Friday, March 24, 2017

Marvel's June previews reviewed...plus like 18 paragraphs about race and Iron Fist, which surely no one could possibly be sick of talking about yet

Apparently Marvel's Gwen Stacy variant covers did well enough that Marvel is going to go back to the well--Well, not that exact well, but a well right next to it. And so the comics they release in June will include variant covers featuring Mary-Jane Parker Watson playing the role of whatever hero whose name is on the book, often with her one-time husband Spider-Man in tow. The above example is from Avengers, and I chose it because it is drawn by Mike Allred, and I like the way that guy draws stuff.

What else in Marvel planning to release in June? Click here to find out, and/or just keep reading this post for a few of the things I found noteworthy...


BLACK EYED PEAS: MASTERS OF THE SUN –
THE ZOMBIE CHRONICLES TPB

WRITTEN BY will.i.am & BENJAMIN JACKENDOFF
PENCILED BY DAMION SCOTT
COVER BY will.i.am
From the mind of Will.i.am comes this retro futuristic B-Boy Zombie Thriller, fusing together the unlikeliest of genres with ease!
Masters Of The Sun mixes L.A. Gang culture, B-Boy-ism and Egyptology to tell the heroic tale of a Hip-Hop group from East L.A. who must battle an ancient, alien God sent to earth to continue a Black Curse which turns drug dealers and gangsters into zombies. With a deep love of the Hip-Hop culture, Zulu-X and his crew go head-to-head with a nefarious ancient order that has infiltrated the inner cities to settle an ancient score. What happens next can only be described as the perfect blend of action, ancient wisdom and street-smarts all rolled into one epic adventure. Boasting one of the most eclectic ensemble cast of characters, Masters of The Sun delivers a powerful social allegory in the form of a new movement… #stayWOKE!!!
120 PGS./Parental Advisory …$24.99
ISBN: 978-1-302-91084-6


There's a lot about this that gives me pause, from the fact that I'm not terribly familiar with the Black Eyed Peas to all the punctuation in the title to the eye-rolling hashtag at the end of the text. That said, it is penciled by artist Damion Scott, whose Batgirl run I've just re-devoured in the last month or so, and he's one of those artists whose work I'll always at least check out.


CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS #18
NICK SPENCER (W) • JAVIER PINA (A)
Cover by ELIZABETH TORQUE
MARY JANE VARIANT COVER BY PAOLO RIVERA
SECRET EMPIRE TIE-IN!
• As Steve Rogers enacts his grand vision for a new Hydra world order, he is forced to confront an old friend. But will Namor, the Sub-Mariner, prove to be ally or deadly enemy?
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


So here's a neat thing about superhero comics. The plot synopsis above says that Captain America Steve Rogers is taking over the world, and his old war buddy Namor, The Sub-Mariner is going to confront him. It was just a few years ago that the shoe was on the other winged foot, however, and Captain America was confronting Namor, who with a quartet of X-people had come into possession of the Phoenix Force and took over the world. In the superhero game, this is the kind of conversation you get to have from both sides at some point in your career.


DARTH VADER #1 & 2
Charles Soule (W) • GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI (A)
Cover by JIM CHEUNG
...
The most fearsome villain of all time returns with an all-new series! When Anakin Skywalker fell, both to the pull of the dark side and to the blade of Obi-Wan Kenobi, he rose back up, more machine than man. Having lost everything that was once dear to him, the former chosen one must take his first steps into a darker world…as Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith! Join Vader as he learns a new way — the way of Darth Sidious and his newly formed Empire…the way of the dark side.
ISSUE #1 – 48 PGS./Rated T …$4.99
ISSUE #2 – 32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99
Star Wars © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All rights reserved. Used under authorization. Text and illustrations for Star Wars are © 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd.


Oh. So Marvel is relaunching the Darth Vader book they recently canceled, presumably in order to make way for a Doctor Aphra book. But this volume of Darth Vader is seemingly set long before the previous, first volume of Darth Vader (this series sounds like it will be set between Revenge of The Sith and A New Hope, closer to the former than the latter, whereas the previous one was set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back).

That first volume of Marvel-published Darth Vader lasted 25 issues, producing four collections, labeled Darth Vader Vols. 1-4. So at some point in the near future, maybe about two years or so, there will be two Darth Vader Vols. 1, two Vols. 2, and so on, with the ones that were published first being set after the ones that were published second.

