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Bill Mantlo And Rocket Raccoon – A Deal In The Making?

Bill Mantlo And Rocket Raccoon – A Deal In The Making? | Comic Books |

A Bleeding Cool reader writes;

"I was approached by a lawyer friend about a case he was working on with others regarding comic characters. Apparently a relative – the creators brother- is in contact with Marvel over some sort of reimbursement- to receive a lump sum for characters he created. He asked me about a few obscure characters that was created by this guys brother, but the one name that jumped out was “Rocket Raccoon”. I was told that the brother was trying to get some money for medical expenses, and was offered a five figure sum so far. I asked if the name was “Mantlo”- but my friend smiled and said he couldn’t say just yet."

Bill Mantlo, creator of Rocket Raccoon, to star in the upcoming Guardians Of The Galaxy movie, was the victim of a hit-and-run incident in 1992 and was brain damaged as a result, needing full time care. His brother and caregiver is Michael Mantlo, and there have been a number of fundraising efforts since to help pay for his care.

With a Guardians Of The Galaxy movie scheduled, hopefully a six figure sum may be more appropriate?

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The Washington Post Spoils The Ultimates Big Time

The Washington Post Spoils The Ultimates Big Time | Comic Books |

Bleeding Cool has been warning you that something big was going to happen in the Ultimate universe. Something media friendly, something guaranteed to get column inches, to get people talking and popping into comic shops to see what all the fuss is about.

And now it’s happened.

If you are anticipating tomorrow’s Ultimate Comics: The Ultimates, and it’s massive media affecting story, get off the internet. You won’t make it through until tomorrow without spoilers. You also should stay away from the newspapers, the radio, the TV, talking to anyone who knows you like comics. The Washington Post has kicked things off this morning, with an agreed release with Marvel Comics, and we are going to repeat the spoiler below. You have been warned.

Recently in the Ultimate Comics universe of titles, we have seen America destroyed, ripped asunder into warring groups of states, and general anarchy inbetween. The kind of “what if” stories that are sometimes told, in this case played out over several issues. It’s the closest thing to DMZ Marvel have ever got to.

And in the next issue of Ultimate Comics: The Ultimates out tomorrow, parallelling the current American political climate, Captain America, or rather the Ultimate Comics version of him, a strong conservative right winger from the nineteen forties, amidst a power vacuum, becomes President Of The United States.

And he wins on a write-in ballot.

The newspaper reports;

“We wanted to dramatize an extreme version of what we see in America today,” Ultimates writer Sam Humphries says. “In the face of all [this] divisiveness, what do we have in common? What does it mean to be an American? What can we agree on? And what makes America the place that it is?”

And what are the consequences, Humphries asks, of “the nation dissolving in front of our eyes?”

“This is a United States that’s being torn asunder by special interest groups — by opportunists looking to divide and conquer,” Marvel Entertainment Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso says in an exclusive to The Washington Post. “This is a metaphor for what goes on in real life, but on steroids.”

Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #15 and Ultimate Comics: The Ultimates #15 are published tomorrow. It is likely the spoiler will be the cliffhanger to the latter , feeding into the next issue, #16, with its new cover above.

What role Iron Patriot will now play waits to be seen…

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Neil Gaiman Shares Story from 'Innocence of Muslims' Actress

Neil Gaiman Shares Story from 'Innocence of Muslims' Actress | Comic Books |

An actress in the anti-Muslim YouTube movie that has provoked condemnation from US officials abroad and widespread protests all around the world has reached out to an unexpected friend to tell her side of the story: Sandman creator and celebrated author Neil Gaiman.

On his blog, Gaiman explained that he had met Anna Gurji first online, and then at the table-read of an upcoming movie called Blood Kiss. "She's a good sort," he explained, before sharing an email that he'd received from Gurji in which she asked for a way in which to explain her part in the controversial Innocence of Muslims movie without the media "chopping or manipulating the interview the way they want to."

"I told her to write her story for me, to say what she wanted, and I would put it up here for her, as she wrote it, to get her message to the world," Gaiman continued, adding "The best weapon against lies is the truth, after all."

The story Gurji shares is a sad one on a number of levels. The movie, as shot, was not the same as the one released, she says. "The movie that we were doing in Duarte was called 'Desert Warrior' and it was a fictional adventure drama. The character GEORGE was a leader of one of those tribes fighting for the comet," she explains. "There was no mention EVER by anyone of MUHAMMAD and no mention of religion during the entire time I was on the set. I am hundred percent certain nobody in the cast and nobody in the US artistic side of the crew knew what was really planned for this 'Desert Warrior'."

Not only were scripts given to actors incomplete, but scenes were redubbed after being shot, Gurji reveals. She describes her reaction to seeing the YouTube release as one of shock: "Two hours after I found out everything that had happened I gave Inside Edition an interview, the duration of which I could not stop crying," she writes. "I felt shattered." She goes on:

"It's painful to see how our faces were used to create something so atrocious without us knowing anything about it at all. It's painful to see people being offended with the movie that used our faces to deliver lines (it's obvious the movie was dubbed) that we were never informed of, it is painful to see people getting killed for this same movie, it is painful to hear people blame us when we did nothing but perform our art in the fictional adventure movie that was about a comet falling into a desert and tribes in ancient Egypt fighting to acquire it, it's painful to be thought to be someone else when you are a completely different person.

Like I explained to Inside Edition, I feel awful.. I did not do anything but I feel awful.

I feel awful that a human being is capable of such evil. I feel awful about the lies, about the injustice, about the cruelty, about the violence, about the death of innocent people, about the pain of offended people, about the false accusations."

"I will not go into hiding (since I have nothing to hide), because if we don't speak the truth, there is no world worth living for," she reveals, adding that she "want[s] to send my condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives. Everything happens for a reason, they say. I believe this is a trap of evil to separate us from our humanity. We must stray strong and not forget that violence has not been able to get us anywhere spiritually and has not been able to make the world a better place. Understanding and love will."

