing in the vast knowledge available to him.
Too bad they didn’t keep going with What If: New Fantastic Four stories. They were only two issues, but they were a lot of fun.
WHAT IF: SECRET WARS (2009)
What If One-Shot
Karl Bollers and Jorge Molina
This one only sort of counts. Thanos only gets one mention, but the story is more of an alternate history companion piece that makes a couple parallel references to the original story. In Secret Wars, Dr. Doom was able to siphon off the powers of Galactus and the Beyonder, making him nigh-omnipotent. In this reality, he keeps the power and fully defeats the heroes. He easily conquers Earth, all while leaving all the heroes alive and using his power to make sure Sue Storm’s pregnancy (which resulted in a miscarriage in regular continuity) is a healthy one. He leaves the world a utopia and flies into space. The thing to take away from this story is that at his heart, Dr. Doom is not a ruler, but a conqueror. That’s why he’s ruled the world no less than three times in regular continuity and always left it behind for the sake of struggle.
His attempt to take over various alien empires is met with resistance, so he wipes out all who oppose him. Then he seeks out even more power by slaying the Elders of the Universe and stealing the Infinity Gems. With the Soul Gem, he enters Hell, frees his mother, and kills Mephisto (which he says would only be temporary, since he’s the Devil and all). Next on the agenda is taking out the only beings higher than him on the food chain: the Celestials. The fight lasts 407 years (!) and in the end, Doom is supreme, albeit with the Infinity Gems destroyed.
During the battle, a shockwave knocked Earth out of orbit, much like in Infinity Gauntlet. Doom sees that life will eventually come to an end. Without a second thought, he uses the remainder of his cosmic power to set the Earth back in place and save the planet. The final scene shows, fittingly enough, that he’s become a farmer, freely appearing with no faceplate. He no longer feels ashamed of his scars and plans to rebuild his rule from the ground up, fully understanding the true potential of mankind.
Personally one of my favorite Dr. Doom stories.
SUPER HERO SQUAD SHOW SEASON 2 (2010)
Film Roman, Ingenious Media, and Marvel Animation
The wacky cartoon series based on the toys with the creepy smiles is a fun enough diversion. The second season of the show is all about the Infinity Gauntlet with the first half of it being based on Thanos’ quest to get all the Gems. Thanos is voiced by Jim Cummings, meaning he sounds like pretty much every Jim Cummings voice you’ve ever heard. Interesting thing here is that Thanos has Nebula captive and he refers to her as his sister. So if you’re keeping score, she’s his granddaughter in the comics, daughter in the movies, and sister in the cartoon.
The whole Death concept is forgotten about here and Thanos is purely out for galactic power for the sake of being an evil overlord with galactic power. In the episode “Fate of Destiny,” he gets the full set of Gems and the Super Hero Squad goes on the attack. They are soundly defeated (mostly thanks to Thanos’ reality-warping catchphrase, “DO OVER!”), as are Dr. Doom and his underlings. Thanos is then challenged by the Silver Surfer, who is wielding the Infinity Sword, the ultimate weapon of the first season’s finale. Thanos challenges him to a winner-take-all fight, which Surfer accepts. When they shake on it, Surfer pulls off Thanos’ glove.
Unfortunately, the Infinity Sword has been slowly corrupting Surfer over time, so having the Infinity Sword AND the Infinity Gauntlet drives him over the edge. He sends his former teammates spiraling through the multiverse, giving us children’s cartoon adaptations of 1602and Planet Hulk. Also, he knocks Earth out of orbit, making it increasingly cold. For the remainder of the series, he’s the main villain.
In the finale, “The Final Battle! (‘Nuff Said!)” The Dark Surfer is challenged by the team of Iron Man, Scarlet Witch, Hulk, Wolverine, Falcon, and Thor. Surfer chooses to split himself into six beings for his own amusement. Each Surfer is powered by a separate Gem, but the heroes have figured that each one is capable of countering a specific Surfer based on their own abilities/personalities. For instance, the Mind Gem has little effect on Hulk and Wolverine’s surliness is able to overpower the Soul Gem. With the help of Ronan the Accuser, they defeat Silver Surfer and get all the Gems together.
It’s not over until they find where he hid the Infinity Sword, leading to a final battle between Iron Man and Dr. Doom, where they accidentally destroy both the Sword and the Gems. The resulting explosion fixes the universe, including Earth, and all is well. Surfer’s back to his senses and willingly accepts his Kree imprisonment. No longer able to get his revenge on the Surfer, Thanos decides to go hang out at a chicken farm instead. Cute.
SUPER HERO SQUAD: INFINITY GAUNTLET (2010)
Adventure Game for Nintendo DS, Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo 3DS
Griptonite Games and THQ
Around the time of the second season’s debut, they released a video game tie-in where you go around fighting enemies with two heroes at a time. In the story, Iron Man and Hulk are picking up some new boots for Thor’s birthday. The boots get mixed up with Thanos’ Infinity Gauntlet and wackiness ensues. Eventually, Thanos gets all the Gems. The duo of Iron Man and Scarlet Witch are able to defeat him, but then Silver Surfer swoops in to steal the Infinity Gauntlet. Corrupted by its power immediately, he does away with Galactus and, like in the cartoon, splits into six versions of himself. While Spider-Man sits this one out, the other twelve heroes pair up and fight the various Surfers one-by-one.
Once defeated, Surfer comes to his senses. He and Iron Man throw the Infinity Gems and Infinity Sword into a rift in reality, taking care of that problem. Meanwhile, all the villains are busy fighting each other. Iron Man figures to just let that sort itself out. The heroes celebrate Thor’s birthday, but it turns out his boots have been enchanted by Loki to make Thor dance for an eternity. Iron Man and Hulk search for the receipt so they can return it.