That sounds about right.


DEFENDERS #1
BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS (W) • DAVID MARQUEZ (A/C)
...
Daredevil! Luke Cage! Jessica Jones! Iron Fist! Individually, these four heroes have been on the front lines of the battle to keep the streets of the city safe and secure! But now, with a deadly enemy from the dim past making a major move to unite the underworld, they will need to become more — they will need to become DEFENDERS! Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez unite to bring you the next great super-team, in the tradition of NEW AVENGERS!
40 PGS./Rated T+ …$4.99


Hooray, a new Defenders series! That's...Oh, wait, it's those Defenders. The Netflix ones, not the real ones. And Brian Michael Bendis is writing them. That sucks.

I've probably mentioned this to you guys before, but in the wake of the various Netflix series, if I were in charge of such things at Marvel, I'd launch a new Defenders series consisting of the four big guns of the original team--Doctor Strange, The Hulk, Silver Surfer and Namor--with the four street-level, Marvel Knights-style team appearing in the series above.

Actually, I suppose it would end up being more of a Doctor Strange and the Netflix guys, with guest-appearances from the other three, as Strange and those guys are all based in NYC, while Namor, Hulk and The Surfer are pretty remote, and would have pretty long commutes to get to many of their adventures. And The Hulks are kind of a mess right now, I guess, with Bruce Banner dead, She-Hulk gray and angsty and "Totally Awesome" Hulk Amadeus Cho on The Champions. Hey, two of those things happened because of the events of the Bendis-written Civil War II...!

I just read that, by the way, and am currently trying to work up the strength to write about it. The one good part of it? David Marquez's artwork, and he's the guy drawing this book. Well, there were a lot of weak parts to the visuals of Civil War II (mainly every action scene), but Marquez draws good faces emoting, and I'm assuming that's what 95% of this comic will consist of.


DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE SORCERERS SUPREME #9
ROBBIE THOMPSON (W) • JAVIER RODRIGUEZ (A/C)
• Sir Isaac Newton, Sorcerer Supreme of his day, has mastered an ancient, evil magic and has gone power-mad.
• It’s up to the Sorcerers Supreme to stop him from sending the world – and all of their own individual timelines – into chaos.
• Unfortunately, even with the Avengers on their side, it seems like they are still no match for Newton.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


Try distracting him by hitting him on the head with an apple!


EDGE OF VENOMVERSE #1 (of 5)
MATTHEW ROSENBERG (W) • ROLAND BOSCHI (A)
Cover by FRANCESCO MATTINA
...
EDGE of VENOM-VERSE starts here!
The series that sets up the epic VENOM EVENT of 2017 STARTS HERE! Each issue introduces another major Venomized character that will feed into VENOMVERSE itself! THIS ISSUE, the young mutant clone designated X-23 collides with a cryogenic tube containing a strange alien symbiote during her frenzied escape from The Facility, . Bonding with the alien enhances her already considerable abilities, and aids in her escape, but it begins to alter her mind! On the run from the very people that made her, can X-23 hold it together or is she doomed to give in to Venom!
32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99


That's...actually a pretty good idea for a series, really.

Any thoughts on who The Venom with all the little extra heads is supposed to be, presuming all the Venoms on that cover are Venomized Marvel heroes, and not just Elseworlds What If...? Venoms...?


ICEMAN #1
SINA GRACE (W) • ALESSANDRO VITTI (A)
Cover by KEVIN WADA
...
Bobby Drake has been in the super hero game longer than most. But while reflecting on what he’s accomplished over the years, he realizes that the legacy he’s built is a few good one-liners and a string of failed relationships. Not only that, but now a younger version of himself has emerged from the timestream and he’s more put together than Bobby ever was: already a world-class hero in his own right, but also totally comfortable in his own skin, complete with a relationship with a handsome Inhuman to boot. In this new ongoing series penned by Sina Grace (Burn the Orphanage, Self-Obsessed) and drawn by Alessandro Vitti (SECRET WARRIORS), Bobby realizes that the time is never or now, and sets out to build a life and legacy he can be proud of…and be the best ICEMAN he can be!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


I wonder if this will end up lasting any longer than any other non-Wolverine solo X-Men titles do...? In theory, Iceman should work perfectly well as a solo star, but for some reason the X-Men's team affiliation seems to sour their attempts at ongoings.