The use of Gaiman's blog as an outlet for the essay seems surprising in that he has no real connection to the movie or, for that matter, the Muslim community. And yet, Gaiman has always been an advocate for free speech and creative expression, two concepts at the very heart of the firestorm surrounding Innocence of Muslims. It can only be hoped that his sharing of Gurji's statement will lead to more rational discussion of the movie, and that such discussion can somewhat defuse the tension that it has caused to date.

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New 'Katamari' Comic Launches Today On ShiftyLook

New 'Katamari' Comic Launches Today On ShiftyLook | Comic Books |

Back in 2010 Floating World Comics in Portland, Ore. firmly established that comic creators and fans dig Namco's iconic 2004 video game Katamari Damacy (and its sequels) with an expansive Katamari-themed gallery featuring talent enow to draw a visit from the game's creator, Keita Takahashi. Flash forward to 2012 and the comics community is still feeling the love with Namco Bandai's games-to-webcomics arm ShiftyLook announcing a brand new Katamari comic starring the game's Prince protagonist, his cousins, and his father, The King of the Cosmos. Written and illustrated by the Buttersafe team of Alex Culang and Raynato Castro, the new Katamari comic debuts today at the ShiftyLook website with an update schedule planned for subsequent Mondays and Wednesdays.

From ShiftyLook's official press release:

"Katamari holds a very special place in the lore of NAMCO BANDAI," said Rob Pereyda, Producer & Editor-in-Chief of ShiftyLook. "As such, it was important to find a creative team who could truly capture the unique nature of the series that has touched the hearts of so many around the world. We believe that Buttersafe's Alex Culang and Raynato Castro are just the folks to undertake such a project."

You can check out more teaser images from the upcoming Katamari webcomic below.


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Hit Girl's growing up so fast in these new Kick-Ass 2 set pics

Hit Girl's growing up so fast in these new Kick-Ass 2 set pics | Comic Books |

Images from the set of Kick-Ass 2 show off a more grown-up Hit Girl, along with a brand-new toy! Chloe Moretz looks amazing, can't wait to see her kick ass all over again. Spoilers ahead.

As you can see, there are a collection of images of Hit Girl and her lovely purple motorcycle, perfect for stabbing criminals on the go. Also visible are a bit of Hit Girl and Kick-Ass at school. She looks thoroughly annoyed with the hero from the first film. They both have book bags, so that means they're both enrolled in the same school — let's hope she beats up the school bully. The sequel is currently filming and has recently confirmed Jim Carrey in the role of Colonel Stars!


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Amazon Make Amends For Marvel’s Briefcase Bungle With Free Copies Of The Avengers

Amazon Make Amends For Marvel’s Briefcase Bungle With Free Copies Of The Avengers | Comic Books |

As we were discussing a few weeks back, the special edition of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe: Phase One blu-ray set was bumped back in the schedule, right into next spring. For why? Because:

"Rimowa is suing Marvel and Disney for the use of their Topas attaché case, as seen in the Avengers movie, as a fancy prop replica for their collection, without license."


A lot of consumers, thousands of them apparently visitors to this very site, were not happy at all. Amongst them was our very own Michael Moran.

But today, Michael received some very good news. Here’s an excerpt from the e-mail that Amazon sent him.

"We’re writing to let you know that the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One-Avengers Assembled Collection will not be released by Marvel as originally expected. Instead, Marvel is planning to offer a similar collection in new packaging. The new collection will include the original titles offered with the first version of the item, and is expected to be available in the spring of 2013. To make this easy for you, we updated your order for the original collection and will ship the new collection when it becomes available. The price of the new collection will be the same as the original collection.

To show our appreciation for your understanding, we are providing you with a promo code to receive a free copy of Marvel’s The Avengers (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging). To be eligible, you must have placed your order between June 1, 2012 and August 28, 2012. Any cancelled orders are not eligible to receive the free copy. Codes must be redeemed by October 15, 2012."

Sorry to those of you who cancelled your orders after the set was bumped back. Not sure why you don’t deserve a free Avengers too, you were only reacting sensibly.

We understand that the reissued set is going to look different but come with even more extra material. I bet you it’s Phase Two related – what with Iron Man and Thor sequels coming soon

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Grant Morrison Doesn’t Care Whether You Are A Worm Or A Zebra

Grant Morrison Doesn’t Care Whether You Are A Worm Or A Zebra | Comic Books |

Grant Morrison’s favourite correspondent Laura Sneddon, has just written a piece for the New Statesman, interviewing the man. Here are Bleeding Cool’s six favourite bits.

On Gay Batman And Playboy

"And basically I said what I said in the book, that you can easily dial up the black-leather-fetishistic-night-dwelling aspects of Batman, and the masculinity of Batman, and get a pretty good gay Batman. But as I said, ultimately he’s not gay because he has no sex life, really. All he is is an adventurer.. sometimes they show him with girls, sometimes he never seems to be going out with girls.

“But they just took off the cool sound-bite which is ‘Batman is utterly, utterly gay, says Morrison’! That was it, I had to deal with that – people were really fucking mad at me for that one.”

On The Fan Who Ate Supergods

“[The] guy that ate Supergods!” Morrison laughs. “Cooked it and ate it on the basis that it was my fault that people couldn’t find alternative comics in their local comics stores. And I was standing in the way, pretending to be the face of alternative comics, and how I actually stood for corporate this or corporate … you know, I’m the man – again as I say, I’m a freelance writer, I’m not on staff at any company. But this guy ate the book!”

That’s quite impressive.

“It certainly is! His shit must have looked like a William Burroughs cut-up!”

On Leaving DC Superheroes. For Now.

“We have disagreements,” he acknowledges, “but to me disagreements are things that you deal with, problems are things you solve, and everyone stays friends, and negotiations are done. So I kinda felt that.. it just began to feel too unpleasant to work within a comic book fan culture where everyone was mad at you all the time and giving you responsibility for legal cases and things that Ihaveve got honestly nothing to do with in my life and will shortly have zero connection with.

“But I felt that. There was a sense of, a definite sense of the temple was being burned down and it was time to run away.”

On The Watchmen Situation. Without Actually Mentioning Watchmen.

