Tuesday, May 26, 2015

VS!: The Great Rogue Costume Debate

From CBR:

Welcome to CBR's first ever installment of VS! The concept is completely simple, the amazing Brett White and I will pit some things (sometimes many things) against each other, weighing the pros and cons of each. Sometimes it will be serious, sometimes it will be for fun -- but mostly it will be for fun. And at the end of each, you can vote in a poll for whichever thing you prefer, or possibly just to spite us. 

This week, we begin in the most logical place possible for people of Brett's and my high-minded and finely refined tastes: debating the very many versions of our collective favorite superheroine Rogue's costumes over the years! Not all of them, though, as we're not sure any human could actually handle allof her costumes.

Obviously, this is one of those super-serious posts.

Kelly Thompson: So, I'm not a big fan of any of these, and I know you love the Orange Tunic, so I expect some exciting debate on that point. I like some things about Original Rogue -- the cut of the neck to accommodate the hood and that it has an almost asymmetrical vibe in the way the coat/top works. The boots annoy the hell out of me though.

Brett White: Orange Tunic is so preposterous and so not one of Rogue's colors that I kinda love it. It's like the Rolling Stones going disco -- it works because it shouldn't. This particular iteration of the original Rogue suit I'm lukewarm on. Paul Smith knocked it out of the park in the issues when Rogue first joined the team, so those I'm down with. This one is so much green.

Kelly: I guess one of the things I like about Original Rogue is that it doubles down on green -- I mean, it is fully committed to being green and probably really helped establish Rogue's signature color. With a few notable mostly-missteps, it's stayed her color, and that's probably thanks to the boldness of the green in this first iteration.

Brett: Oh yeah, green is definitely Rogue's color, and that makes a lot of sense. Green is usually a villainous color, and that reflects Rogue's bad guy past, and it kinda demonstrates how green she was when she first joined the X-Men. Green Jumpsuit Rogue is sporting some "9 To 5"-era realness and -- man, Kevin Wada or someone could make this work. Otherwise -- 

Kelly: That's a great point about villainy and green -- and I'm glad they didn't ditch it when she "went good." That said, I despise Green Jumpsuit Rogue and thought I could never love it -- until you said Kevin Wada, and you're right. He could totally make it work, I bet. Still, it looks nothing like a superhero costume, and also doesn't address Rogue's vibe or power set. From this drawing, and forgive me if I'm remembering this inaccurately, but those don't look like gloves you can take off to actually use your power, you know? Orange Tunic Rogue is better on that point since she can take her gloves off -- but it's really impractical as a superhero costume. How do you even raise your fists to punch the crap out of someone with sleeves like that?

Brett: I'm just now realizing how much that Orange Tunic looks like something found in Dorothy Zbornak's closet. 

Kelly: [Laughs] Stop thinking up all the best jokes, Brett. C'mon.

Kelly: Obviously this is where the magic begins to happen!

Brett: My favorite Rogue costume of all time is in this batch. So, you know, it's all downhill from here, sugah.

Kelly: I'm a big fan of all of these, to be honest. My favorite is actually Green & Black One Piece Rogue, but I can admit that it's flawed in the same way that Green Jumpsuit is when it comes to the gloves. But it was often drawn by Marc Silvestri and it just looked gorgeous. I am swayed sometimes by pretty things, okay!?

Brett: This statement I'm about to make proves how ridiculous comics are: I feel like the green bustier one-piece is too formal of a look for Rogue. See? That's preposterous. But it's how I feel. I like it, sure, but it's a little more Beyonce and not enough Joan Jett. That's why I prefer Belts & Booties or Bikini Bottoms Rogue to the One Piece. They're more rock and roll!

Kelly: No, I can see that. Rogue does need a little bit of punk rock to her -- my favorite iterations always embrace the punk. I like the idea of the belts on the Belts & Booties Rogue, but it honestly doesn't go far enough in that look to become a favorite of mine, and I don't dig the booties. But points to it for starting us off in the punk direction, though. Bikini BottomsRogue is a bit ridiculously sexy with its off the shoulder-ness and bikini bottoms and heeled boots, but like the one piece Silvestri drew a lot and I really liked Rogue at this time, so I associate good stories with it. Still, I'd never want to go back to it. It was of its time and fun and beautiful -- but its time has passed. 