AVENGERS AND THE INFINITY GAUNTLET (2010)
Brian Clevinger, Lee Black, and Brian Churilla
This out-of-continuity story is a reimagining of Infinity Gauntlet as an all-ages comedy book. With the ultimate power of the Gauntlet, Thanos wipes out half of life in the universe for the sake of seeing chaos reign and the survivors destroy each other. The remaining heroes only know the where of the threat’s source and not the who or what. Sue Storm puts together a team of Ms. Marvel, Hulk, Wolverine, and Spider-Man. Dr. Doom bursts into the room and after a fight where he takes down everyone on his own, Doom offers to join the team. Their transport is US-Ace, the star of the forgotten 80s comic US-1.
The real treasure of this miniseries is watching Dr. Doom interact with the uncouth US-Ace. Especially when they visit the space trucker’s parents, who run a space diner. Ace’s mother bullies Doom into making everyone sandwiches, which is amazing.
Once they come across Thanos near the end of the third issue, they all get thrashed. He’s only stopped thanks to US-Ace driving his space truck into him thanks to his truckopathic link (Doom grumbles, “Oh Lord, he has a name for it...”). The act knocks off the Gauntlet and while Doom eventually gets his hands on it, it doesn’t work. Turns out he’s a perfect Doombot created by Doom to be released into the world if he were to ever go missing for whatever reason, such as, say, half of the universe's population magically vanishing into thin air. Spider-Man stops Thanos from getting the Gauntlet back on his hand and then uses its power to wish for a universe where Thanos never had the Gems in the first place.
Spider-Man ends up back on Earth where he’s the only one who remembers the entire adventure. He isn’t too broken up about it, but he wishes someone else out there would remember what he did. Elsewhere, Thanos plots his eventual revenge by sketching Spider-Man’s head into the ground, then adding an X over it.
I’m just bummed that despite having a million characters in Avengers: Infinity War, we won’t get to hear Dr. Doom sarcastically respond to US-Ace with, “What a colorful turn of phrase. Perhaps you will regale us with more of them over a ‘mess of biscuits’ later.”
AVENGERS ASSEMBLE: SEASON TWO (2015)
Marvel Animation, Man of Action
Ugh. So, once upon a time, there was this badass Avengers cartoon that people really liked. Then they canceled it and replaced it with Avengers Assemble, which I guess is still a thing. Anyway, much like Super Hero Squad Show, the second season is about Thanos and his quest to acquire the Infinity Gauntlet. By the halfway point, he has it and he loses in an incredibly embarrassing way.
Iron Man has Arsenal, a robot built by his father that can absorb energies and is programmed to protect Tony at all costs. After Thanos imprisons the Avengers with magic rock hands from the ground, Arsenal just walks towards him. Thanos -- with control over time and space and so on -- shoots lasers at him. Iron Man explains that Arsenal is able to absorb such a thing. Knowing this, Thanos' strategy is to SHOOT LASERS HARDER because holy shit. Arsenal yoinks the Gauntlet off Thanos' hand, freeing up the Avengers to beat Thanos into mush.
Then Arsenal becomes Ultron because reasons.
Oh yeah, there was a digital pinball game based on Infinity Gauntlet too, but I have no idea how to even write that up. I watched footage of people playing it and couldn’t make heads or tails of what the hell is even going on.
Gavin Jasper will never not love that Impossible Man/Roddy Piper panel. Follow him on Twitter!
When Marvel’s heroes finally come together in Avengers: Infinity War, Captain America will head into battle with a new shield.
Note: While one might label this topic as a “spoiler,” the reveal is already part of the Avengers: Infinity War marketing blitz.
Avengers: Infinity War will, besides uniting the collective Marvel Cinematic Universe, put the (Avengers) band back together after the onslaught of infighting and enmity reaped in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. While that film left the enduring image of Chris Evans’s Steve Rogers/Captain America abandoning his iconic circular flag shield on the battlefield in an act of disillusionment, don’t expect him to continue without a new awesome aegis.
The new shield that Captain America will carry into battle in Avengers: Infinity War has been revealed, both in merchandise form and in the trailer that dropped during the Super Bowl. Have a look...
While this new shield is lacking any colorful design, we can safely assume that it’s made from Wakanda-mined vibranium provided by his new pal, Black Panther. After all, T'Challa has that great "Get this man a shield" line in the first trailer, and we know that Cap's original shield was also made from Vibranium.
Moreover, the shield's semi-triangular shape appears to be a throwback to the design of Cap’s original Golden Age-era shield, which surfaced as a stage prop in the first Captain America movie, also manifesting recently in Marvel’s controversial Captain America: Steve Rogers series (in which Cap is depicted as a Hydra sleeper agent). While the shape would seemingly negate Cap’s ability to use the shield as a throwing weapon, it’s possible that it possesses hidden capabilities.
Avengers: Infinity War will mark the beginning of a magnificent Marvel Cinematic Universe crescendo on many fronts when it arrives at theaters on May 4.
Thanos' lieutenants are about to make a big splash in Avengers: Infinity War. But who are they?
With the approximately 134 characters in Avengers: Infinity War, it would make sense that the big, climactic villain of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thanos, would bring help. For this, the movie's creative team tapped The Black Order, a group of relative newcomers to the comics, but each with a very cool look and an interesting power set.
But who are The Black Order? Why should the Avengers be worried about these folks? We've got the goods for you right here.
The Black Order
The first appearance of the full team was a part of Infinity, the first big crossover of Jonathan Hickman's epic run. They were Thanos's generals, sent to Earth at the head of his invasion force to find the Infinity Gems and also his illegitimate son. They are a collection of super badasses, who decimated the forces remaining on Earth (who, to be fair, were not necessarily a massive collection of the biggest guns in the Marvel Universe, but they at least had the Illuminati heading the crew).
In the comics, they were also known as the Cull Obsidian, though that's been changed for the movie. In the film, they're being referred to as the Children of Thanos. That's an interesting shift: both considering they were sent to kill Thane, Thanos's son, in the comics; and because Thanos already has a couple of "children" in Gamora and Nebula.