“I own my stuff from Near Myths and all through the 80s, and St Swithin’s Day,” he says, the latter title featuring the attempted assassination of Margaret Thatcher which caused it to be raised in parliament at the time. “That’s what you did. If you want to own something you go and own it. So I don’t understand how you could get yourself into the position where you don’t own it and you’re angry about it. And again, it’s not a position I would endorse, other than saying, ‘I really feel sorry for you, for genuinely getting this wrong and being regretful,’ but honestly am I gonna leave my job and protest on your behalf? Of course not.”

On The Expected Reaction To His Wonder Woman

“No, no, I’m hoping, I’ve really done my research.” He pauses before continuing. “And again I find that a lot of that stuff, and I know it gets me into more trouble, it’s just all artificial to me. I don’t give a fuck what gender you are, or whether you’re a worm or a zebra. Honestly as long as you’re friendly and can communicate, that’s all I care about. And I can understand why you might take certain separatist positions but I just don’t feel that way.

… So I wanted to deal with that, what happens to eroticism and sex when it’s [three] thousand years after men, you know when even the women who’ve been doing it to one another are bored shitless after twenty five [hundred] years. So I think there’s something a lot weirder than what people anticipate coming up with this!”

And On Multiversity, And Actually Mentioning Watchmen

“It’s my Citizen Kane, this comic, I’m so proud of it.” Morrison smiles. “We’ve really worked hard to make it worthy of not only its source but to do all that in 38 pages and in a new way. So yeah it’s a big deal, but there’s other great ones. The Captain Marvel one’s great, the Ultra comic, which is the Earth Prime comic is the one that’s gonna really freak people out because I’ve come up with a way… it’s a haunted comic. The comic will do things to people that they will never forget. And it’s like technology, I’ve discovered a kind of technology that I don’t wanna tell because someone else will nick it and they’ll ruin it! But that one’ll freak people, it’s things comics have never ever done before.”

Comparisons to Watchmen will be hard to escape, particularly in light of the current Before Watchmen comics that DC are publishing, much to the distaste of Alan Moore.

“It’s so not like Watchmen,” Morrison states. “In the places where it is like Watchmen people will laugh because it’s really quite… it’s really faithful and respectful but at the same time satiric. I don’t think people will be upset by it, in the way that they’ve been upset by Before Watchmen which even though it’s good does ultimately seem redundant. You know, it’s actually good – I mean, Amanda Conner’s stuff is brilliant, I’m really enjoying it, and Darwyn Cooke’s Minutemen is great, the rest of them [I'm] not so hot on but they’re really nicely written comics, really quite adult but kind of redundant.

More on Frank Quitely’s bumheids, Happy, MorrisonCon, getting an MBE and the rest at the New Statesman.

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'Erf' Is The Garth Ennis Kids' Book You Never Expected (And Sort Of The One You Did) - ComicsAlliance

'Erf' Is The Garth Ennis Kids' Book You Never Expected (And Sort Of The One You Did) - ComicsAlliance | Comic Books |
Here's a 100% true sentence that I honestly never thought I would type: I just got a copy of the new book for small children written by Garth Ennis.

It's called Erf, and when Ennis and illustrator Rob Steen announced their project on Kickstarter, the major reaction was surprise. Steen may be an award-winning children's book illustrator best known for his work on Flanimals with Ricky Gervais, but Ennis's past writing on books like Preacher, Punisher, the Boys and Crossed tends to be marked by a few more violent dismemberments than you might expect from a new book for kids. Now that I finally have my copy, though, I can tell you that it's sweet, touching, and also kind of exactly what you'd expect from a kids' book written by Ennis.

The fact that it's good doesn't really come as a surprise, even though it's a pretty big departure from the type of book Ennis is known for. After all, part of the reason that I wanted to contribute to the Kickstarter -- aside from just being a fan of his to begin with -- was that I love to see creators expanding their horizons and working on new and different kinds of projects. Hitman and Preacher and Punisher may be grouped pretty close together in terms of subject matter, but they're also so good that it's obvious that the guy writing them is probably capable of a little versatility.

Plot-wise, Erf is a sort of evolutionary fable. It's set in the primordial era with a cast of characters taking their first steps out of the ocean and onto land, and it's very clearly meant to be read to a child. The characters all have funny names and make funny noises and speak in sentences that almost beg you to act them out as you read.

But while all that might be different, the themes Ennis and Steen are hitting with this book are the same that you'll find in a lot of Ennis's past work. It's a book about self-sacrifice in the name of helping others, about bravery versus cowardice and, in the end, about how we should always remember the people who did have the courage to make those sacrifices. Those are elements that you'll find in almost all of his work, and as a fan, I was both shocked and absolutely delighted to see them showing up in this format.

It's really not that far off from his other work, when you get right down to it. I mean, I honestly would not have been surprised to see something called "The Colossux" show up to make trouble for Tommy Monaghan and Natt the Hat.

If you missed out on getting your copy through the Kickstarter, I wouldn't worry too much: Ennis and Steen topped their goal, so hopefully an increased print run will mean that they're not too difficult to track down -- and if you're a fan of either's work, or just want a sad, sweet, somewhat scary story to read to your kids, it's worth it.

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The J Scott Campbell Austin Powers Comic That Never Was | Bleeding Cool

The J Scott Campbell Austin Powers Comic That Never Was | Bleeding Cool | Comic Books |

Just sold on eBay for a ridiculously low price of $10.50. One of a very few remaining posters that prove that, at one point, Wildstorm Comics pitched to make an Austin Powers comic book. This poster, with art by J Scott Campbell, was created for the pitch.

Naturally, it never went through, but we are left with this glimpse of what once was…

Click thru for more images

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Marvel Planning To Polish Up Edgar Wright’s Ant Man Footage And Release It

Marvel Planning To Polish Up Edgar Wright’s Ant Man Footage And Release It | Comic Books |

I’m prepared to bet that the next time we see Edgar Wright‘s Ant Man test footage, which was screened to rapturous reception at Comic-Con this summer, it will be over at Marvel’s website. Ask me to place a bet just yesterday, however, and I would have said that we’d be waiting for the eventual Ant Man Blu-ray.