And now, here we are. Leather Bomber Rogue, aka Jim Lee Rogue. This is, of course, the one most people know thanks to it being used in the high-profile Chris Claremont and Lee "X-Men" #1, and used on the Animated Series which brought legions of fans to comics -- including both of us, I believe, correct?

Brett: Yep! That cartoon got me into Marvel Comics (I'd read one or two Batman issues and a few G.I. Joes and '70s "Star Wars" at that point) and made me an X-Men fan for life -- specifically a fan of Rogue and Gambit. I firmly believe that the '90s X-Men cartoon, more so than with any of the other members of the cast, distilled those two down to their coolest parts and let them loose. Rogue was the team's muscle and was so cocky and cool and aggressive and sassy all at the same time.

Kelly: Yep. My teenage heart beat for Gambit and Rogue, and it was all launched by the animated series 'ship. I'm hugely fond of this one for nostalgia reasons, and the introduction of yellow was fun, plus the bomber jacket, so of it's time, sooooo cool. But with distance and time -- it's not my favorite look as there are some overly fussy elements for me. While I like Rogue in a jacket, if I have to pick between jacket and hood, I vote for hood, which I know are fighting words.

Brett: THIS IS WHERE WE VERSUS! I still think this is the best look she's ever had; I mean, it's also possible (definitely possible) I'm so far down a nostalgia hole that I'm on the other side of the planet. I love it, period, forever and ever, amen. I get that it's a lot of look -- hip belt, headband, leather jacket, big boots with straps. Somehow, I dunno, it just works. Maybe it's because this is the Rogue whose personality I enjoy most -- loud and confident and take charge. The costume itself is loud and aggressive while not being dark. Plus, jacket jacket jacket jacket jacket! I prefer jacket to hood, and I could probably work up a deep reason like, "The hood represents something she can hide under."

Kelly: Yes, I dig the jacket but if I have to choose between jacket and hood -- and you kinda of do -- unless you go hooded jacket -- a world in which everyone wins! -- I pick hood because it really fits Rogue's personality and power set. The ability to cover up and hide is just stronger with a hood, no matter how iconic the jacket it. I remember being so pleased that she had a hood in the first X-Men film. Sooo pleased.

Kelly: Shi'ar Space Rogue doesn't bother me so much, but only because it was clearly intended to be a temporary costume. She was in space; here was a suit she wore. End of story. It ends up feeling like a pretty significant look for her because there was a big Rogue/Gambit storyline going on around this time and they were stranded after coming back from space so it didn't go away immediately. If she had stayed in this costume or it had come back, I would hate it with the heat of a thousand suns, though. Pink is definitely not Rogue's signature color. Also "vacuum-sealed ass maximizer" would apply here -- see, already useful in its variations!

Brett: Ditto. yeah, this one screams "I lost my luggage on vacation in the Shi'ar empire" which is… kinda what happened? This one also became immortalized because they made an action figure of it! It was the second Rogue toy that's been made, and, come to think of it, that makes it one of the 3 Rogue costumes that have been turned into figures. Jim Lee's design is everywhere, this one, and then: Darkest Timeline.

Kelly: Yeah. Talk about not a signature color. Darkest Timeline Rogue. Red and Black make literally no sense for the character. I get that they wanted to try something new, but I wish they'd had some respect for the green. You spend decades building it up as her defining color, and then you just throw literally everything out. You can be innovative and do something new without throwing the baby out with the bathwater, right? Hell, even the haircut sucked. Thigh highs and a weird pseudo thong? Just, no.

Brett: I think red and black were the X-TREME team's extreme color palette. This feels one hundred percent like a uniform and not something that Rogue would choose to wear herself for all the reasons you stated. Part of me wishes Rogue would have accessorized this look in her trademark color so we could call this X-TREME CHRISTMAS ROGUE.

Kelly: X-Treme Christmas Rogue. Would watch. Moving on -- thank the gods for Chris Bachalo. I lovehis return to the original costume, with a twist. The white really makes that all green costume work. I lovethe return of the hood after so very long without it. I can't remember if the costume came back with the cape first or without, but I prefer without. The cape looks great, but just practically makes no sense for a character like Rogue.