We'll see how that change impacts their backstories and Thanos's.
Glaive is the leader of the Black Order, Thanos' most trusted general. The only member of the Order co-created by Jim Cheung, he is a cruel, vicious bastard with enhanced strength, speed, agility and endurance, and is functionally immortal as long as his signature glaive is unbroken. He's married to Proxima Midnight, and a brother to Black Dwarf.
Glaive led the charge to find Thane on Earth during Infinity, and was eventually nearly destroyed and trapped in amber at the end of the miniseries. He was eventually freed and became part of Thanos's Cabal, destroying worlds to protect the 616 from Incursions, until Secret Wars, where he escaped to Battleworld along with the rest of the bad guys. Upon the multiverse's resurrection sans Thanos, he reformed the Black Order, only to give up leadership with extreme prejudice (he committed seppuku) following Thanos's return.
He is currently back alive again in the weekly New/Uncanny/Classic Avengers crossover, "No Surrender."
Proxima Midnight is a killer. She was created by Hickman and Jerome Opena for Infinity. Seen above conquering Atlantis after basically one page of existence, she has all the powers of her husband, Corvus Glaive, but her spear can turn to light and it almost never misses.
She survived the end of Infinity with Thanos and Glaive, i.e. trapped in amber. She then joined them in the Cabal, rampaging across the multiverse until they escaped to Battleworld, where she promptly killed a Thor. Upon the restoration of the multiverse, she rejoined Thanos and teamed with Hela to try and bring the Ultimate Universe's Mjolnir to him as a tribute in the pages of The Unworthy Thor.
She failed, got killed by Hela, and resurrected by the Grandmaster for "No Surrender."
Black Dwarf is functionally invulnerable. Created by Hickman and Opena, Black Dwarf is super dense (in a packed matter sort of way, not in a thick headed moron way) and has unbreakable skin, and yet he was still defeated trying to invade Wakanda. He retreated, and as a punishment for his failure, was expelled from the Order and sent to capture The Peak, S.W.O.R.D.'s orbiting base, ahead of the return of the Avengers army and the collected unified universal forces who were just finishing battle with the Builders. He failed there too, and had his head caved in by Ronan the Accuser.
He was also resurrected for "No Surrender," where he's had a similarly nondescript and failure-ridden career. In the film, Black Dwarf is apparently undergoing a name change to Cull Obsidian, which was the team's alternate name originally.
Ebony Maw is a slippery bastard. His true power, as presented by Hickman and Opena in Infinity, appears to be "lying." He has manifested no physical abilities: just the ability to manipulate anyone and anything into doing what he wants, like making Dr. Strange summon Shuma Gorath in Harlem (that happened).
He was the member of the order who found Thane. Once there, he talked Thane into wearing a containment suit to stop his powers, then summoned Thanos and the rest of the Order. He then decided he'd rather just see what happens with Thane, so he convinced the boy to freeze the remainder of the Order in amber, and the two left. He rejoined the team for "No Surrender" earlier this year.
Check out his creepy movie look...
The one member of the Order not making it into the movies is Supergiant. She's an omnipath, a psionic ghost who can control or possess or psychically consume anyone she comes into contact with. She spent some time during Infinity screwing with the X-Men before heading to Wakanda to set off Black Bolt's Terrigen bomb. When she did, Maximus the Mad, who held the trigger, had Lockjaw teleport her and the bomb to an uninhabited planet where she was apparently killed. Like her colleagues, she was resurrected for "No Surrender."
Check out the whole skeevy squad in the movie...
For more on the Black Order, Thanos, or Avengers: Infinity War, stick with Den of Geek!
Bryan Hill is taking over Detective Comics, and his first order of business is pairing Batman and Black Lightning.
Den of Geek has learned that the next writer of Detective Comics, will be Bryan Hill, taking over from James Tynion IV, who has been steering the title since Rebirth. Hill is currently working on The Wild Storm: Michael Cray, spinoff of The Wild Storm where a more grounded Deathblow travels the Wildstorm universe murdering evil, scumbag Justice League analogs. It is as fun as it sounds.
Hill rose to prominence in comics with his work on Postal. He's also one of the leads on the recent Cyberforce relaunch and has a substantial career outside comics as a pop culture consultant. Hill is also a writer for Ash vs Evil Dead.
Detective Comics isn't Hill's only upcoming DC project. It was also recently announced that Hill will be teaming up with Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz on Who the Hell Cares, You Should Just Buy It Because It Will Be Great starring Black Lightning and Hong Kong Phooey. Coincidentally, Hill will be bringing Jefferson Pierce (aka Black Lightning) with him to the pages of Detective Comics.
Hill will take over starting with Detective Comics #982 for a five-issue arc called "On the Outside," which will kick off in June.
Here's the official info on the books, and then let's have a chat about what it all means:
DETECTIVE COMICS #982
Written by BRYAN HILL • Art by MIGUEL MENDONÇA • Cover by EDDY BARROWS • Variant cover by MARK BROOKS
“On the Outside” part one! Duke Thomas. Cassandra Cain. They and other young heroes don’t intend to stand down, no matter what Batman thinks is best. Who can Batman trust to guide them? They need a teacher...and Black Lightning fits the bill!
On sale JUNE 13 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
DETECTIVE COMICS #983
Written by BRYAN HILL • Art by MIGUEL MENDONÇA • Cover by EDDY BARROWS • Variant cover by MARK BROOKS
“On the Outside” part two! Batman wanted Black Lightning involved in the lives of his protégés—but how involved was the Dark Knight thinking? What kind of missions will Jefferson Pierce take them on? And what, exactly, is he whispering in their ears about Batman himself?