What has changed in the interim?

Just a few words from Marvel Studios producer Victoria Alonso, speaking with Omelete:

"What we showed at Comic-Con was a still unfinished video and we are working to finalize it. And I think you will see it, but do not know where yet. We always hear what the fans are saying and we’re doing everything to meet what they ask. I do not know if we’ll publish it online, but I have no reason to imagine that is not a good way. If that’s what the fans want…."

Is that what the fans want?

I think the fans just want to see it. Even those of us who have already seen it.

The reason the footage would not end up at the end of another Marvel movie, introducing the character in the typically teasing Marvel fashion, is that Wright‘s test film was clearly shot on a budget, has a stand-in actor in the Ant Man suit, and that said suit is very likely not going to match the final product at all.

It’s a really fun little demonstration, though. It will get an awful lot of folk very interested in seeing this movie.

Wright is about to start production on The World’s End. If he rolls on into Ant Man next year it will the fastest rollover in his whole features career. Would be nice to see it set a precedent. C’mon Edgar - line ‘em up.

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MarvelNOW! Launches Cable And X-Force With Dennis Hopeless And Salvador Larroca | Bleeding Cool Comic Book, Movies and TV News and Rumors

MarvelNOW! Launches Cable And X-Force With Dennis Hopeless And Salvador Larroca | Bleeding Cool Comic Book, Movies and TV News and Rumors | Comic Books |

Sounding a little like a beat co,bo from the sixties, Marvel have allowed CBR to announce the new Cable And X-Force series by Dennis Hopeless and Salvador Larroca, as teased last week. This does however suggest another X-Force series to launch separately to this…

I suppose if Avengers Arena can totally swipe Battle Royale for its first cover, then Cable And X-Force can do the same to The Usual Suspects/Trainspotting…

Oh look, it’s got Forge in it.

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Swipe File: Rob Liefeld, Marv Wolfman And George Perez

Swipe File: Rob Liefeld, Marv Wolfman And George Perez | Comic Books |

So how close was Deathstroke's origin in Deathstroke issue zero, to the original in Tales Of Teen Titans 43? Very, it seems...

In Swipe File we present two or more images that resemble each other to some degree. They may be homages, parodies, ironic appropriations, coincidences or works of the lightbox. We trust you, the reader, to make that judgment yourself? If you are unable to do so, please return your eyes to their maker before any further damage is done. The Swipe File doesn’t judge, it’s interested more in the process of creation, how work influences other work, how new work comes from old, and sometimes how the same ideas emerge simultaneously, as if their time has just come. The Swipe File was named after the advertising industry habit where writers and artist collect images and lines they admire to inspire them in their work. It was swiped from the Comic Journal who originally ran this column, as well as the now defunct Swipe Of The Week website.


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Sorry, there is no Dark Knight Rises Director's Cut

Sorry, there is no Dark Knight Rises Director's Cut | Comic Books |

Rumors have been spreading that The Dark Knight Rises DVD would have and extra 30 minutes of footage including more details on Bane's origin story. Sadly those rumors are all false.

The Playlist is debunking those reports, based on sources close to the director. This shouldn't be that big of a surprise, since Nolan rarely shoots unused footage and has been quoted multiple times saying just that. It's expensive and a waste of everyone's time. And even when he has unused scenes, he chooses not to include them on his DVDs.

But we can't blame the fans. They (like us) just don't want the Nolan Batman legacy to end. We can only put our faith in Nolan and know that this was, most likely, for the best.

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Is Paul Cornell Leaving Demon Knights Too?

Is Paul Cornell Leaving Demon Knights Too? | Comic Books |

There’s been a rumour going round the British comics industry circles of late that Paul Cornell is leaving Demon Knights and setting up new projects at Marvel to replace it. His Vertigo book, Saucer Country, would be unaffected.

That is literally all I know, or have heard. There’s not an official word I can get, and Cornell hasn’t even responded to e-mails. But it does seem to be rather persistent.

Cornell came to geek fame writing Doctor Who novels, creating the character Bernie Summerfield, before writing for the TV show itself. He then started to work for Marvel Comics, after being introduced by Mark Millar, and was then headhunted by DC Comics. Working on Action Comics, he wrote a critically acclaimed run with Lex Luthor in the lead, before launching Stormwatch and Demon Knights for the New 52. He walked off the former, I understand for reasons of increased editorial micro-managing, though he has never commented on this, but remained on Demon Knights.

Setting up the Medieval history of the New 52, as well as being a direct precursor for Stormwatch, it has been a Dungeons & Dragons game, played out with a comic book narrative, with a relatively small but devoted fanbase, of which I include myself.

The other question is, will Demon Knights survive without Paul? The solicitation for issue 15 reads.


Art and cover by BERNARD CHANG
On sale DECEMBER 12 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
• EVERYTHING changes this issue!
• Merlin, Lucifer and a connection from the past to Stormwatch are all here…right before the team enters what could be their final battle!
• So what happens next? Or should the question be when? And whose hands will the Black Diamond fall into?

It all seems a bit final. A number of DC titles seem to be going through some big changes around the issue 15 and 16 mark, maybe we’ll find out more soon.

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'I'm Gonna Write It Like I Stole It' -- Sam Humphries On Taking Over 'Uncanny X-Force'

'I'm Gonna Write It Like I Stole It' -- Sam Humphries On Taking Over 'Uncanny X-Force' | Comic Books |

In January, Marvel is relaunching Uncanny X-Force as part of their "Marvel Now!" initiative with the new creative team of Sam Humphries and Ron Garney. For Humphries, it's a pretty big deal: Not only is this his second major gig at Marvel after landing the job on The Ultimates, but he's also taking over a book that he loves as a fan. So how does he plan to deal with the pressure of stepping into a title that's gotten rave reviews for dealing with strange, unexpected corners of the Marvel Universe? By going all out.
I spoke to Humphries about where he plans to go with the book, how he wants to set himself apart from his predecessor, and why Puck needs more love.