Brett: The costume first came back during the Steve Seagle/Joe Kelly era, following Scott Lobdell's departure. For a while artists were alternating between her Shi'ar pink outfit and Bachalo's homage to her original suit. Then when the Mike Carey run on "X-Men" started, Bach added the cape. I'm fine with these. Honestly the problem is, I associate Rogue and her silhouette with a jacket so much that when she's wearing the original duds, she looks incomplete to me. It's a solid design, but -- this is dumb -- I keep worrying that she's cold?! 

Kelly: Cold? Really? That is -- so so weird, Brett. So weird.

Brett: I know! It may be because the fabric reads as cotton to me, and for some weird reason that bugs me? I'm being ridiculous. Otherwise, yeah, this is classic!

Kelly: I'm glad you can acknowledge that you're being ridiculous. Everyone is excited that you know that. ;) Okay, so before we get to Rogue's most modern and current looks, let's take a little sidestep into some of the weird Outliers and Alternate Reality costumes:

Kelly: House of M Rogue is very un-Rogue, but for the alternate reality setting, I dig it.

Brett: Yeah, I think this is a few tweaks away from being a solid Rogue look -- like replacing the navy blue for green and the white for yellow. I like the epaulettes and the high collar elements a lot; a high collar actually makes sense, considering her power set.

Kelly: And the braids are basically adorable. So, Ultimate X-Men Rogue is pretty basic with really generic elements that don't fit Rogue well including the long hard to take off gloves. I respect the attempt to make blue Rogue's color in the ultimate universe -- but even there it couldn't manage to stick.

Brett: More like this Rogue is basic. This design looks like an anti-design. I know there's an argument to be made against designs being too fussy, sure, but this one has almost no personality. Between this and X-TREME, I'm now realizing that Rogue's a character that doesn't do team uniforms well.

Kelly: Yeah, that's interesting. She has such personality as a character, and such a clear sense of style, jamming her into the team uniform really doesn't play well. Ultimate Trenchcoat Rogue. Awful. You know, it's kind of like this is just two costumes, awkwardly jammed together -- trench and boots thrown onto a less impressive version of the Jim Lee costume.

Brett: This is a sidestep -- and a step back -- from the Jim Lee costume. I don't get it. Honestly, this costume has always read in my head as, "The artists forgot how to draw the Jim Lee design." I'm also realizing that I don't see comics how artists want me to see them, sometimes?

Kelly: What's to say about Ultimate Strangle Me Rogue? Cute drawing, but it makes no sense. The top bits are a total liability, the colors are as drab as can be, and the shoes are -- I mean, are those the ugliest shoes ever? I guess at least they're practical?

Brett: Those are some Payless shoes, for sure. Rogue, to me, is rock and roll. She's not student body president. 

Kelly: And now here we are, for better or worse, modern day Rogue!

Kelly: Though Mike Carey's work with Rogue in "X-Men Legacy" is excellent, I hated this Chaps (and often cowboy boots) look for her. It feels really forced and dated and also just awkward -- and not like a superhero. I also don't really buy it as like, "she's Southern so she -- likes chaps and cowboy boots."

Brett: I like everything about this costume from the waist up. The chaps and -- are those flared legs?! They're a lot much. But in general, I do like elements like cowboy boots and things in her wardrobe -- like what she wore on her road trip with Iceman in the mid-'90s. This is totally my bias, being from Nashville, but anything I could imagine actual hip, cool southern people wearing, I'm down for Rogue wearing. Boots? Yes. Chaps? Lord no!

Kelly: Well, for what it's worth, the barely wearing anything road trip Rogue -- daisy duke cut offs and bizarre strapless bustier and cowboy boots -- teenage me really loved. Although in retrospect, she was really messing with Bobby's head there, which feels very un-Rogue to me. I can see the cowboy boots working in some context, but not this one!  I totally dig Age of X Rogue -- like, it would not make sense for everyday Rogue to wear this, but for Reaper/Legacy Rogue, it so worked. I love the mostly black with just a hint of green. So great.

Brett: This is fantastic. It definitely doesn't make sense with the brawler-type Rogue that I prefer (I can't imagine all that fabric being practical in a scrap) but I love the black/green combo. It's a quick way to update her classic color scheme, too; it feels fresh and classic at the same time.