On sale JUNE 27 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
So. "On the Outside." A story about young heroes. Black Lightning. Yep, it sure sounds like we're getting a stealth relaunch of The Outsiders in the pages of Detective Comics this summer! Just on the off chance you aren't familiar, Batman & The Outsiders was a comic that first hit in 1983, which featured the Dark Knight leading a team of heroes that consisted of Katana, Metamorpho, Black Lightning (him again!), and others. We're ready for this concept to be revisited, aren't you?
Hill is on Detective Comics for five issues. What could that next project be? It...it couldn't be an Outsiders book, could it?
Check out the cover to Detective Comics #982!
We talked to All Our Wrong Todays author about his fave time travel stories and what it's like to adapt this book into a screenplay.
This month's Den of Geek Book Club pick is All Our Wrong Todays, a time travel novel that posits our timeline is the wrong one. How does it know? Well, protagonist Tom Barren is the one who messed it up.
The book is an edge-of-your-seat science fiction adventure that experiments with form and perspective and asks some gloriously existential questions in the process. We had the chance to talk to author and screenwriter Elan Mastai about writing his debut novel—where the idea came from, how it grew, and what adapting the book into a screenplay has been like.
Here's what he told us..
Den of Geek: Where did the idea for All Our Wrong Todays start? An idea, a character, a world? … An avocado?
Elan Mastai: Wouldn’t it be great if the whole novel came from a traumatic experience I once had with a bad avocado? When I was a kid, my grandfather had this terrific collection of old science-fiction pulps from the 1950s and 60s. I loved reading the wild, weird stories and staring at the garishly painted covers of robots and rocket ships, mad scientists and nifty technology.
But even as a kid it was clear to me that the future wasn’t turning out the way these writers and artists imagined. So, it’s a question I’ve been thinking about for a long time: what happened to the future we were supposed to have? With this novel, I came up with an answer—Tom Barren stole a time machine and screwed it up for all of us.
Was this book always written in first-person? Can you talk about that decision?
I had the idea for All Our Wrong Todays for a few years before I actually wrote it, because I just couldn’t figure out my way into the story. Until one day in July 2014, while walking my dog down the street it occurred to me, wait, what if I tell the story in the first person? Suddenly Tom’s voice popped into my head, along with the book’s first sentence: “So, the thing is, I come from the world we were supposed have.” I sat down on a bench, pulled out my cell, and tapped out what ended up being the first chapter of the book, while my dog moaned to continue our walk.
Now, I’ve been a screenwriter for more than a decade, but I’d never written a novel before. So, I wasn’t sure what I was even going to do with those initial paragraphs. Was it voice-over for a screenplay? It didn’t feel like a screenplay… it felt like a book. And that’s the moment I decided to write my first novel—it all started with Tom’s first person voice and didn’t exist, except as an idea, until I found it.
What are your favorite time travel stories? Did any of them act as inspirations for this book? Where does your book’s theory of time travel fit into the larger pop culture time travel discussion?
Favorite time-travel stories include Slaughterhouse-Five, Back to the Future, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Looper, Primer, 12 Monkeys, Lost, The Time-Traveler’s Wife, The Terminator & T2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Star Trek: First Contact, the ST:TNG finale "All Good Things," and of course Groundhog Day. I definitely felt their influence, but none of them were direct inspirations because I was trying to write a time-travel story unlike any I’d come across before. I wanted to do something that respected a genre I love but came at it in a hopefully unexpected and different way—otherwise why bother?
I’ve always had a pet peeve about time travel: that pretty much every example I know treats time travel like you open a door and walk through it to the past. But of course we know that the Earth is always moving, like, really, really fast. At the equator, the planet rotates at 1,000 miles per hour while simultaneously orbiting the sun, as the sun itself moves through the galaxy. Any scientifically plausible model of time travel has to incorporate orbital mechanics. To me, that’s where the fun began. Because other stories typically ignored that obvious fact, it meant I had a fresh way to build my own model.
A novel about our timeline being The Darkest Timeline feels very topical, but I imagine you wrote a good chunk of it prior to some of the more extreme happenings in U.S. and world politics. Where was the world at when you were writing All Our Wrong Todays? Do you think you would write this book any differently if you were starting it now?
That’s such an interesting and difficult question. Touring with the book and getting to read sections out loud at events, I’ve been struck by passages that seem more relevant today than when I wrote them—which is weird and honestly sometimes upsetting.
I finished the book in late-spring 2016, but much of the story was set in place from 2014 to 2015. It was in many ways a different political era. But… part of my job as a writer is to look around and try to make sense not just of where we’ve been and where we are, but also where we might be going. I felt there were tensions and conflicts building up inside our culture that would need to erupt. I can’t pretend I knew exactly what those eruptions would look like, but I was thinking a lot about it.
What I do know, from my personal life as much as anything else, is that big things, seemingly permanent things, can change so much quicker than you’d ever believe. I’ve felt it in my own life: one day you’re living in a world that makes sense and the next day you can feel like you’ve woken up in a whole other world, one with very different rules and very different expectations. I felt like that the morning after my mom died. I also felt like that the morning after my daughter was born. Change can feel like a tidal wave. Sometimes it’s one that drowns you and sometimes, if you’re lucky, it’s one that lifts you up.
Would I write a different book today? Probably in some ways, not in others. I think it would’ve been an angrier book if I started it in spring 2018, but that wouldn’t necessary mean a better book. And as an author, I’m aware that not all my possible readers share my personal politics. I actually kind of like it when readers who subscribe to different political points of view see something meaningful and reflective in the book, even if it’s not what I intended. Because to me that means the book is alive and complex. It’s a story, not an essay, and even if it’s a story with a point, I’m totally okay when readers find their own point. That’s their right.
It must have been so much fun imagining the world of Tom’s original timeline. Were there any technologies that didn’t make it into the final book version or ideas that felt too anachronistic/futuristic to fit in?