ComicsAlliance: X-Force as a concept has always been geared towards aspects that are outside the core X-Men titles, whether it's the Rob Liefeld stuff that kicked it off or the Peter Milligan / Mike Allred run that became X-Statix, and then into Rick Remender's run as well. Where do you see your run fitting into that? Are you planning on dealing with things outside that core?

Sam Humphries: Yeah, absolutely. One of my favorite things about this book, not just working on it but reading it over the years, is that it delivers a story that you can't find in any other X-Book. Theres's a combination of characters and character dynamics, and they go out and find and deal with situations and beings and all sorts of dark secrets that you can't find anywhere else. Through the different incarnations, we've seen that implemented in different ways. You have the Rob Liefeld paramilitary extreme version, you have the wacked-out, nearly psychedelic Milligan/Allred version, you've got Rick Remender doing his thing with questions of killing and murder and when it's okay and when it isn't.
Even though it's a definition, it gives you a lot of room to move within that definition. There's a lot of different things that you can pick apart in the Marvel Universe, and specifically the mutant universe, that aren't ever really addressed in the main book. It's a huge opportunity to do some cool things, new things, to get people excited and present the whole mutant world in a new light.

CA: In terms of stuff that you can't deal with in the other books, are there any obscure bits from past X-Men or X-Force stories that you're keen on revisiting, or is it more that you want to go to new places that we haven't seen?

SH: I gotta say, it's a little of column A, little of column B. I was a huge X-Men fan growing up, a huge Claremont and Simonson era fan, and so I have a lot of knowledge of the mutant world whether I wished to keep it or not. Certainly, over the years, there have been times when I've wished I could delete that information and make way for something useful, but thank God I didn't, because now it's actually useful.
So I've been using a lot of that material and doing a lot of hard work. A lot of hard research, a.k.a. sitting around reading old comics. But X-Force is a real opportunity to go down new roads and see new things. For me, it's a mix. Long-term X-Men fans will definitely find juicy bits to sink their teeth into. Familiar characters, familiar locations, familiar themes. But my job is to take these into the context of X-Force and present them in a whole new light. To see a new, perhaps dark corner of locations you've seen before.

CA: What kind of locations? You said before that you wanted to go places that aren't seen in the other books, so there won't be much at the Jean Grey School or Utopia.

SH: Exactly. It's not that we won't ever see those places, but you'll see a lot of them in the other books. What we're going to do is cut this crew loose and let them roam around the world to various locations. Some are real-life locations, some are Marvel Universe, some may not even be on Planet Earth.
When the X-Men show up in London, Captain Britain comes right out and maybe they meet the Queen. If X-Force comes around, they see a different side of London. Kind of like if Justin Bieber goes to New York, he sees a very different New York than you and I would see. His experience of the world is very different from ours, and I think there's definitely differences in the way that X-Men experience locations and the way X-Force does.

CA: Do you think there'll be a difficult balance there, in terms of what fans want to see or are expecting to see, and what you want to do as a creator that's outside that?

SH: Yeah. I think it's always a balance. There are lots of things that

are cool and fun to write and not necessarily cool and fun to read, you know? There's always a balance in terms of mining past issues and past continuity for material versus making up new sh**, but there's a balance that X-Force as a book is uniquely positioned to explore. It's always had its own particular identity and its own unique lens to look through and see things in new ways.

CA: You mentioned that you feel it's a book with a unique cast. Is it going to be the same group we've seen in Remender's run?

SH: No, it's not. This is not any cast that I think anyone can say they've ever seen before. This is not a classic Wolverine, Rogue, Colossus line-up. It's definitely a new mix of characters thrown together in ways that they really have never encountered each other before.
The group that we start off with right off the bat is Psylocke, Storm, Puck and Spiral, and we have a few more characters joining the group in the first few issues. In my mind, all those characters are wild cards. They're all strong personalities, they're all strong in terms of their powers, they've all got dark secrets and they've all got a rebellious streak. That to me is a really attractive part of the book, being able to balance all those character dynamics at once.

CA: When I think of the most powerful X-Men characters, Puck is definitely one that always comes to mind.

SH: [Laughs] Oh, you sweet talker. Don't lie to me. I think Puck is a character that deserves more love. He's like a Canadian Indiana Jones, he's an adventurer. He's also gone out and faced a lot of dark stuff out in the world, but he does it with this wry sense of humor. He's a guy that despite being short of stature, he always finds a way to kick somebody's ass. That kind of character who has a wit and determination is fun to write, and I think he's going to be a good mix with these other characters in the book who all tend to be super-serious all the time.

CA: Was that roster something you brought to the table?

SH: Yeah, absolutely. You know, it's a collaborative effort, especially because this book spins out of the end of Rick's run and there were characters that I couldn't use and characters that they felt I should take a really strong look at, but in the end, I'm really psyched about this roster. A lot of these ideas, not just the ones I mentioned but the ones we've got coming up, came directly from me and my desire to write them and put them through their paces, see what they're made of, put them against each other and see what happens.
It's going to be a fun book. It's going to be a fun group of characters to spend some time with.

CA: You mentioned that the focus is on Psylocke. I'm curious as to your take on her, because she's another one of those characters that's been all over the map.

SH: She's been through the machine in more ways than one, you

know? In the comics, she's been through a lot. In real life, she's been handled by a bunch of different writers, some of whom take her in opposite directions. In both cases, I think it's fair to say that Psylocke is a survivor. She's someone who rises above her complicated past and the tragedy and figures out what's best for Betsy.

I can't spoil anything, but at the end of Rick's run, we leave Betsy in one situation, and in the first issue of my run, we pick up six months later, and Betsey is definitely in a life transition point. It's kind of being in that moment that kicks off the events of that first arc.

CA: How has it been working with Ron Garney?