Kelly: Here, we enter a weird phase where I really like some things, but others are really not great. The tunic is cool and pretty original, and I love the low belt. The green and white is nice and simple and clean. I hate the weird scarf bib thing -- what is that even about??? Is that a callback to Hope's (equally ugly) scarf bib thing? It's both ugly as sin and makes no sense from a practicality standpoint. I'm not wild about the pouch, especially since I have literally never seen Rogue take anything out of a pouch and use it. I am also not a big fan of having so many X's on her costume -- 4 X's seems excessive. We get it, Rogue -- you're an X-Man.

Brett: I was really excited when this costume came along, because it felt like the first decent and totally new concept costume she'd had since the Jim Lee one; all the others were either hideous or went back to a variation on her original look. Now that you mention it, I think the costume would work better with just the shoulder X's, and the scarf is ridiculous, but I love the big belt. I'm a fan of belts and pouches and jackets. On the negative side, this costume features a front zipper that indulged many artists' worst, most-cheesecakey habits. I'm leaning into my stereotype as a '90s X-Men fan!

Kelly: Oh yeah, this began an awful period of many artists unzipping Rogue to an insane degree. We interviewed Ed Brubaker on 3 Chicks a while back and he was talking about how he sort of regretted the great Catwoman outfit they designed because it encouraged so much unzipping. We just can't have nice things I guess because that's also a great costume.

Moving on -- I'm a huge fan of Olivier Coipel's X-Men take (Classic Re-imagined Rogue) it's a really smart updated take on the old classic that brings in the tunic element that she'd been wearing in recent years -- a really nice blend of old and new actually. I like basically everything about it, and you know I love the return of the hood. Hoods4Eva, Brett. HOODS4EVA.

Brett: I will say this is the best interpretation of her classic look to date. I dig the boots -- I like big boots! It doesn't hurt that Rogue, in this run, was a total bad ass who derailed a train with just her strength. I'm going to say exactly what you think I'm gonna say -- this costume would totally work with a brown bomber jacket, and it would be dope. Yes, hood andjacket, it can work!

Kelly: [Laughs] I think a jacket witha hood could work on a redesign of this, but a jacket over this as a costume and not just something she "put on because she was cold!" would be overkill, I think.

I'm mixed on Acuña's take for the new book. We haven't seen much yet, so we'll have to see how it works in practice, but I have to admit that this initial illustration is very pretty. The cut is too low in the cleavage area, but the way the top is cut, plus the hood, creates some really great lines. I like the white as accent only, but again, the huge X on her stomach just seems excessive and makes even less sense now that it's not on her chest. I mean, who puts a logo for something on their tummy?

Brett: The lines on this are really gorgeous, but then again, Acuña can make everything look modern and appealing to me. Little bit of face palm with the cleavage, but I do like how it flows into the hood. The stomach X is weird, like Rogue's being followed around by a graphic from a Pepto-Bismol commercial.

Kelly: [Laughs] As usual, you get in the better (and last) joke. Unfair, man. Unfair. I should have picked someone less funny to write these with!

Okay, so it's time to vote. Let's be real, everyone knows what you're voting for -- I made mine a bit mysterious (even I don't know yet!) but make yours official for everyone playing at home.

Brett: Jim Lee Rogue, until the end of time. It's what Rogue looks like when I think of her in my head, and also when I look around my office -- because I have three different action figures of this very costume on display.

Kelly: You are completely devoted. Points for loyalty! I get no such points. Alright. And I'm going to go with -- you know, I thought it was neck and neck with one of the '80s punk Silvestri Rogue's and the Bachalo 2 (no cape) Rogue -- but I think I'm officially giving it to Classic Re-Imagined Rogue by Coipel. At this point it naturally feels a bit more modern and clean than the others I was considering. It really does make the best of the nostalgia factor while updating it for new audiences, and that's a hard line to walk. 

Alright folks, thanks for reading. We know this got suuuuper long. We'll (I'll?) try to be briefer next time. And don't forget to vote on your own favorite!

Monday, May 25, 2015


From CBR:

With three feature films slated for release, 2016 looks to be a big year for Fox's "X-Men" franchise. Following "Deadpool" in February and "X-Men: Apocalypse" in May will be October's "Gambit," a solo film starring Channing Tatum as the card-throwing charmer and future X-Man. Not much is known about "Gambit," other than that it will star Channing Tatum and be based off of a treatment from highly influential X-Men scribe Chris Claremont. Now, in an interview with Empire magazine, Tatum has revealed a little bit more info regarding what's in store for Remy LeBeau's debut as a leading man.