Oh yeah, super fun. Originally I had more biotechnology and genetically engineered innovations. But I made the decision that Tom’s timeline would be one of hard technology, not wet technology, because that’s how people in the 50s and 60s imagined the future. Machines. Devices. Contraptions. Metal and energy, not cells and genes. There’s a lot of virtualization and projection, but very little tinkering with DNA. If we project fifty years into our future, I think we’ll see a lot more genetic innovation, for good and for ill, but this was a future specifically as imagined by the post-WW2 generation, which meant technology that’s built, not grown.
I love what your book has to subversively say about the natures of utopia vs. dystopia, and the assumptions we make about both. Can you talk about exploring those themes in All Our Wrong Todays?
A big reason I told the story in the first person is that I wanted the descriptions of Tom’s self-described utopia to be specifically from the point of view of someone who grew up there and takes much of it for granted, not questioning that it is the way the world is supposed to be. If I’d written in the third person, it would be me, as the author, saying this rather than a character with assumptions and blind spots that he only questions when he finds himself in the “wrong” timeline: our so-called real world.
The central premise of the book—what if our reality is a dystopian worst-case scenario triggered by a time-travel accident?—was my hopefully unexpected and entertaining way to explore what the futures we imagine say about the world we currently live in. And how those imagined futures have evolved in recent decades from sunny utopia to dank dystopia. I like to challenge and provoke people’s assumptions, not just of something as big as where we’re going as a society, but on the smaller more personal level of the characters, surprising readers with the decisions they make and where the plot takes them. Because to me it’s as much as a story about our own personal utopias and dystopias, and the ways each of us might question the future we think we’re supposed to have. But, you know, with jokes and flying cars too.
Have there been interpretations or reactions to All Our Wrong Todays that have surprised you?
Totally. I mean, first of all, it sometimes feels crazy that the book even exists in the world, since for so long the story only existed in my head. I was in an airport two days ago and they had a stack of my novel for sale and I had one of those trippy moments where I was, like, oh yeah, this story doesn’t belong to me anymore, it belongs to whoever decides to read it.
In terms of surprising reactions, I mean, what I find funniest is that often the most polarized reactions argue the exact opposite things about the same book—that it’s too utopian or too dystopian, too optimistic or too cynical, too jokey or too serious, too science-heavy or too science-light, too feminist or too sexist, too fast-paced or too slow-paced, too character-driven or too plot-driven, too long an ending or too abrupt an ending.
Literally for every critique I’ve read of the book I’ve also read the exact opposite critique. Which I love. Because it means the book is a mirror and each reader’s reflection shines brighter than my own. If everyone interpreted it the same way, I’d feel the book had failed to lift off from the gravity well of my intentions.
In addition to being a novelist, you are also a screenwriter and you are working on the screenplay of All Our Wrong Todays. What is like adapting your own work? Do you feel more or less compelled to stay faithful to it? Are there aspects of the story that take up more or less narrative space in the film form than the book form?
Adapting my own novel has been a challenge, but a good one, a fun one. Mostly. Some days, I’ll be honest, it’s tough—there’s no way to compress a 369-page book into a two-hour movie without giving up something. But I decided early on in the process that I’d rather write a fantastic movie that diverts in certain ways from the book rather than a perfectly faithful but dramatically inert adaptation. And there are things you can do in a movie, visually and emotionally, that you can’t do in a book.
So, I’m embracing the medium while still being pretty faithful to the novel. Movies have to move, they’re watched in real-time, minute-to-minute, and generally audiences have less patience for the interesting tangents that a book has time and space to explore. So overall the narrative is more streamlined for the movie, even though it’s still very much the same story with the same characters—and a few brand-new plot twists that will hopefully shock and delight fans of the novel.
Follow-up: Who would you dreamcast in the major roles?
I’m going to awkwardly squirm out of answering this because it’s an excitingly relevant question at the moment.
What else, if anything, are you working on right now?
I’m most of the way through a new novel. It’s similar in tone and scope to All Our Wrong Todays, but it’s unrelated in terms of plot and character. I’m also working on some pretty fun movie projects which I can’t say much about that are making their slow but steady way to production.
Wade Wilson tries to up his merc game with the new team of Skottie Young and Nic Klein.
It’s a pretty critical time for Deadpool these days. On the more mainstream side of things, he has a big movie sequel coming out in May. That’s a pretty big deal.
In the land of comics, we have another big deal. Gerry Duggan is ending his lengthy run on Deadpool, which has not only been wonderful, but it’s easily – in my opinion – the best run on the character ever. Ever.
That raises a question. If Deadpool is still doing it for Marvel and they’re doing yet another relaunch/rebranding and there needs to be some Deadpool out on the market to capitalize on all that Ryan Reynolds goodness...then who is the new creative team?
Coming out on June 6, Skottie Young and Nic Klein will be giving us Deadpool #1. This is a very welcome opportunity as Young has the right mind for the character, if his Rocket Raccoon series is anything to go by. It even featured fairly obscure Deadpool rival Macho Gomez, so the guy knows his deep cuts. Otherwise, Young did take part in an issue of Deadpool Team-Up featuring Galactus.
Young won’t be taking on art duties, which is probably for the best, as Klein’s style seems like a better fit for the character. Young’s art is great for comedy, but a little too distracting when it’s time for pathos to happen. If pathos happens. I hope it happens. That's like 40% of the character.
Duggan left some huge shoes to fill, considering in the past few years, Deadpool’s found a wife, a daughter, horrific secrets from his past, a major spot on the Avengers, a complicated relationship with Captain America, and two teams of mercenaries to lead. Young will be starting it off easy by having Deadpool focus on his status as one of the top hired guns in Marvel.
Here’s hoping that wave of good Wade Wilson stories continues with this run.
Deadpool #1 arrives on June 6.
Gavin Jasper can’t help but think of the time Deadpool hallucinated that he was Dorothy in one of Young’s Wizard of Oz books. Follow Gavin on Twitter!