You know, I really hate that costume he's wearing these days. I think I like his Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends look the best...


JEAN GREY #3
DENNIS HOPELESS (W) • VICTOR IBANEZ (A)
Cover by DAVID YARDIN
VARIANT COVER BY RUSSELL DAUTERMAN
• Desperate to find any information that will help her stave off possession by
the Phoenix, Jean Grey ventures to Atlantis to entreat its surliest former host: NAMOR, THE SUB-MARINER!
• But Namor has his own fish to fry…
• And when Jean is swept up in the Sea King’s madness, will she find herself in over her head?
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99


Hey, it's Namor again! It looks like he'll be having a pretty good June...


MUPPET BABIES OMNIBUS HC
Written by STAN KAY, LAURA HITCHCOCK, BILL PRADY & ANGELO DECESARE
Penciled by MARIE SEVERIN, JEFF BUTLER & DEAN YEAGLE
Covers by MARIE SEVERIN
They’re making their dreams come true — and they’ll do the same for you! It’s all your favorite Muppets, in pint-sized antics from their youth! There’ll be adventure! Romance! Great jokes! And more! Like the ghostly tale of the haunted nursery! The fable of Kermit and the Beanstalk! And the quest for the Idol of Doom! The Muppet Babies will be lost in time and lost in space, they’ll caper in Story Land and they’ll take flight as super heroes! They’ll even end up in a comic book! And your favorite fantasy-loving frog will step into the shoes of some of fiction’s greatest heroes! Plus: Relive the Muppet Babies’ first appearance in an amazing adaptation of The Muppets Take Manhattan! Collecting MUPPET BABIES #1-26 and MARVEL SUPER SPECIAL #32.
680 PGS./All Ages …$75.00
ISBN: 978-1-302-90825-6
Trim size: oversized


So this is the single book I was most shocked to find in this round of solicits...even when the Black Eyed Peas graphic novel is taken into account.

That is a very big, every expensive book.


NOVA #7
JEFF LOVENESS & RAMON PEREZ (W)
SCOTT HEPBURN (A)
Cover by Dan Mora
• As Richard Rider struggles to come to terms with the revelations from his return to the Cancerverse, Sam Alexander struggles with homework, his family and (gulp) dating!
32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99


For an entire split-second, I thought that said "the Canadaverse" rather than "the Cancerverse," and it seemed a lot more interesting.


PATSY WALKER, A.K.A. HELLCAT! VOL. 3: CARELESS WHISKER(S) TPB
Written by KATE LETH
Penciled by BRITTNEY L. WILLIAMS
Cover by BRITTNEY L. WILLIAMS
Hellcat has had nothing but bad luck ever since the Black Cat crossed her path. And now that Felicia’s got a whole girl gang in her claws, how can Patsy possibly win this cat fight?! Find out in the big showdown — gato a gato! Then, Patsy will be laid low by sickness — but this is far from a common cold! Is she having fever dreams or living nightmares? As chaos breaks out all over Brooklyn, Hellcat must rely on her nearest and dearest to put out the fires — and make soup! All she wants is to get better and hang out with Jubilee at the mall: swing by the food court, catch a movie, share a fashion montage. Certainly there’d be no fighting villains. What would a villain possibly be doing at the mall? Uh-oh! Collecting PATSY WALKER, A.K.A. HELLCAT! #13-17.
112 PGS./Rated T …$15.99
ISBN: 978-1-302-90662-7


Ah-ha-ha! "Careless Whiskers"...! This book is a delight.


This is the "villain variant" of Secret Empire, which reveals that...Baron Zemo got a new hood? I like it!