"Josh Zetumer just turned in the first draft of the script, and it's killer," said Tatum, as transcribed by ComicBookMovie. "None of us were sure how he was going to deal with the X-Men world. But we're going to be changing some of the tropes of these movies. It's always about saving the world [laughs], but maybe we're going to shift things a little but. There's so many ways you can take [an origin story]. You could do it like 'Batman Begins,' or a different take and go the 'Guardians of the Galaxy' route. All I can say is, I'm super excited."

Tatum went on to discuss what attracted him to the role and revealed that he's been a fan of Gambit for a while.

"I love Gambit," said Tatum. "I grew up in the South; my father's from Louisiana. We'd go to New Orleans and I heard all the dialects. It felt so different from the rest of America; it has its own ancient culture. So I identified with that. And he always felt the most real of the X-Men to me. He's kind of a tortured soul and he's not a good guy. But he's not a bad guy, either. He walks his own path. And of course he plays cards and drinks and is a martial-arts bad ass!"

"Gambit" is scheduled to open on October 7, 2016.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Marvel August 2015 Solicts

From Newsarama:

Thank you sandman for posting this link!

What an extremely disappointing bunch of solicts.  No joy for Rogue fans.  :-(

Variant cover by FRAZER IRVING
• Enchantress’s prophecy strangles Angela and Sera from all sides when they are forced to ride hell (and a few other realms, too) for leather to the distant coast.
• In a haunted castle, a tormented witchbreed girl named Anna Maria – a.k.a. the 1602 Rogue – makes a deadly deal – with a shocking price!
• Kieron and Frazer Irving bring to life the first tale Angela tells that is her very own – as the forces of Faerie close in!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

Thursday, May 14, 2015

IGN Reviews Uncanny Avengers #4

From IGN:


Written by Rick Remender | Drawn by Daniel Acuna

On the whole, this new series has been a welcome return to form after the slump that was AXIS, but some cracks are beginning to show. Rick Remender’s portrayal of Quicksilver isn’t up to par, with the character coming across like just another wise-cracking hero. Similarly, Luminous is a pretty one-note villain, with the story making little use of her connection to the High-Evolutionary or the Maximoff twins. The good news is that this issue makes better use of the full Unity Squad lineup as the heroes begin turning the tide and actually coming together as a team. Sabretooth in particular has some standout scenes as he becomes a one-man army. Daniel Acuna’s distinctive, sci-fi-flavored art remains a draw, even if the general level of detail has dropped compared to previous issues. Perhaps it’s just as well that the series looks to be going on a short hiatus after the release of issue #5. -Jesse

Final Score:


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Exclusive Preview: Uncanny Avengers #4

From Comicvine:

Thank you Rogue for the heads up!


From CBR:

Earlier this week, director Bryan Singer announced the release date for the long-awaited "Rogue Cut" of "X-Men: Days of Future Past." The new cut of the film, which will add 17 minutes of footage, will include a storyline involving Anna Paquin's Rogue that was originally excised from the theatrical release to condense the film's running time.

Now, the box art for the Blu-ray release has surfaced via the Twitter account of 20th Century Fox executive VP of marketing communications James Finn.

“Through the editing process, the sequence became extraneous,” Singer told EW back in December 2013, back when "Days of Future Past" was still in post-production. “It’s a really good sequence and it will probably end up on the DVD so people can see it. But like many things in the editing process, it was an embarrassment of riches and it was just one of the things that had to go. Unfortunately, it was the one and only sequence Anna Paquin was in, the Rogue character was in. Even though she’s in the materials and part of the process of making the film, she won’t appear in it.”

“It’s a big chunk, a substantial part of the movie,” screenwriter Simon Kinberg said in an interview last September. “We want to give [fans] the fullest picture of the film — behind the camera, and in front of it.” He added, “Every movie has scenes that are cut out, but not every movie has scenes cut out with such a beloved character.”

"X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut" will be released on Blu-ray on July 14th, which also marks the 15th anniversary of the release of the very first X-Men film.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Uncanny Avengers #4 (2015)

Does anyone know why Marvel hasn't released the digital copy of this issue yet?  
The hard copy was out last week?