Get ready for the Dora Milaje to get more time in the Marvel Universe when Black Panther spinoff Wakanda Forever launches.
The Dora Milaje are getting their own series of a sort in June's Wakanda Forever. The book, just announced by Marvel, will feature Okoye, Ayo and Aneka touring the Marvel Universe in a way: the trio leaves Wakanda for a mission, and they will interact with just about every character in the greater world for a series of one-shots.
The first is out at the end of June, Wakanda Forever: The Amazing Spider-Man. That will be followed up in July with Wakanda Forever: X-Men and in August with Wakanda Forever: Avengers.
Nnedi Okorafor is handling the writing duties on the series. She's won roughly all of the big sci-fi and fantasy awards for her prose - a Hugo and a Nebula award for Binti, a World Fantasy Award for Who Fears Death - and most recently wrote an arc of Black Panther: Long Live the King and a story for Edge of Venomverse. We're big fans of Okorafor around here, by the way. Joining her on art is Alberto Albuquerque, co-creator of Letter 44. "Fans of the Dora Milaje can look forward to seeing them out in the world beyond T’Challa and the Wakandan throne’s shadow. They’ll get to see the Dora Milaje come into their own, while teaming up with the unexpected," said Okorafor.
This is not the first time that the Dora Milaje are venturing outside of Wakanda. It is, however, the first book to be advertised on the strength of their appearance in cinemas in Black Panther, where Okoye more or less ran off with the movie. Now all we need is a book where Nakia takes over SHIELD; a TV spinoff of the movie that's basically This Old House but with Shuri and her gadgets; and literally anything Winston Duke wants to make, and we're in a good place on movie tie ins.
For more fanciful Black Panther spinoffVEGETARIAN HELL'S KITCHEN STARRING M'BAKU! spinoffs or updates on Wakanda Forever, stick with Den of Geek!
DC's Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps will need a new writer this summer.
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps has been one of DC Comics' many gems lately. The most recent arc, for example, has featured Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner taking on General Zod and family. If the idea of the Green Lantern Corps versus Superman's Phantom Zone criminals doesn't excite you at least a little bit, well, I have to question if you were ever 10 years old. That story wraps up later this month with issue #41, but it turns out that it's not the only ending in store for the book.
Robert Venditti, who has been one of the primary stewards of DC's Green Lantern line for the last few years, just announced that he's bringing his run to a close with Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #50 this summer. Mr. Venditti revealed the news on Twitter.
Turning in the script for Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #48 today, which seems like as good a time as any to say that this is part one of our big, three-part finale. #50 will be my last issue writing the Four Corpsmen. A nice, milestone number to say goodbye.
— Robert Venditti (@robertvenditti) March 16, 2018
Venditti took over as primary Green Lantern writer after Geoff Johns wrapped his own nine year run on the character, which saw the entire mythology of the Green Lantern Corps examined and redefined. That's a tough act to follow, but Venditti did it admirably, picking up the baton for the remainder of that series, and then sticking with the Corps through DC's Rebirth relaunch in 2016.
Venditti has already been announced as writer of DC's Hawkman reboot (with Bryan Hitch on art) and is currently working on Damage (with Danny Miki and Tony S. Daniel on art). He also teased that there are "more projects waiting to be announced." With DC shaking up many of its creative teams across their publishing line this summer (Superman and Justice League have both seen major announcements), it will be interesting to see what other title Venditti lands on...and who replaced him here.
Venditti's departure raises other questions, as well. Is Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps ending with issue 50 and relaunching with a new first issue? Obviously, new first issue or not, there's a new creative team incoming. There is a Green Lantern Corps movie tentatively scheduled for July 24, 2020, which means DC would do well to make a big splash on the publishing end to get the team back in the public eye. Whoever takes over the reins has their work cut out for them if they're going to follow nine years of Geoff Johns, Robert Venditti, and the talented artists who have been shepherding DC's cosmic police force for so long.
We'll keep you updated on Mr. Venditti's grand finale for his Green Lantern run, as well as what's next for the team as we get more details.
This exclusive preview of The Brave and The Bold #2 sees Diana laying down the law with the Celtic pantheon.
Last month, we talked with Liam Sharp about his new series The Brave and The Bold - about how it's a continuation of the story he and Greg Rucka were telling in Wonder Woman, about process, and about Diana's shifting place in pop culture.
The best part of the conversation, though, was when we discussed Liam's passion for Celtic and Irish myth, and how much fun he was having building a Celtic/Irish pantheon for the DCU. Keep that in mind when you look at this page from the exclusive preview of The Brave and The Bold #2 that DC sent over.
This might be the best title page I've seen in years. Everything from the detail work in the illuminated border to the composition of the figures on the page is staggering. I didn't even notice Diana's posture until now - she's coiled and ready to pop this guy, but she's also not really trying that hard. Romulo Fajardo's coloring is exquisite - the scratchy glow around Cernnunos looks even better big, so be sure to check out the advanced gallery below. The first issue of this book was very good, but this page is next level.
I should probably stop gushing about the amount of work Sharp put into one page and get on with the rest of the preview, right? Here's what DC had to say about the issue:
THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD: BATMAN AND WONDER WOMAN #2 Written by LIAM SHARP • Art and cover by LIAM SHARPBatman finds himself drawn further into a world of Celtic myth and supernatural mysteries as Wonder Woman calls on the Dark Knight Detective to investigate the murder of a once-powerful Irish god. In a world where the normal rules of investigation don’t apply and any clue can be obscured by charms and magic, the two Justice Leaguers must rely on each other to unlock a murder someone is trying to hide.
The issue is out on Wednesday, March 22nd. Take a look at the rest of the preview now! It's real good.
Krypton introduces us to Shaun Sipos as Adam Strange, in the first ever live action take on a long running DC Comics sci-fi character.