SH: Ron is awesome. This is technically not our first collaboration, we worked together on two pages of Ultimates. Even just in those two pages... I was already a fan of his work, especially Captain America, which I referenced a lot in my Ultimates run, and we just hit it off right away. So someone says "hey, it'd be cool to work together someday!" and you go "hey, that'd be awesome!" When is that ever going to happen? Turns out it happens on my very next assignment.
He's got such a great energy and vibe for this book, and I can't wait to

make him draw all kinds of disturbing sh**.

CA: Remender's run has been pretty universally praised. Obviously, you're writing Ultimates as well, so it's not like this is an entirely new thing for you to be on a high-profile book, but was there any pressure? Did you get together with him and compare notes?

SH: Hell yeah there's pressure. The other book I write for Marvel is following up Jonathan Hickman on the Ultimates, so it seems to be a pattern at this point that I just have to figure out how to fill pretty big shoes on really excellent titles. This is not a Jack Kirby walking into DC's office and saying "give me your lowest selling title" situation. It's intimidating.
X-Force has been one of my favorite books since before Marvel even knew my name. I've been loving the sh** out of Rick's run, and Rick and I have known each other for years. He was very open, very generous with his notes and his thoughts about where to go, and his experiences writing the book. But the thing about Rick's run, and I can say this because I know what happens, is that Rick nails the end of his run. Kills it. His whole run on Uncanny X-Force is a complete story, it has a beginning, a middle and an end. I love his run enough to respect that and acknowledge it, but I also love it enough to leave it alone.
Nobody wants to see me try and continue X-Force as a watered-down version of Rick Remender. Rick asked questions in the book and addressed them. There's nothing left for me to continue, but it would not be an enjoyable experience for anyone involved, for the readers, for Rick, for me or for Marvel. No one would come out pleased. This spins directly out of the events of Rick's run, but it takes the concept of X-Force, the mandate of the book and the characters down a new path with a new focus.
CA: Is there a conscious decision to stay away from plot elements like Otherworld and Apocalypse?
SH: I wouldn't say it's a conscious boycott by any means, but I read Rick's stuff with Apocalypse and I'm like "Damn, he did it." Slam dunk. I don't really have anything to add to that right now, nor, I think, is anyone asking me to add to it right now. "The Dark Angel" saga f***in' kicks ass, you know?
That's not to say that if, down the road, I had an idea for a good Apocalypse story, I wouldn't do it. It's like the difference between having Bruce Springsteen onstage and a Bruce Springsteen marionette onstage. It makes everything look terrible. So right off the bat, I'm focused on a new status quo for this team, a new line-up. It's a new #1, a new focus, and we have new things to address. The most important things I take from Rick's legacy are just writing the hell out of the book.
I'm gonna write it like I stole it, basically.
Rick did not yield or stop at any stop signs in his run. It's ruthless and compelling and exciting, and those are the things we're going to take. That's the kind of mandate you get when you hop on X-Force. They've got all the mainstream X-Men stuff handled, you know? You have Bendis and Jason Aaron steering the X-Men ship, they don't need a knockoff of that or someone doing that with a different set of characters. My job is to deliver stories and surprises and excitement and experiences that you can't get anywhere else.

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Genndy Tartakovsky on The Status of His Luke Cage Comic

Genndy Tartakovsky on The Status of His Luke Cage Comic | Comic Books |

It sounded so cool. Way back in 2007, Marvel announced CAGE!, an out-of-continuity mini-series celebrating Luke Cage in all his '70s Power Man glory. The book was to be written and drawn by Genndy Tartakovsky, the creative mastermind behind Dexter's Laboratory, Samurai Jack and Star Wars: The Clone Wars (the good version). As explained at the time, the series wasn't just going to serve up pulpy "blaxploitation" fun but would also take a "super-satirical look at 1970s Marvel comics... packed with plenty of nostalgic Marvel characters and costumes [and] loads of deliciously-dated pop culture references to boot!"

And then... nothing. Tartakovsky's plate filled up pretty fast; while fans waited for an update, he launched a new series on Cartoon Network (Sym-Bionic Titan) and then prepped a move to the big-screen. His theatrical debut, Hotel Transylvania, will arrive in theaters on Friday, September 28. And before he has a moment to catch his breath, he's already returned to the drawing board with an upcoming 3D movie version of Popeye.

So what happened to CAGE! then? During an interview with Moviefone, to promote Transylvania, we asked Tartakovsky for an update on the series. He explained the cause of the book's delays, and revealed that it still may see the light of day.

CA: What is the status on the Luke Cage comic that you were developing with Marvel?

GT: [Laughs] I can't believe you're asking me this.

CA: I just have to know.

GT: So it's all written, it's all drawn, it's finished. It needs to be inked and I never got a chance to ink it and color it. I haven't talked to Marvel in forever and I don't know if the editor is already gone, the one that I was working with. (Note: Aubrey Sitterson, the editor overseeing CAGE! left Marvel in a full-time capacity in 2008.) Every time I turn on my computer and I see some images from it, I get so sad because that is the one thing I really want to finish and the hard part is done -- that is the crazy part. I've got all four issues done and they're just sitting there and it's killing me.

CA: Are you going to finish it come hell or high water?

GT: I'm going to try. I'm going to finish it when I get a free minute, when all of this subsides. I'm going to call them and see if they're still interested in finishing it.

CA: Well I'm definitely still interested in reading it, so you can tell Marvel that there is an audience demand for it.

GT: Well if it doesn't work out, I'll just send you the pencils and you can read it.

The full interview with Tartakovsky featuring updates on Popeye and the possibility of a Samurai Jack film, will premiere on Moviefone, closer to release date.

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Dave Sim Replies To Fantagraphics' Offer to Republish 'Cerebus'

Dave Sim Replies To Fantagraphics' Offer to Republish 'Cerebus' | Comic Books |

Following Dave Sim's announcement of a "Doomsday Scenario" departure from comics, Fantagraphics publisher Kim Thompson made a public offer to repackage Sim's classic Cerebus series in a "more bookstore-friendly format" to bring the work to a whole new audience. Perhaps appropriately, Sim also responded publicly - and suggested that the entire thing remain open to everyone.