Monday, April 27, 2015


From CBR:

• Marvel’s Mightiest Women finally get their own explosive series!
• In a secluded corner of the Battleworld, an island nation is fiercely protected by a team of Avengers the likes of which has only ever been glimpsed before…
• Fighting to protect the small sliver of their world that’s left, the Amazing A-FORCE stands shoulder-to-shoulder, ready to take on the horde!

Monday, April 20, 2015

X-Men - July Solicts 2015

From Newsarama:

X-MEN ‘92 #2
Variant Cover by TBA
• ROGUE & GAMBIT...together at last?
• WOLVERINE face-to-face-to-face with CYBER and OMEGA RED!
• All orchestrated by THE SHADOW QUEEN!
• Battleworld’s most ’90sest district’s tubular tale keeps rocking!
40 PGS./Rated T …$4.99

Variant Cover by TBA
• The Secret Wars sequel to the landmark inaugural X-Crossover continues!  
• In desperate need of a cure for their people, Havok, Wolfsbane and the Press Gang have invaded X-City.
• As old friends become new enemies, the war to save Genosha from extinction is on!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

Connecting Cover 1 of 5 by Gerardo Sandoval
Ant-Sized Variant COVER by TBA
Young Variant COVER by Skottie Young
• His war has been won. The few humans left alive are enslaved, the mutant rebellion crushed. EN SABAH NUR, the APOCALYPSE, rules his BATTLEWORLD kingdom without mercy, but the terrorist X-MEN plan to end his reign. Success means finding one very special mutant named CYPHER and unleashing a weapon that will kill Apocalypse -- and possibly all mutants, too!
40 PGS./Rated T+ …$4.99



Connecting Cover 2 of 5 by Gerardo Sandoval
Variant Cover by TBA
• The hunt for CYPHER brings MAGNETO’s X-MEN into confrontation with CYCLOPS & HAVOK’s ELITE MUTANT FORCE! Meanwhile, ANGEL has to protect a “flatscan” named JEAN GREY and DR. NEMESIS plans to sabotage DARK BEAST’s quest to become APOCALYPSE’s newest HORSEMAN.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


Monday, March 30, 2015

Uncanny Avengers Variant Cover

Thank you sandman for providing this link!

Jason Pearson Shares His Process For An Uncanny Avengers Variant Cover

Over on his Facebook pageJason Pearson shared these images showing the stages for his Uncanny Avengers variant cover. With the images, Pearson explains that he is a huge fan of Rogue so she got center stage and he admitted he doesn’t like Sabretooth much, hence he got pushed to the back.

It’s also interesting to see just how much the cover changed between the initial sketch to the finished product… like swapping Vision and Falcon and removing the missiles all together.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Marvel Introduces 'A-Force Presents,' An Anthology Collection Featuring Female Heroes

From Comics Alliance:

  Marvel has announced a new bi-monthly book called A-Force Presentsthat will collect issues of various Marvel comics featuring female heroes in trade paperback format. Rather than the traditional collection of a single storyline, these collections will be more of sampler of what’s going on at Marvel at any given time. This is a great idea from Marvel, and a really exciting example of how the publisher is taking women seriously as an audience. In their press release, Marvel explained the concept:

A bi-monthly series focusing on the strength, courage and power of Marvel’s female heroes, A-Force Presents collects a new selection of Marvel’s critically-acclaimed female led titles for fans to explore. Targeted towards young adult readers, each volume of A-Force Presents includes 6 issues and offers a clean entry point into the Marvel Universe through some of the most popular titles. Releasing this September, the first volume, A-Force Presents Vol. 1 collects the critically acclaimed first issue of Ms. MarvelCaptain Marvel,ThorShe-Hulk, Black Widow and Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. Don’t miss your chance to jump on board with Marvel’s mightiest superheroines when A-Force PresentsVol. 1 bursts on to the scene later this year!