It's possible that you've never heard of Adam Strange, but you will. Syfy's Krypton, the TV series that tells the story of Superman's homeworld 200 years before it exploded, is bringing the character to live action for the first time.
"Big deal," you say, "TV is positively lousy with live action superheroes these days."
Well, that may be true, but few of those heroes have the pedigree of Adam Strange, a hero who has been around nearly as long as Barry Allen Flash, and who was almost as important to a particular era of DC Comics history as Green Lantern or the Atom. Adam Strange even got his start in the pages of the same title where Barry Allen first appeared, in a 1958 issue of Showcase (Barry had arrived two years earlier, in 1956). When you have a character created by Silver Age greats like Julius Schwartz and Murphy Anderson, that's a piece of comic book history that can't just be ignored.
But Adam Strange never quite made the leap into broader pop culture the way many of his contemporaries did. The character already seemed like something of a throwback in 1958, to an era of ray guns and jetpacks that felt more at home in the Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers serials of decades earlier. His origin story recalled Edgar Rice Burroughs' seminal Jon Carter of Mars, a man out of place on an alien world.
The Adam Strange of the comics is an archaeologist, who finds himself transported to the planet Rann via something known as a Zeta Beam. There, like Jon Carter or Flash Gordon before him, he becomes embroiled in planetary affairs, and falls in love with a woman. But there's a unique and tragic twist to Adam Strange's interstellar adventures: He can only remain on Rann for as long as the Zeta Beam radiation remains in his system, once it's gone, he is instantly transported back to the point on Earth from which he left. This leaves Adam a sometimes helpless character, waiting for the next opportunity to catch a Zeta Beam back to his adopted planet and the woman he loves, knowing he can't help them from light years away on Earth.
Over the years, Adam has played an increasingly important role in DC's cosmic adventures. He has joined Justice League lineups. He has teamed with (and fought with) Hawkman as the planets Rann and Thanagar have found themselves in conflict. He has been a player in several of DC's biggest stories over the last decade or so. Not bad for a character who felt a little old-fashioned even in 1958.
But Krypton introduces us to a slightly different version of the character, played by Shaun Sipos. Adam is now transported not just through space, but time as well, all the way back to a Krypton of 200 years prior. It's still the Zeta Beam which occasionally wears off and sends him back to Earth at inopportune moments. But this isn't a seasoned cosmic adventurer. Instead, he's a guy in a hoodie, beat-up Chuck Taylors, and a Detroit Tigers baseball cap.
"I believe this is the start of his career," Shaun Sipos told me on the set of Krypton back in December. "I think he's had some small adventures. He's still aiming to be at the top and be somebody, be a superhero, help people, and really make a go of it."
The fact that this is a young, inexperienced look at the venerable DC hero is something that Sipos is well aware of, and it's informing his take on the character in a number of ways. "In different takes on [Adam Strange], there's always the same through line," Sipos says, "which is that he's a guy who had a hard childhood, doesn't know how he could be a superhero, but he is. And through his experiences his confidence grows, and then he becomes the hero that you know him to be."
When Adam Strange shows up on Krypton, he immediately seeks out Seg-El, Superman's grandfather, to warn him of a threat coming that will wipe out the planet years earlier, which would prevent Seg's descendant, and Earth's greatest hero, from ever existing. Adam Strange goes to the Krypton of the past to save the Superman of the present. It's an interesting twist on the character's comic book roots. In that sense, the planet Krypton becomes the planet Rann for this version of Adam.
"I think that when he gets to Krypton, slowly through the friendships that he forms, and the alliances that form, he adopts them," Sipos says. "The people of Krypton, Seg mainly, are like his Kryptonite. He cares, and we all know that in the end, Krypton's going to explode."
But Krypton is a world that has never had alien contact...until Adam came along. And since humans and Kryptonians look alike, there's little reason for Seg-El to believe Adam's story. That is, until Adam produces proof of Superman's existence, brought with him from our time. And while this all sounds like a noble quest for one of Earth's superheroes, Krypton showrunner and executive producer Cameron Welsh did offer a word of caution.
"I think what we'll learn along the way is, maybe Adam Strange isn't as reliable as we thought," Welsh says. "Maybe we can't trust everything he says. Adam Strange is kind of ... well let's just say he's not exactly an A-lister. So he sees this opportunity to go back to Krypton and basically save the universe, prevent Brainiac from changing history and preventing Superman's birth. He sees this as a chance to get into the Justice League and finally be taken seriously."
That all sounds a little ominous, but nothing dampens Shaun Sipos' enthusiasm for the character, even though he admits that he wasn't familiar with Adam Strange before he took the role. "I had known of him, but I kind of thought that he was related in some sense to [Marvel's] Doctor Strange," he says. "And then I kind of went, oh shit, he's his own guy. And he has his own legitimate stuff, his own comics. So that was super cool."
But it's still a little daunting to be the first person to portray a character with 60 years of comic book history behind him. Sipos decided to channel those very doubts into what the character of Adam Strange is going through on Krypton. "I'll probably embrace that and embrace any insecurity that comes with that because that's what Adam's going through," he says. "Every single time that I go through stuff, I remind myself that's what his plight is. Am I going to do a good job? Are people going to go, 'oh fuck, terrible.' What are those insecurities? [Adam] is doing the same thing."
One thing in particular jumped out that excited Sipos as he began prep for the role. "This guy's got a rocket pack," he says. "I'm so glad that I didn't know that when I read for it. Otherwise, I think I might have been like, oh shit." The reason for that reaction? Sipos is a big fan of 1991's tremendously underrated superhero movie, The Rocketeer.
And while the plainly dressed (for the moment) Adam Strange of Krypton hasn't yet taken flight, Sipos is ready when it happens. "I think that was one of the first questions I had to [Krypton executive producer] Cam [Welsh], when we met," Sipos says. "It was like, 'so when are we going to strap this baby on?'"