Sim's Doomsday Scenario was outlined in the editorial that appeared in the final issue of his glamourpuss series; he described it as "selling my Cerebus original artwork as slowly as possible, and looking at ways to liquidate the Cerebus Archive itself, up to and including just sending all of it to a landfill site or paying 1-800-GOT-JUNK to haul it all away, selling the house, liquidating the last of my RRSPs and my life insurance policy and just... disappearing." Thompson's response to that was to suggest that someone else take Cerebus on, and give it a "new lease on life it... so richly deserves":

"Heck, such repackaging might very well pay Sim enough that he could spend the next several years drawing up whatever the hell he wanted in terms of new projects and not have to worry about making a dime off of them in the interim. (If he's got too much of a terminal hatred for us, I suspect IDW or Top Shelf would step into the breach too.) But I think he's too deep into his Final-Station-of-Dave-Sim-the-Martyr narrative to even consider such an idea."

That turned out not to be the case; instead of outright rejecting the idea, Sim hedged his bets slightly. After initially refusing the idea ("I'd have to see deep inside your financial statements," he explained as a reason why he wasn't immediately drawn to the notion. "What's your track record for paying royalties? Are you late? Are you getting later? Who do you pay and how often? Very messy, and I'd rather be drawing comics"), he moved on to suggest that traditional publishing was nearing an end - "I think we might be moving past the point where any intellectual property has the publisher," he says, without much explanation - he does an about-turn at the last moment:

"But my mind isn't closed on the subject. "Sorry, Dave, you want to sell Form & Void where New York Times-worthy books are sold, you're going to have to climb up in the cage and bite the head off the chicken (metaphorically speaking)." Well, so be it. As President Kennedy said, "Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us also never fear to negotiate." Let's do so publicly. Completely publicly. The contract Fantagraphics is offering me, how Kim envisions the context being developed, candidates for doing the New York Times-worthy "contextualizing" (first salvo: please no Jeet Heer, as much as I like Jeet as a person and I do like Jeet as a person). Does Kim want to do it himself? Does Gary?"

It'll be interesting to see what - if anything - happens next. Sim's suggestion seems to imply a playfulness more than a genuine desire to proceed, and assumes that Thompson would be more into the idea than he seems so far if anything were to actually happen. But stranger things have happened in comics publishing in the past, so this might be worth paying attention to in upcoming days.

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Rumor: Man of Steel could feature the most brutal superhero beatdown ever filmed

Rumor: Man of Steel could feature the most brutal superhero beatdown ever filmed | Comic Books |

New rumors circulating about the new Superman movie Man of Steel include a massive, vicious fight for Clark Kent — only it's not with the villain you expect. Spoilers ahead...

Superman reportedly gets his ass kicked not by General Zod, but by his sidekick, Faora. And apparently it's three times worse than another famous superhero smackdown.

Comic Book Movie has a report from their Super Hero Hype message boards, taken from an alleged source close to the production:

"In line with what I've heard, Superman barely scrapes by in the movie against Zod and Faora and other supposed less powerful enemies, the person who literally beats the bloody hell out of him the most is not Zod (he actually apparently fares much better against the General) is Faora. You know the ass kicking Spider-Man receives from Green Goblin in spider-man 1 what with Tobey screaming in major pain with each punch and knee that Goblin gives him... multiply that by 3 and that's what Faora does to Superman. Or of Omni-Man's beat down of Invincible.

At first they're not as powerful but later on as she applies her fight training and adapts them to her powers, she gives Superman one of the worst beatings a hero has faced on camera... She "Doomsdays" him... literally pulverizing him with precision and lethal strength with hitting pressure-points, nerves and even just outclasses Supes in bare knuckle and gives Supes a severe beat down...he's total agony this entire time, bloody and broken and barely gets away. My buddy doesn't know at all how Superman defeats these guys eventually but he did say that Superman in this film gets hurt a lot more easily than Routh's pre-crisis Superman...the military can hurt him too but Faora pretty much nearly kills him in hand to hand."

Of course this is totally unconfirmed and just a rumor at this point, but it sounds pretty exciting. A Superman who actually has some vulnerability could wind up being more heroic than a version of Supes that shakes off any challenge.

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Thor 2 Mini-Rushes – Baddies, Warriors, Fandral And Stan Lee

Thor 2 Mini-Rushes – Baddies, Warriors, Fandral And Stan Lee | Comic Books |

Patrick Dane does Brendon’s dirty work for him, for Bleeding Cool.

While we have already seen Chris Hemsworth head-stomping his way through battle on the set of Thor 2, there were still questions as to what exactly whose heads he was stomping.

We’ve got more on set pictures now, courtesy of Spiber-Man, which give us another good look at the mystery marauders.

And look – they are seemingly packing heat. Now we want to hear some more definite guesses from you as to who these beasts are.

And just to reassure the Asgardian gods that we are not picking sides here, click through for a look at the other team…

We’re pretty sure that these pics by Wayne Howes give us our first look at Zachary Levi, taking over the role of Fandral.

Firstly you’ll see him up in the top left, pulling his best battle stance. And then you can see his back side. In case you wondered what that would look like.

And just to spoil you further, Nuke the Fridge have reported some confirmation of Stan Lee’s inevitable cameo. Of course, Stan seems pretty jazzed for the role. Appearing on stage at LA’s Comikaze Festival, The Man said:

"You’ve never seen anything like it, neither have I. Don’t miss it!"

I’m now intrigued to see if I have seen something like it.

Maybe we will get a superteam of the many Stan Lee look-a-likes that the Marvel Movieverse has amassed, cameo by cameo, over these last few years. I haven’t seen anything like that…


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Young Heroes Enter Hopeless And Walker's 'Avengers Arena' - ComicsAlliance

Young Heroes Enter Hopeless And Walker's 'Avengers Arena' - ComicsAlliance | Comic Books |
With the Avengers Academy concluding in November and the Runaways cast currently without an ongoing series to call home, fans of Marvel's younger generation of heroes and villains may be wondering what's next for their favorite characters. Dennis Hopeless and Kev Walker have the answer: Totally killing each other.