In terms of outreach to an audience that isn’t necessarily going to comic shops, this is how it should be done. Last year, Bookscan sales of comics were up 17% while Diamond comics sales were up 4% — and the comics doing well at bookstores are overwhelmingly those created by or aimed at women and girls. It’s a mark of the drastic sea change in comics that a publisher as large as Marvel is putting together an initiative like this. The only real concern about a book like this is that consumers may be confused — will they know they’re not buying a complete story, but rather a sampler? Will future volumes continue the story by publishing second issues of the comics listed above, or will it sample a completely different list of comics? There’s also the question of where the collection will be shelved. It would be interesting if Marvel can manage to get these trades shelved in the YA section. That would be a spectacular coup that many publishers in comics would love to pull off. One reason many observers give for the failure of DC’s Minx line is that the initial plan to have the books shelved with YA titles rather than with the comics at bookstores was never implemented. For readers who want to pre-order the first A-Force Presents, it’s up on Amazon already. Volume Two is up as well, and the cover suggests that the series will at least continue the stories of Thor, She-Hulk and Ms. Marvel.   

Thursday, March 19, 2015


From Marvel:

In 1995, the X-Men as we knew them ceased to exist.

In the blink of an eye, a powerful mutant rewrote history and the Children of the Atom entered the Age of Apocalypse, dragging an excited and apprehensive fan base along with them. For months, the characters and comics we knew ceased to be, replaced by a familiar faces given new roles on a world where mutants ruled and only the strong survived.

This daring break from the norm proved a daring gamble that paid off, as the saga earned a place in Marvel lore as one of the most dynamic explorations into alternate reality storytelling to date and set the bar for massive events to come. Now, beginning in June as part of Secret Wars, one of the architects of the original epic, Fabian Nicieza, welcomes artist Gerardo Sandoval to one of the Warzones! he knows all too well with AGE OF APOCALYPSE.

“This Age of Apocalypse, taking place on Battleworld, is a story about the choices heroes have to make after they have already lost,” explains Nicieza. “What are the X-Men about if a dream of coexistence between humans and mutants has become a lost cause?”

As with the initial tale, this slice of Battleworld sees the immortal mutant Apocalypse having filled a power vacuum left by the absence of Charles Xavier from the larger landscape. Nicieza recognizes the potential in mining this perennial challenger to the X-Men in a realm where he has found the success that’s eluded him in the Marvel Universe.

He is no longer the challenger to the status quo, he is the status quo, and that makes for a different approach to the character,” the writer elaborates. “He doesn't have to scheme to prove his worth over others, he already has.

“And that’s where the real fun begins in exploring the character. So for Apocalypse, the question becomes, once you have proven you are the fittest in your crazy Darwinian game, then what do you do?”

While they may look and act drastically different from the mutant champions we know, the X-Men still oppose Apocalypse and his rule. Who will make the roster cut remains to be seen; Magneto leads the team and Age of Apocalypse stalwart Blink remains a key member, but the balance of the squad will be a mystery for now.

“The X-Men, whose branding as ‘freedom fighters’ in this world has long ago degenerated to the label of ‘terrorists,’ have seen their membership whittled down quite a bit—especially after our opening scene, he said with a cackle of evil in his voice,” teases Nicieza. “As with the original series, I decided to take one character and redesign them pretty dramatically. That should play out both in terms of a minor mystery and some fun character conflict as the series progresses.”

Beyond Apocalypse and the X-Men, expect to see a wide cast participate in AGE OF APOCALYPSE, with both sides—and more in between—padding their forces and vying for power.

“The Four Horseman serve [Apocalypse], though their composition is a little different from the original series,” Nicieza says. “Also, one gets taken off the board early on, setting up a secondary storyline about the characters vying to take his place.

“Cyclops and Havok still lead the Elite Mutant Force and their squad consists of multiple mutant siblings. Angel’s Casablanca-like nightclub plays an important part in the chess game between humans and mutants. And pay attention because you may see a partially lobotomized red-haired young lady working there as a hostess.

“And speaking of the humans—though in this world they are relegated to slave-caste status and live in a very small, defined ghetto—we’ll see familiar faces including Peter Corbeau and Carol Danvers.”

Surprisingly, the most key player in the fight against Apocalypse could be one of the most underestimated figures in X-Men history: Doug Ramsey, aka Cypher.

“The only thing I’ll say is that Doug Ramsey can not only interpret all languages, he can also discern the intent behind the words spoken,” Nicieza intimates. “That’s a very important power to have when one group of mutants is trying to find out what secret weapon the humans seem to be working towards and another group of mutants is trying to convince everyone that Apocalypse is bat-crap crazy!”