SHANG-CHI: MASTER OF KUNG FU OMNIBUS
VOL. 4 HC

Written by DOUG MOENCH with ALAN ZELENETZ, PETER B. GILLIS, GENE DAY & STEVEN GRANT
Penciled by GENE DAY, TOM GRINDBERG & DAN DAY with WILLIAM JOHNSON, RICK MAGYAR, MIKE ZECK, MARC SILVESTRI, DAVID MAZZUCCHELLI & ALAN KUPPERBERG
Covers by DAVID MACK & RON WILSON
Doug Moench is joined by Gene and his brothers Day — Dan and David — to rise and advance Shang-Chi to this final Omnibus collection! Demons from Shang-Chi’s past return: Razor-Fist, Pavane, the Cat, Zaran and even the Master of Kung Fu’s father, the devil doctor Fu Manchu! It all builds to the ultimate battle between father and son, stoked by years of conflict. The stakes are final, and Moench’s story and Gene Day’s shadow-drenched artwork make every moment stunning. The saga also introduces new enemies: Dark Angel, Death-Dealer, Argus, Shadow-Hand — and possibly Shang-Chi’s own mother! These iconic Marvel masterpieces have never been reprinted before, so don’t miss your chance to experience the Master of Kung Fu! Collecting MASTER OF KUNG FU (1974) #102-125, MASTER OF KUNG FU: BLEEDING BLACK and material from MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS (1988) #1-8.
784 PGS./Rated T+ …$125.00
ISBN: 978-1-302-90132-5
Trim size: oversized


Is Shang-Chi the most prominent Marvel Comics character of Asian descent?

The reason I ask is, like many of my peers, I have been thinking a lot about Asian and Asian-American representation among Marvel's superhero characters a lot of late, due to the conversation prompted by the Netflix adaptation of Roy Thomas and Gil Kane's Iron Fist character.

As a straight white man, I realize I'm not always terribly attuned to issues like representation in superhero comics and/or TV and film adaptations of them, having never been starved for characters who look like me, but I must admit that I've been pretty perplexed about elements of the conversation swirling around the Iron Fist character, in particular the demands that Marvel should have cast an Asian-American actor to play him in the Netflix series.

If I had to guess, I suspect some of that reaction is rooted not simply in the character, whose specific superpower can basically be reduced to "being really good at kung-fu," but in the timing. As pointed out by Abraham Riesman, Iron Fist is just the latest in a string of superheroes going back a dozen years now who at one point or another travels to the East to have a transformative experience and learn either wisdom and/or an ancient art from an Asian master: Batman, Iron Man, Doctor Strange. That, and the fact that "The Marvel Cinematic Universe" is now about ten years old, mean that it is probably high-time that some Asian faces started showing up in these damn things (In the official MCU films, who would be considered the most prominent Asian or Asian-American character? Hogun The Grim from the Thor movies? The doctor who treats Hawkeye's wounds in Age of Ultron? The scientist who helped straight, white male billionaire Tony Stark turn his life around in the first Iron Man film? Or on TV, would it be Daredevil season 2's Elektra, played by an actress of French and Cambodian descent?)

That and, I would further guess, the fact that Iron Fist doesn't seem to be terribly well-received (I've only seen the first episode so far, but it seemed fine to me; it was really no worse than the first episodes of Jessica Jones or Luke Cage, and not much worse than the first episode of the first season of Daredevil. It does suffer a bit from being the fourth of these things, though, and thus the audience is less forgiving of the fact that it's no worse than the three previous ones).

Based on my Twitter feed and my conversations with the one friend of mine who talks to me about such things in real life, I am surely in the minority here, but I think it would be worse if Danny Rand were an Asian-American character. While there is a degree of off-putting cultural appropriation to the character's origins--American finds Asian fantasy land, comes back with the powers and wisdom of the Orient to fight Occidental evil like a pulp adventure hero from the 1920s and '30s--I don't think "The Asian Guy Knows Martial Arts" is any better, really.

To make the MCU's only superhero of Asian descent be the one who knows kung-fu, whose "powers" are, in fact, just kung fu, seems more offensively retrograde to me (again, not that I'm the best judge of such things*) than keeping Danny Rand white (Looking just at the Netflix series, it would have made more sense to make Jessica Jones or Daredevil Asian-American than Danny Rand...although I guess Daredevil also mastered Asian martial arts, although he picked them up from another white guy who mastered them, rather than from a master in some Asian fantasy land). It would have made more sense still to just not make an Iron Fist show in 2017, and I'm assuming the only reason they even considered making an Iron Fist movie was because of Danny's friendship with Luke Cage in the comics, although in that case maybe they would have been better served by using Iron Fist as a character in a future season of Luke Cage, in the same way that Marvel heroes like Elektra, Hellcat, The Punisher and Misty Knight surfaced as secondary characters in shows named after and starring other heroes.)

