Saturday, 30 March 2013

Death's Head to Appear in Iron Man

Here's a panel taken from Iron Man issue #9, which is going to be drawn by Dale Eaglesham, and it looks pretty cool.

These two pages precede the above panel, which it look like Iron Man is looking for Death's Head.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Union Jack Art by John Romita Sr.

This piece of art by Johm Romita Sr. was used as a cover variant for Invaders Now! issue #2. Very nice, has a sort of 'Boys Own' type of feel to it, it would look good on the cover of one of those 'Commando' comics I used to read as a child.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Invaders Now! Graphic Novel Review

Invaders Now! published in 2011, contains issues 1-5 of the Invaders Now! comic, written by Alex Ross, Christos Gage, and illustrated by Caio Reis, plus cover art by Alex Ross.

The Invaders, the World War 2 premier super-hero team, consisting of Captain America, The Original Human Torch, and Namor, the core members, add to that two Brit's, Union Jack and Spitfire, with Cap's Sidekick Bucky, and The Torch's sidekick Toro.

The tale contained within the pages of this graphic novel involves a return to an episode in The Invaders past that needed resolving, that as far as I know didn't actually happen in any Invaders comic, so basically it was written for this run, so it seems. Also On the cover of this graphic novel you can see a character called Aarkus, he's the green guy who looks like a hybrid of Martian Manhunter and The modern Vision, also known as The Vision, The Golden-Age Vision, who according to this story was a member of The Invaders who took part in this unrecorded dark day in the Invaders past.

The story goes something like this...

The Vision gathers together all the original members of The Invaders, to correct a wrong they did in World War 2. Every member of the original Invaders are alive, apart from Union Jack, the original one died years ago, but to balance the numbers the current Union Jack is required.

This event happened towards the end of World War 2, and Arnim Zola had used a whole village in The Netherlands for an infectious experiment. The Invaders were sent in to stop Zola, and discovered the infected villagers, plus the Super Axis. The infected locals, if allowed to leave the village would destroy the whole of Europe, so The Invaders had a tough decision to make.

There you have it, The Invaders had to murder a whole village to save the world from infection, sacrificing a few for the good of the whole planet.

That was then, now to the now, the infection has appeared once more, in Europe, and The Golden-Age Vision, has transported The Invaders to the original site to face it once more. Once again The Invaders come up against The Super-Axis, who for those of you that don't know them, are Germany's equivalent of The Invaders from World War 2, who have also been drawn to this same place, but the only original members seem to be Warrior Woman and U-Man.

The person responsible for this whole new mess, and infection is, a villager, who didn't die, he's the young deformed hunchback, pictured next to Aarkus in an earlier frame.

He blames the Invaders for the death's of his village, and his family, and he's arranged for his family to be reborn, if The Invaders are sacrificed in their place. He's done a deal with a Demon-thing called Shuma-Gorath, who'd been banished from our realm.

The Invaders fight The Super-Axis, and confront the villager who wields the spear of destiny. They defeat the Super-Axis, and face The Villager in a church which houses a host of infected humans, who infect Union Jack.

The Invaders agree to sacrifice themselves, but request 24 hours to find a cure, which they manage to do, and return Union Jack, and the infected back to normal.

The villager, convinced by the ghosts of his dead family that what he's done, and doing is wrong, repents, and decides not to sacrifice The Invaders. Up pops Arnim Zola, backed by The Super-Axis, who's none too pleased with the turn of events, and shoots The Villager, and eventually kills him.

The Invaders fight Zola, and The Axis, whilst The Vision and the ghosts of the dead villagers fight Shuma-Gorath, to prevent it from entering Earth's plane. The Invaders defeat The Super-Axis once again, and Shuma-Gorath has the Spear of Destiny inserted into it's eye, by The Vision, sending it back to it's own dimension.

It wasn't a bad story, and the art was quite good, but in the grand scheme of things it seemed a little pointless. It would have been far better if there was some continuity, something that linked to a real major event, and if the art was all done by Alex Ross. It was fun, even if it was a little silly.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Baron Blood Art by Ruben Martinez

Check this out, a Baron Blood commission by RM73 (Ruben Martinez) on deviantART.

This is something special, reminds me of an art style similar to Ralph Steadman, or Gerald Scarfe, very nice!

