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Yes. We Have An Asian Hulk.

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No surprise here if you have been following all the Marvel Comics news as of late as the company under billionaire Ike Perlmutter has been replacing all the characters with PC minority versions.

As we all thought, the new “Totally Awesome” Hulk is Amadeus Cho, of Korean descent in the comics.

We can scratch another white character off of Marvel’s list.

Marvel revealed the news in an interview with EW.com.

Hulk happens to be one of my favorite characters, but I may actually give this a try, and it’s more due to the writer on the project, Greg Pak (himself Korean), as the Hulk title hasn’t been the same since he left some years ago. Pak’s run on Hulk is right up there with Peter David’s in my book.

Marvel EIC Axel Alonso spouts his usual spiel in the interview how they still love Banner – I was told the same thing by him about Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy, and we know how those turned out. Alonso offers there will only be one Hulk in the MU, and that it is Cho who happens to like being Hulk, which is different than Banner. 

Pak offers some story details as well:

The story is working on three levels: we’ve got the big crazy action level — the big monster hunt — that’s what our big story arc is. Which is also up Frank Cho’s alley, because if you know Frank Cho, you know he draws monsters like nobody’s business, and he’s going nuts with this. So, we’ve got the monster hunt, we’ve got the mystery of what happened to Banner and what’s going on with Banner, and then there’s an emotional story, of course. My favorite kinds of stories are the ones that have these big crazy genre hijinks and then a real honest, meaty, emotional story where we’re watching a character grapple with some real things. And we’re going to see if Amadeus’ dream of being the greatest Hulk ever and his total confidence of that is really warranted. And we’ve got some great supporting characters that are going to be challenging him in some interesting ways. 

The new series kicks off in December with art by Frank Cho.

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Marvel Rebooting In Fall With New #1’s & Characters

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Following on the heels of DC’s own reboot attempt with the New 52 back in the Fall of 2011, now it’s official that Marvel is rebooting as well with the “All-New, All-Different Marvel” approach.

It’s reported Marvel will be rebooting with 55-60 new #1 issues this Fall, which will include a new Wolverine, new Spider-Man and a new Hulk, with titles written by Brian Michael Bendis, Jason Aaron, Mark Waid, Dan Slott, Charles Soule, G. Willow Wilson, Jeff Lemire, CM Punk and Nicole Perlman. 

The new event follows Secret Wars and takes place eight months later.

Marvel EIC Axel Alonso and David Gabriel, SVP of Sales and Marketing, offered the following to various news outlets:

Update: Marvel has released a second teaser image.

 

Axel Alonso:

“This is the Marvel Universe. This fall, we will be inviting readers into a universe comprised of bold new landscapes populated with characters and teams both familiar and brand-new.”

“The all-new Hulk … this character is certain to cause debate. The same people who went crazy with female Thor will have a field day with this one. Will there be enough room for him and Peter Parker? Read and find out. Wolverine will return to the Marvel Universe (again, this will be something big). Who is Wolverine? You’ll have to read and find out.”

“She [Kamala Khan] is Peter Parker for the 21st century. Peter Parker can be a 16-year-old Pakistani girl from Jersey City. If her story is universal, then people are going to come and read it. If it feels true, if it resonates, people are going to come.”

“I’ll go ahead and tell you the Marvel Universe is about to see the arrival of an All-New Hulk—not a Hulk that you’ve seen before. And this development is deeply rooted in story. I am personally excited about it and its ramifications and it’s a fascinating story that I think Bruce Banner fans will definitely want to read. You’ll also see the arrival of a new Spider-Man in the Marvel Universe and you’ll also see—spoiler alert—a Wolverine emerge on the scene. I’m not going to say who, but a Wolverine that is certain to provoke reactions.”

“We’ve put the onus on the creators to come up with big changes in the lives of our characters, whether it’s Spider-Man or Ms. Marvel or Daredevil or the Hulk. You’re going to be looking at, in certain cases, new characters inhabiting those roles, and new characters dealing with profound changes in the relationships with others around them and where they live.

“We’ve challenged everybody to come up with the right ‘Oh (expletive)’ reveal for their character to shake it up and make it interesting.”

“…Incredible Hulk like no fan has ever seen before.That’s certain to be a topic of conversation. All the same people who yelled about female Thor are going to do the same thing about this Hulk.”

“…they’re going to read the story and go, ‘Oh God, they’re on to something!’ “

“There’s no red sky, there’s no icecaps. But there will be new places on the map, there will be new characters that were just too cool to not bring back from ‘Secret Wars.’ There are new teams that are necessary to deal with new threats.”

“I think that the comics industry — certainly, we are — slowly working into a season model that’s not too unlike what we see in our favorite cable TV shows: a seasonal model that offers accessible entry points for new readers and is respectful of long-term fans. We did Marvel NOW! and All-New Marvel NOW!, which were both two very successful campaigns. And this is the latest campaign.”

 

David Gabriel:

“This is going to be an absolute game changer for Marvel. Similar to the most successful comics industry program of this century—Marvel NOW!, All-New All-Different Marvel is going to be presenting fans new #1’s for every title coming out during this event. This is a brand new beginning that honors our past 76 years, yet takes a bold step with daring, and accessible, entry points.”

“The real beauty of that is if you’re one of these fans who’ve been around for many years, it’s a great, exciting mystery. And if you’re these new fans who maybe only jumped in this year when you saw the Avengers movie, you’ll be able to pick up any of these comics and you will not need to know 50 years of backstory of anybody.”