Of course, whether a European-American Danny Rand or an Asian-American Danny Rand is worse is besides the point when it comes to representation of characters of Asian descent in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The point, if I understand it correctly, is that maybe it's time to get some Asian characters on screen? (It took Marvel excrutiatingly long to get female and black characters on screen in the official MCU films too, of course, and they're just now ramping up to make movies starring female and black characters).

And here we run into a bit of a problem, as Marvel's "field" of Asian-American or Asian characters isn't all that deep, which is why I asked about Shang-Chi a couple of paragraphs ago. Eliminating the X-Men, since Sony has the film rights to those characters, we lose Jubilee, who I think is probably Marvel's most prominent, certainly most visible and well-known Asian-American character (This has been a problem for the Marvel Cinematic Universe in general; while not having the X-Men--or Spider-Man or The Fantastic Four--to lean on has more-or-less forced them to focus on the comic book universe's second-tier of characters, it also sucked most of the diversity out of their stable of characters. I mean, the first half-dozen or so female Marvel heroes not derived from a male counterpart that I could think of to star in movies are all X-Men characters.) (No X-Men characters also gets rid of Sunfire, Lady Deathstrike, The Silver Samurai, Armor, one version of Xorn and probably another dozen I can't think of at the moment, not that it's easy to imagine many or any of those guys starring in their own film, anyway.)

And then, after Jubes? Is it Shang-Chi? Now, Marvel could have done a Shang-Chi series instead of an Iron Fist one for Netflix, although there are some problems, including his origin (he was originally the son of Sax Rohmer's pulp fiction villain Dr. Fu Manchu, and it's been fun watching various writers and editors deal with that over the decades at Marvel, as more often than not they can't actually use Fu Manchu anymore), the fact that he is basically just a martial arts film character deposited into the Marvel Universe (a 2010 movie or TV show starring Shang-Chi would have thus been dumb in the same way I think a Black Widow film would have been back then; now, however, the Cinematic Universe is established and developed enough that the setting could help power any such film and differentiate it from Generic Martial Arts Movie...or, in Black Widow's case, Generic Spy Movie) and, of course, that he would be The Asian Guy Who Knows Martial Arts. And that latter one is maybe not the way to go with your first and only Asian superhero, you know?

(Interestingly, during Secret Wars, Marvel basically combined the character of Shang-Chi with the world of Iron Fist in the miniseries Master of Kung-Fu, and blending those two characters into one would certainly have been a way to jettison Shang-Chi's Fu Manchu connection and eliminate the cultural appropriation element of Iron Fist while keeping the secret mystical city and a guy who has a fist like unto a thing unto iron aspect. That's a Secret Wars tie-in I've yet to read, but I imagine it could have provided a decent road map for how Marvel/Netflix could have made an Asian or Asian-American Iron Fist show...although, honestly, I have to imagine they were caught off guard by the negative reaction to the casting of the lead in Iron Fist.)

So if Shang-Chi and Jubilee aren't likely to star in Netflix TV series or Marvel movies any time soon, which Asian heroes?

Currently, Amadeus Cho is the highest-profile character of Asian descent in the Marvel Comics Universe, unless you want to count Pakistani-American Ms. Marvel. With Bruce Banner dead, Amadeus Cho is currently The Hulk (appearing in The Totally Awesome Hulk), although if and when he appears in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it seems more likely to be as Hercules' sidekick than as a Hulk, since they've already got a Hulk in the Avengers, and Marvel Studios doesn't seem overly keen to make more Hulk movies (And Cho can get in line behind She-Hulk if they do, anyway!). Fun fact? His mom is in Avengers: Age of Ultron; she's the doctor who treats Hawkeye!

And then we have Jimmy Woo. Created by Al Feldstein and Joe Maneely in 1956 for short-lived espionage series Yellow Claw, secret agent Jimmy Woo was folded into Marvel Comics' SHIELD stories in the late 1960s, and headed up SHIELD'S Godzilla-hunting efforts when the publisher briefly held the rights to publish Godzilla comics in the 1970s. Writer Jeff Parker rather completely reinvented Woo for the various Agents of Atlas comics, in which Woo lead a group of Atlas-era heroes to battle The Yellow Claw, transformed from the generic yellow peril villain in various interesting ways.