While readers will no doubt relish the opportunity to return to the Age of Apocalypse, it represents a significant homecoming for Nicieza as well, who not only crafted the original story, but spent years shaping the X-Men in the 1990’s, contributing hugely to the mutant tapestry that spread mightily across Marvel.

“The characters are so haunted and hopeful, megalomaniacal and majestic, that I imagine it’s what writing an opera would be like if I knew the first thing about opera,” he reflects on this latest assignment. “Working with [editors] Mike Marts and Xander Jarowey has been an absolute pleasure. The one aspect of the series that has really surprised and delighted me the most, because I wasn’t familiar with his art, was the dynamic, incredible power of Gerardo Sandoval's work! When I open up a new page on my laptop, they threaten to  burst my screen apart from sheer, brute force!

“I can’t wait for people to see this book—new and old fans alike! Original AoA readers or those who have joined the mutant merriment more recently will find everything they love about the X-Men rippling through this series!”

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015


From CBR:

Variant Cover by KRIS ANKA
• With monsters appearing on the utopian island of Arcadia and threatening its inhabitants, She-Hulk and her team of Avengers set out to discover the source.
• But when they stumble upon a conspiracy that reaches far beyond Arcadia, She-Hulk may just find herself on the wrong side of the law!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

Friday, March 13, 2015


From IGN:

Marvel revealed more information about the upcoming comic series X-Men '92 which takes place in the world of X-Men: The Animated Series. As revealed by Polygon, X-Men '92 will pick up where the animated series left off in 1997 and chronicle the continuing adventures of this iconic X-Men cast.

X-Men '92 will be the latest addition to Marvel's Infinite Comics digital line. The first digital chapter will debut on services like Comixology in May, with the first print edition hitting stores in June. The series will be co-written by Chris Sims and Chad Bowers (Down Set Fight), with Scott Koblish (Deadpool) providing the art.

X-Men '92 was originally teased last fallalong with a number of other Secret Wars tie-in comics. And while this series is being marketed as a Secret Wars tie-in (with the animated X-Men presumably occupying their own corner of Battleworld), Polygon revealed that X-Men '92 is planned as an ongoing comic rather than a mini-series. The solicitation for the first issue teases, "When Baron Kelly charges the Clear Mountain Project and its mysterious new director with 'mutant rehabilitation,' it's up to the X-Men to investigate!"

This should come as exciting news to anyone with nostalgia for X-Men: The Animated Series. The show was notable for adapting a number of iconic X-Men storylines from the comics and introducing the franchise to a wider audience. The show eventually led to an entire animated Marvel Universe during the '90s, including shows for Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Hulk, and Iron Man.

"I was ten years old in 1992," Sims told Polygon, "and that was the perfect time to get into the X-Men. There was just so much going on, and all those complicated stories and over-the-top characters were just so enticing, and not just because they were time-travelers with huge guns and scrappy little dudes with knives on their hands. It was this whole weird, complex world that I wanted to see more of, and now we're getting the chance to go in and make it even weirder."

The first chapter of X-Men '92 will debut in May at a price of $3.99. Let us know if you're excited for the return of this team in the comments below. And click here for the full scoop on all of Marvel's Secret Wars tie-ins revealed so far.


From CBR:

If you're a '90s kid, there's a good chance the "X-Men" animated series that ran from 1992 to 1997 on Fox Kids has a special place in your heart (and that you've never quite gotten Gambit's accent out of your head). It's also likely that you were very intrigued by the "X-Men '92" teaser that Marvel released back in November

Four months later, all has now been revealed via Polygon: "X-Men '92" is a digital-first "Secret Wars" series from the team of Chris Sims and Chad Bowers, co-writers of "Down Set Fight" for Oni Press, and "Deadpool" artist Scott Koblish -- and indeed, it's based on the beloved '90s cartoon.

"I was 10 years old in 1992," Sims, a longtime writer at ComicsAlliance, told Polygon. "That was the perfect time to get into the X-Men. There was just so much going on, and all those complicated stories and over-the-top characters were just so enticing, and not just because they were time-travelers with huge guns and scrappy little dudes with knives on their hands. It was this whole weird, complex world that I wanted to see more of, and now we're getting the chance to go in and make it even weirder."

"X-Men '92" is slated to debut in Marvel's digital-exclusive Infinite Comics format in May -- Polygon says it'll be the first series to spin out of "Secret Wars" -- with a print version available starting in June.