Hopefully he'll get his chance.
Krypton begins its 10 episode first season on March 21. We have much more info on the show right here.
If you're looking for answers after watching Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Expanded Universe is a good place to start!
This Star Wars article contains spoilers.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi has arrived, and with it come plenty of new mysteries to decipher. In fact, the movie doesn't even answer all of the questions left over from The Force Awakens. That said, some of the answers - such as how Captain Phasma managed to escape Starkiller Base - can be found in the Expanded Universe.
Looking for more information about The Last Jedi after seeing the film? Like Rey with her Jedi texts, you can explore the Star Wars Expaned Universe for more clues about Episode VIII with these canon books, comics, and games!
The Last Jedi Novelization
There's no better place to start than with Jason Fry's excellent novelization. Not only does the book expand on several key scenes in the movie, but it also introduces a few moments we never saw in the movie. The most important of these scenes is the opening prologue, which presents an alternate timeline in which Luke Skywalker never became a hero of the Rebellion and saved the galaxy. It's too horrid to think about what might have happened to the galaxy had the Empire continued to rule unchecked, but Fry delivers this nightmare scenario and then some. You can tell he really enjoyed writing about a complacent Luke still farming on Tatooine.
Finn and Rose’s search for a codebreaker to help the Resistance fleet leads them to the casino city Canto Bight, where weapons dealers gamble at high roller tables. The novella collection Canto Bight introduces some of the aliens seen in The Last Jedi, including the gaunt, wide-faced card player and the three little reptilian aliens at a game table. As it turns out, they’re only lucky when all three are together.
The most significant connection, though, is the fathier races and the children who work with them. One of the main characters in “Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing” is a girl who works at the stables, where indentured children under harsh conditions take care of the fathiers and dream of being jockeys. This story is also most closely connected to the epilogue of The Last Jedi, showing how stories of the Jedi bring hope to a Force-sensitive child.
Leia, Princess of Alderaan
The young adult novel Leia, Princess of Alderaan fleshes out an important character from The Last Jedi: Leia’s friend, Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo. Poe Dameron resists Holdo’s plans and even fights against what he believes are her traitorous actions (in true Rebellion fashion). Readers who know Holdo from the novel can be reassured that her friendship with Leia is the entire crux of this plotline. In the novel, Leia and Holdo work together to find the planet Crait, even while suffering the slow destruction of their fleet. Decades later, Holdo is able to use Crait to the Resistance's advantage, even if Poe doesn’t understand the plan at first.
The novel doesn’t talk very much about Leia’s latent Force sensitivity, which she displayed in a big way in The Last Jedi, but it does show how she learned to be resilient and survive in inhospitable places. The novel also reinforces Luke’s arc in The Last Jedi, paralleling both Skywalker twins and showing why Leia jumped into the fight with the Resistance while Luke hid away. Leia learned as a teenager that failure might be part of her journey, since she messed up her father’s plans several times in an effort to help people. Luke, the golden child who moved from a quiet life to the glory and tragedy of his time in the Rebellion, was bruised more deeply by his own failures. Both The Last Jediand Leia, Princess of Alderaan show why Leia is so resilient and how the Original Trilogy heroes cope with failure.
Rose Tico is at the heart of The Last Jedi. A brand new character, she’s introduced wth an immediately sympathetic story. Her sister was killed in battle, and while she’s a competent mechanic, she isn’t the type of hotspot pilot character we’ve often seen before. Cobalt Squadron begins by showing Rose and her sister Paige before the events of The Force Awakens, when the Resistance and the First Order are both working undercover. The book explains why Rose and Paige joined the Resistance, as well as the sisters’ similarities and differences. If you liked Rose in The Last Jedi, Cobalt Squadron is a good look at her history.
This middle grade book focuses on Paige Tico, Rose’s sister, who sacrifices herself during the bombing run in the beginning of The Last Jedi. Including journal entries and starship schematics, it gives an inside look at what Paige’s life was like in the Resistance.
Although Phasma’s role in The Last Jediis relatively small, she has not been forgotten when it comes to canon tie-in books and comics. The Phasma novel shows Phasma’s origin on the postapocalyptic world of Parnassos, where she and her family lived with their backs to razor-sharp cliffs and an inhospitable ocean. The novel shows that Phasma is just as craven as General Hux, but also how she tries to protect her family. When she has nothing left to lose, she joins the First Order for their promise of technology that can ensure her own survival.
The comic answers more direct questions about The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, but the novel shades her fight in The Last Jedi with the memory of Parnassos. Phasma now lives in a starship far more technologically advanced and more powerful than anything she could ever have imagined when she was a child, able to destroy or save entire planets just because of the resources on board. From hardscrabble beginnings, Phasma has risen to the leadership of the First Order — and therefore gets her comeuppance.
Marvel's Captain Phasma
Phasma’s appearance in The Last Jedi might seem surprising if the last time you saw her was when she headed to the trash compactor. The four-issue comic series shows that Phasma escaped the trash compactor easily. Much more difficult was hiding the fact that she lowered Starkiller Base’s shield. She tracks the only witness to her act of treason to the wastelands of Luprora and kills everyone who might expose her — including the TIE pilot she had started to befriend. If you were disappointed with Phasma’s quick surrender in The Force Awakens, the book and comic provide plenty of action that shows what she can do when she’s properly motivated.
While this video game mostly sticks to what happened directly after Return of the Jedi, we do get a brief Luke Skywalker section that sheds light on how the Jedi Knight began his quest for Ahch-To. It's revealed that Luke visited a planet called Pilio after sensing something in the Force coming from the world's surface. The Force was in fact leading him to a secret Imperial vault that contained some of the Emperor's most precious artifacts. Among the trinkets was a sort of compass device, and it's heavily implied that Luke used this gadget to find the first Jedi temple. Read more about this here.