Parker actually did a lot of great, subversive things regarding the traditional depiction of Asian villains in Western pop culture, and Woo's portrayal became something akin to an early-90s Chow Yun Fat playing James Bond in Hong Kong action flicks. He also lead a team of 1950s era sci-fi/action-adventure stereotypes: A killer robot, a gorilla and an emotionless alien, plus a pair of lady superheroes in the form of a female version of Namor and a love-powered superheroine.

So, after Jubes and Shang-Chi, I'm gonna have to guess that Woo is Marvel's most prominent Asian or Asian-American character, the one best-suited to appear in a movie or TV show that wouldn't be offensive and might actually be totally awesome...? (Of course, I'm not real great at predicting what Marvel Studios will do).

Of course, they could always just cast Asian-American actors to play heroes who were white in the comics, as so many people have been suggesting they should have done with Iron Fist. But man, Marvel's starting to run out of characters, aren't they? I mean, there's really no reason Iron Man or Hawkeye or Star-Lord or Ant-Man or Captain Marvel couldn't have been played by actors of Asian descent. Of the films I've heard mentioned as being in some level of development, I think Runaways promises Marvel's first Asian-American hero, in Niko Minoru. But we'll see.

So, in conclusion, Marvel Studios should probably just make an Agents of Atlas movie ASAP, is the point I'm getting at here.


SPIDER-MAN #17
BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS (w) • OSCAR BAZALDUA (a)
Cover by PATRICK BROWN
Spider-Man and his amazing friends!
32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99


Oh hey, it's Goldballs! He outlived Bendis' run on the X-books after all! And...some other person! I feel like I should recognize that other person, but I'm coming up blank; who is she?


THOR: HEROES RETURN OMNIBUS VOL. 1 HC
Written by DAN JURGENS, TOM DEFALCO, J.M. DEMATTEIS, HOWARD MACKIE, KURT BUSIEK,
ROGER STERN & JOE CASEY
Penciled by JOHN ROMITA JR., JOHN BUSCEMA, MIKE MCKONE, LEE WEEKS, MICHAEL RYAN,
ERIK LARSEN, ANDY KUBERT, STUART IMMONEN, RAMON BERNADO, DAN JURGENS, JERRY ORDWAY, SEAN CHEN, TERRY SHOEMAKER & MORE
Cover by JOHN ROMITA JR.
A hero returns — and an epic saga begins! Dan Jurgens ushers in one of the greatest eras of Thor — and it begins with blockbuster art by John Romita Jr.! The Thunder God walks the Earth once more, but his new lease on life comes with new enemies — and a new mortal alter ego! Will Thor’s comeback be cut short by Dark Gods, the Destroyer and Doctor Doom? Then, on the Eighth Day, the unstoppable Juggernaut will be just the beginning for Thor, Iron Man and Spider-Man! The heavy hitters keep on coming — like Mangog and Thanos! But if Thor is busy saving Midgard, who’s protecting Asgard? Collecting THOR (1998) #1-35 and ROUGH CUT, SILVER SURFER/THOR ANNUAL 1998, THOR ANNUAL 1999-2000, PETER PARKER: SPIDER-MAN (1999) #2 and #11, IRON MAN (1998) #21 (B STORY) and #22, and JUGGERNAUT: THE EIGHTH DAY.
1,232 PGS./Rated T+ …$125.00
ISBN: 978-1-302-90813-3
Trim size: oversized


Are these the first Thor comics to follow Marvel's weird experiment in letting Image do a handful of their heroes under the "Heroes Reborn" banner...?

I was actually thinking about "Heroes Reborn" a lot while reading the recent Superman story arc, "Superman Reborn." Specifically, I was wondering if it would be possible for DC to do something similar to what Marvel did, essentially declaring the New 52 period their "Reborn" era and then just resuming their previous continuity with a "Return" era, but I suppose it's gone on too long now, and there were too many good comics published along with all the chaff of the last five years to make that anything approaching feasible.

That said, I don't understand "Superman Reborn" and its ramifications for the DCU continuity at all.


Hey look, it's Ares! On the cover of USAvengers! And he's...not ripped in half anymore...? Neat! I don't remember seeing him anywhere since The Sentry killed (or is that "killed"...?) him during Siege; is this the first time he's reappeared since then...?