Friday, 22 March 2013

Matt Smith To Quit Doctor Who?

There seems to be lots of rumours flying around at the moment about Matt Smith possibly hanging up his bow tie and departing the role of Doctor Who.

The BBC had this to say about Matt Smith's departure...

The last time showrunner Steven Moffat was asked how long incumbent Doctor Matt Smith would remain in the role, he snapped back with a cheerily brisk "Forever. For the rest of time". There's the slightest chance you know, that he wasn't telling the truth...

Of course he wasn't. If there's one thing more certain than death, taxes, and repetition of the phrase "Doctor Who?" in the new episodes, it's that Matt Smith won't be the Doctor forever. The Sun, amongst others, is keen for us to think that his departure will come sooner rather than later, namely, after the 2013 Christmas special. The newspaper ran a story suggesting that "Insiders say the festive special will be Matt's last outing as The Doctor", citing Smith's ambition to break into Hollywood as his reason for bowing out after a four year stint.

The BBC was quick to respond to the story, and had this to say:

“Sorry folks but even we don’t know what’s going to happen at Christmas. It’s not been written yet! But Matt loves the show and is to start filming the unmissable 50th anniversary, and the new series starting on Easter Saturday.”

It's not exactly a denial, and neither was Smith's answer to the question posed by Jonathan Ross last week, "I am very happy doing it. I do the anniversary special, then the Christmas special. At the moment it’s 2013 and we will see what 2014 holds.” 

If Matt Smith does indeed vacate the role, I for one will be very pleased. He's a very good actor, but I've hated his portrayal of the good Doctor, way too many cringe-worthy comedic moment for my liking, and lets be honest he had a tough act to follow, stepping in to David Tennants shoes. When you spend a whole episode frowning, you know something is wrong, which I do every episode of Doctor Who.

So who would make a great Doctor Who? Bennedict Cumberbatch would make a great Doctor Who, but he's turned down the role before, and he's now cracked Hollywood, he's in the new Star Trek movie.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Neil Gaiman Returns To Marvel Bringing Spawn's Angela With HIm!

Warning: this article contains some spoilers for the finale of Age of Ultron!

Remember that time when DC spoiled the outcome of Batman Incorporated #8 two days early? Today Marvel fired the latest shot in their eternal war of one-upmanship. They've partnered with the New York Times and revealed the big twist in the final issue of Age of Ultron that Brian Michael Bendis first teased several months ago. That's despite the fact that Age of Ultron #10 won't be shipping until June.

As expected, the twist involves the debut of an unexpected guest star in the Marvel Universe. Initially, the general assumption was that Marvel would be relying on Age of Ultron as a means of finally introducing Marvelman into the Marvel Universe, some four years after first announcing they had acquired the rights to the character. Others even speculated that the character featured on the cover to Age of Ultron #10.AI was Wally West, and that Marvel had somehow convinced DC to lend them a speedster. Hey, it's not like they're doing anything with Wally these days.

But the actual identity of the mystery character is one we can't imagine many readers guessed. Age of Ultron #10 will introduce the angelic warrior Angela into the Marvel Universe. Angela was created by writer Neil Gaiman and artist Todd McFarlane. She first debuted as an antagonist to Spawn in the pages of Spawn #9. Though she quickly developed a following, Angela eventually disappeared from the spotlight because of legal disputes between Gaiman and McFarlane. Essentially, Gaiman claimed creative ownership of Angela and other characters he created during his brief stint on Spawn, while McFarlane asserted that those comics had been written on a work-for-hire basis. Those legal disputes were finally sorted out recently, paving the way for Angela to appear wherever Gaiman wishes her to. And thus, she's making the jump from the Image Universe to the Marvel Universe.

Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada told the New York Times that Angela's return has been in the works for a long time. “We were looking for a good entry point to tease our fans and to let them know she was going to be a major player.” As revealed last week, Quesada will be illustrating the sequence in Age of Ultron #10 that first introduces Angela. However, those annoyed at Marvel spoiling this plot development so soon can rest easy knowing that her appearance is not a significant part of the climax of Age of Ultron. Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso compared her appearance to the post-credits sequences in the various Marvel Studios movies. Hopefully the finale issue will still have its fair share of surprises.