Members of both teams will be just a few of the 16 young adults that longtime X-Men antagonist Arcade will gather at his Murder World island this December to duke it out in the new Marvel NOW! title Avengers Arena.

"I don't want to give too much away, but I can promise a lot of murder in this new Murder World," Hopeless said in an interview at

The title's sprawling cast includes former Avengers Academy recruits Hazmat, Mettle, Reptil, Juston (plus his Sentinel) and X-23, along with Runaways Chase and Nico. Darkhawk is in the mix as well, as is Cammi, the former traveling partner of Drax the Destroyer.

There's also a mysterious group of youngsters known as the Braddock Academy -- safe money is they have some connection to Captain Britain or Psylocke -- whose story will be fleshed out in a couple of early issues, according to Hopeless.

As for Murder World itself, Walker describes it as "everything the real world has to throw at you condensed into a few square miles; weather, climate, terrain, conditions, everything is one voice command away from changing, with an unpredictable character like Arcade in total control."

So why pit all these young characters, many quite beloved, in life-or-death bloodsport? Editor Bill Rosemann argued it fits a longstanding storytelling tradition, from ancient Greek myth to Battle Royale (to which the cover of issue one is an homage) and The Hunger Games.

"Teen vs. teen competition is as old as storytelling," Rosemann said, "but now it's time to give it the Marvel twist."

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Hopeless And Larroca Team Cable With An All-New 'X-Force' For Marvel NOW! - ComicsAlliance

Hopeless And Larroca Team Cable With An All-New 'X-Force' For Marvel NOW! - ComicsAlliance | Comic Books |
You can't keep a good time-traveling badass down, it seems. Having returned to the mainstream Marvel Universe in this year's Avengers: X-Sanction mini-series, Nathan Summers will team up with some familiar faces for the latest Marvel NOW! launch, Cable and X-Force.

The new ongoing series by X-Men Season One writer Dennis Hopeless and Invincible Iron Man artist Salvador Larroca brings Cable together with Colossus, Dr. Nemesis, Forge and regular conspirator Domino as they try to save the world while on the run from the authorities (including the Uncanny Avengers) after being wrongfully accused of terrorist activities. "They're fugitives being chased across the globe and doing what good they can while always looking back over their shoulders," Hopeless explains in Marvel's official press release, adding that "there's not much room for error on this team."

Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso is excited about the new book. "This is going to be one of the most explosive Marvel NOW! launches," he's quoted as saying in the PR. "Dennis and Salvador are bringing a new look and feel to X-Force, with a story that hearkens back to the core themes that made them such a phenomenon while moving forward in an exciting way."

Interestingly enough, Hopeless describes the team as "the X-Force that Cable's leading," adding to speculation that there will be more than one X-Force during the Marvel NOW! relaunch.

Cable and X-Force launches this December.

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DC Announces 'Arrow' Comic To Tie In With TV Show

DC Announces 'Arrow' Comic To Tie In With TV Show | Comic Books |

It took Smallville ten years and a television series finale before it got an ongoing comic companion, but the CW's new Green Arrow series, Arrow, will have a tie-in right out of the gate. With weeks to go before the show has even debuted on television, DC Comics has announced that it will have a comic tie-in, written by the series' executive producers.

Following the lead of DC's Smallville Season 11, the comic incarnation of Arrow will debut first as serialized digital releases before seeing print in a monthly series the following month. Arrow the comic will be written by TV show runners Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg, with art on the ongoing series by Sergio Sandoval and Jorge Jiminez following a first issue illustrated by Mike Grell, a creator who enjoyed a long run writing (and occasionally drawing) the adventures of Green Arrow during the 1980s.

Talking to Comic Book Resources about the comic, Guggenheim said that "We loved the idea because (a) we love comics and (b) we sensed the opportunity to do something that struck us both as unprecedented. We come up with a lot of stories in the writers room, but only have 42 minutes each week to tell them. That leaves a lot of backstory left over that we like having the opportunity to tell. To our knowledge, nothing's ever been attempted on a scale like this before." That's an arguable statement - NBC's Heroes had an ongoing webcomic series written by the show's writers that expanded on unexplained back story and history from the television episodes, with the strips eventually collected for print by DC's Wildstorm imprint - but depending on how interconnected the two different Arrow stories get, there may be more to this than meets the eye, earning the boast down the line.

The Arrow digital comic launches on October 10, the same day as the television series debuts on the CW, with the print edition being released November 28.

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Thor 2 Rumour – Is A Major Character Going To Be Killed Off?

Thor 2 Rumour – Is A Major Character Going To Be Killed Off? | Comic Books |

This story may well contain a major spoiler.

A couple of good sources have echoed one big Thor 2 idea to me. It’s nothing official, but the indications are clear and they’ve had the right vantage point to read them.

What I’m being told is that one of the main characters in The Dark World is going to be killed off before the end credits roll.

The film is currently shooting here in the UK and I hope that our eyes and ears near the set are going to be able to pick up more information, but for now, we don’t know just which character.

One of our sources was “pretty sure” it’s going to be Odin who bites the dust, but we’ve talked it over and they’re a “little less sure” now. I have that effect on people sometimes.

We’ll keep looking out and listening to rumblings. Stay tuned for whatever details we can turn up.

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New Walking Dead Trailer

New Walking Dead Trailer | Comic Books |

This trailer for The Walking Dead has more shots of action in it than the typical second season episode. I’m sure AMC know the image the show is getting, and that they’re going to have to challenge it.


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Now Marvel NOW! Teases… Superior! Anything To Do With Dan Slott’s Spider-Man?

Now Marvel NOW! Teases… Superior! Anything To Do With Dan Slott’s Spider-Man? | Comic Books |

Another one. This time for New York Comic Con. But what is… Superior? And who is “the writer of the most shocking comic book of 2012″ that will “lead into Marvel’s biggest new launch of 2013″?

It can’t possibly be Millar time can it?

UPDATE: Of course, it could be Dan Slott and his uber-shocking Amazing Spider-Man. So what will Amazing Spider-Man #700 lead into? Super Spider-Man?

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