WEAPONS OF MUTANT DESTRUCTION: ALPHA #1
GREG PAK (W) • MAHMUD ASRAR (A)
COVER BY SKAN
...
THE WEAPON X PROGRAM IS BACK! Their goal is a simple one…ERADICATE ALL MUTANTS! And they’re starting their hunt with the most dangerous group of mutants on planet Earth — Old Man Logan, Sabretooth, Domino, Lady Deathstrike, Warpath and…the Hulk?! But with an army of genetic cyborgs at their disposal, this may just be the beginning…
40 PGS./ONE-SHOT/Rated T+ …$4.99


The Hulk with Wolverine claws! Has no one thought of this before...? Why has no one thought of this before? It seems so obvious!


*And I do find somewhat persuasive the argument that any hero of Asian descent, even a lame, potentially offensive one, is perhaps better than no heroes of Asian descent at all. Like, DC's Manitou Raven character, a Native American super-shaman of sorts, is head-slapping to a certain degree, but, at the same time, he was a Native American superhero on the Justice League, and he wasn't named "Apache Chief."

5 comments:

Michael Hoskin said...

>having never been starved for characters who look like me

...Like Lex Luthor, Professor X, Mr. Freeze, Absorbing Man...

Re: Iron Fist's ethnicity, there was actually a very strong case for Danny being half-Asian as his father & uncle were both from K'un-Lun (despite the western features Wendell Rand received from Gil Kane), but Immortal Iron Fist scuttled it. I wrote up the details here: http://section244.blogspot.ca/2017/03/iron-fist-shangri-la-amazing-man-kung.html

>the fact that he is basically just a martial arts film character deposited into the Marvel Universe

Ah, but in the classic Doug Moench era he was a spy - James Bond with kung fu, right down to the weirdly exotic villains with private armies in secret fortresses. That's pretty much perfect film fodder.

>So if Shang-Chi and Jubilee aren't likely to star in Netflix TV series or Marvel movies any time soon, which Asian heroes?

How about Mantis, who is about to debut in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2? Only, er, it looks as though she might be an alien instead of Vietnamese. We'll see.

Amadeus Cho was kind of in Incredible Hulk (his dialogue was cut). He could be brought into pretty much any film and work just fine.

>Woo's portrayal became something akin to an early-90s Chow Yun Fat playing James Bond in Hong Kong action flicks.

Speaking as one who read Parker's scripts, you are 100% correct!

Brian said...

"Hey look, it's Ares! On the cover of USAvengers! And he's...not ripped in half anymore...? Neat! I don't remember seeing him anywhere since The Sentry killed (or is that "killed"...?) him during SIEGE; is this the first time he's reappeared since then...?"

He was brought back last year in CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS, by the Maestro wielding what-was-in-effect-a-Cosmic-Cube.

Marc said...

Re: Your quest for prominent MCU Asian heroes on screen, you missed Agent May & Daisy / Quake from Agents of Shield.
With the later I'm not sure if it applies to the character or just the actress but we did see both her parents in Season 2 (also I dont think the comic version of the character was Asian originally but that might have changed now there's a comic of the TV show).
Also on your "Who is the most prominent comics Asian character at Marvel" surely it's Sunfire :)
Which reminds me Big Hero 6 also got a movie (more Disney than Marvel but still).

David page said...

Yeah goldballs is a major supporting character on the miles morales spiderman book.

Caleb said...

Michael,

I WISH I was built like The Absorbing Man! I'm afraid I'm more of a Vulture or Dr. Sivana, but with a Hugo Strange beard...

I have a feeling Marvel Studios won't ever want/need to do a Hercules movie or TV show, but Incredible Hercules was such a great comic, and the Amadeus/Herc brains/brawn dynamic worked in a way I don't think it would in a Hulk movie or TV show. Maybe Herc and Cho will show up in some Thor movie some day, if they keep making those things...

Brian,

Thanks! I missed that series entirely.


Marc,

Oh yeah! I tend to forget Agents of SHIELD even exists, as I've only watched parts of like two episodes. But if it is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, then yeah, I'd say May is probably the most prominent Asian or Asian-American character in any of those interlocking films and TV shows (although I do get the sense that the rest of the MCU just kind of ignores Agents..., but maybe it's just that I ignore it, so I miss any connections that turn up elsewhere).

David,

Huh. Well, he's no Iceman, but good for Goldballs. I think he's probably the best original character Bendis introduced into Marvel Comics, aside from Jessica Jones.