Bendis had previously teased that Guardians of the Galaxy would be significantly impacted by the fallout of Age of Ultron in its second story arc. That's because Angela will be joining the team beginning in July's issue #5. Perhaps even more significantly, Gaiman himself will begin co-writing the series alongside Bendis from that point. Between this and the upcoming Sandman Zero mini-series, Gaiman is returning to mainstream comics in a big way.

Of course, we have to wonder if all of this is still somehow building towards the eventual debut of Marvelman. Gaiman was writing the series for Eclipse Comics until the publisher folded and Marvelman's own legal troubles emerged. Is it possible that Gaiman has been tapped to continue that long dormant storyline or pen a new version of Marvelman at Marvel? We'll keep you updated on Angela's Marvel debut and the state of Marvelman as Marvel reveals more information.

*Thank you to IGN for this news, and article, This whole post was featured on IGN, and written by Jesse.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Bowen Designs Enchantress & Executioner

Wow! check these two Marvel Gods out, from Bowen Designs! You can get these two beauties in June.

The Enchantress will cost roughly £150 ($225 USD) and The Executioner is roughly £175 ($265 USD).

I own a few Bowen Busts, but I would love to own some of the full size statues, just need that lottery win!

Friday, 15 March 2013

Is Hank Pym Actually Ultron? in 'Age of Ultron'

Age of Ultron, the current big Marvel event running now. On CBR they are showing information on Issue five, which is half way through the run, but with no information as to why it happened etc. I spotted this image of Hank Pym on IGN, breaking out of an Ultron suit, but if you look at the reflections in the helmet, they look like other forms looking at him as he screams, possibly other Avengers?

The blurb to go with this issue, which is number ten, which is reported to be the final issue, that supposedly only three people at Marvel know the shock ending of goes something like this...

'Age Of Ultron #10A.I. MARK WAID (W) • ANDRE ARAUJO (A) Cover by SARA PICHELLI Variant cover by PAOLO RIVERA • One of Marvel’s most classic characters, Hank Pym, stands at the crossroads! • Faced with a dilemma only he can solve, Pym gambles his past and his future! • Some men are beyond redemption! By story’s end, Hank Pym will have an entirely new role in the Marvel Universe! 32 PGS./ONE-SHOT/Rated T+…$3.99'

So we all know it was Hank Pym who created Ultron in the first place, and if you read into the blurb, he has a major decision to make which will change his place in the Marvel 'U'.

Here's what I think...

I think Hank is responsible for Ultron, possibly the invasion, with his brain, and connection to Ultron, I think he will sacrifice himself to become Ultron, which Ultron has always wanted to be more sentient, more human if you like. There is a scene, in issue three where Red Hulk rips the head off of an Ultron robot, and it has a human spine. This leads you to think that Ultron has melded human and robot together, one step up from The Vision.

Add all this together and it leads me to believe Ultron and Hank Pym will become one and the same. Hank Pym will make the sacrifice hoping he can control the Ultron side and reverse the damage done to Earth by some sort of time travel. Evidence leaning towards this is also evident in issue nine where there's an image of Wolverine being skewered by Wolverine, but the Wolvie doing the job is wearing his very first costume, the yellow one he wore before joining the X-Men.

I could be wrong in all this but here's my guess...

Ultron invasion happens, Earth is under the rule of Ultron, Hank Pym becomes Ultron, heroes go back in time to stop Ultron, possibly sent back by Hank Pym, and finally Hank Pym/Ultron disappears into the time stream, and Earth is put right again.

Like all big Marvel events, heroes die or go bad, only to return at a later date to save the day, Captain America, Scott Lang as Ant Man, Wonder Man, Wasp, Vision, Peter Parker, oops, that hasn't happened yet, but we all know he'll take his body back. So the big sacrifice will be Hank Pym, and other heroes will also be affected in some way, Marvel have after all promised the Marvel Universe will be changed after this event. So we can be sure it's not an alternate universe story.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Mojo Bowen Designs Sneak Peak

Check this out, here's some photo's of a work in process from Randy Bowen's studio of Mojo. Mojo, the guy who runs Mojo world, the guy who sent the Warwolves after Rachel Summers, and the guy who is responsible for all the heroes who formed the original Excalibur to come together through his actions.