(sources: ew.com, usa today, mashable)

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Marvel Cosmic Event Coming By Starlin?; Abnett’s Guardians 3000 Exceeds Expectations

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No surprise to the loyal Marvel Cosmic fans, but once again, Marvel Editorial has underestimated Marvel Cosmic.

While it didn’t come with 30 variant covers, it seems as if Abnett’s Guardians 3000 did pretty decent sales-wise, contrary to snarky statements by Tom Brevoort.

Marvel EIC Axel Alonso in his weekly column at CBR made mention that “orders exceeded our expectations.”

Alonso also offered that Guardians 3000 was a book that took him by surprise this week, and that he singled out the series at an editorial meeting.

Marvel was also previously surprised by the success of Abnett and Lanning’s The Thanos Imperative, which nabbed the top spot at the time for trade paperback sales.

Jim Starlin’s original Thanos: The Infinity Revelation graphic novel recently topped the charts as well, which is why Marvel is going with the Thanos Vs. Hulk story as a separate four-issue series. More on that in a bit.

Now for some potential bad news.

Alonso also teased that at the upcoming New York Comic-Con, a Marvel Cosmic event would be announced.

The fan’s question referenced Annihilation, which started with the Drax series 10 years ago next year.

Then Platitude asks: “Hello! Will we see any events strictly for cosmic books, something in the style of ‘Annihilation’?”

Alonso: Keep your ears peeled for an announcement at the Cup O’Joe Panel at New York Comic Con, on Saturday, October 11.

If you have been a fan of Marvel Cosmic since Annihilation (or prior), you know why I refer to that as bad news. Obviously, we all know that DnA’s Guardians of the Galaxy inspired the multi-million dollar Marvel Studios movie (yet the guys at Marvel Comics are still surprised by the stuff), and we also know the 2008 Guardians (and everything else) was cancelled because of the movie — replaced by Bendis and Loeb’s versions of the characters. So it’s definitely a possibility that the next Marvel Cosmic event could feature Bendis at the helm with his Guardians as well as Loeb’s NINO Nova, which has been shoehorned into every event and then some.

However, there is one other possibility that I managed to dig up. 

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Jim Starlin recently made a coy remark in an interview with CBR, which lit a few lightbulbs in my head. Now coupled with Alonso hinting we may get a Marvel Cosmic event similar to Annihilation, my theory is that Jim Starlin will be helming a new Marvel Cosmic event. 

Starlin stated: “With the completion of ‘Thanos Vs. Hulk,’ I have the Titan, Warlock, Pip, Blastaar and Annihilus positioned exactly where I want them to be for my next Marvel tale, which I am currently working on. But it’s too early to talk about it.”

Sure sounds similar to Annihilation with mention of Annihilus.

I actually tweeted something a while back: I said Starlin, Abnett, Lanning and Ron Marz should be the Marvel Cosmic version of the architects (maybe the cosmic dream team?). Recently, Ron Marz teamed with Lanning on the Guardians of the Galaxy 100 thanniversary issue.

A Marvel Cosmic event featuring all four writers would be truly incredible.

Another bonus is that Guardians of the Galaxy movie co-writer Nicole Perlman is said to be writing Marvel Cosmic in the future on a Gamora solo title.

Update: Jim Starlin says a big announcement is coming.

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Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #17 (Bendis)

Writer, BMB, graciously consented to an interview with this independent reporter.  He was met in his Soho apartment where he was found relaxing in a beanbag chair, smoking Kretek via hookah, and sipping a Dr. Pepper slushie apparently acquired from a local Taco Bell.

TL:   I must say that I’m surprised you granted me an interview given my critiques of your work.

BMB:  [offers TL a hit from the hookah] Peace pipe dude.

TL:   No thanks.  Allergic to cloves.  But I do appreciate the gesture.  

BMB:  [Winks and makes the shooter gesture]  No prob.

TL:  You know, I just finished reading GotG #17 and I have to say that I just don’t resonate with the change in the tone of this series since you took over from DnA.

BMB:  [takes a hit from the hookah and a sip of slushie]  D-n-A, Shcmee-n-A.

TL:  Excuse me?

BMB:  Look.  You cosmic fans clearly don’t understand the business of comic books.  Brevoort has told you that over-and-over.  Here’s the skinny.  We just want to sell as many books as we can as fast as we can.  Period.  None of us Architects much cared about cosmic in the past, so we let DnA play by themselves, and they sold a few books.  Nothing like the sales of one of our headliners like, say, Avengers or X-Men – but enough to keep a book going for a while.  Small potatoes – you know.

TL:  And then their material was used as the basis for a major motion picture that was expected to be a big hit.

BMB:  [sips the slushie]  Right.  So us Architects decided we better get on board and ride that tidal wave of cash [mimes water skiing actions] coming from the movie hype.  So, Schmee-n-A had to go.  Like I said – small potatoes.  And it paid off, didn’t it?  The movie hype sent sales of the book up, and I got a payday.

TL:  Sure – but that doesn’t explain the change in tone.  Why un-necessarily deviate so far from the source material?  I mean – your portrayal is not even that close to the movie portrayal – so what’s the point?  For instance, in #17, Star-Lord gets rescued by an Avenger, is inexplicably worried that the Avengers will be mad at him, processes his daddy issues once again, and once again accomplishes very little in the big scheme of things.  This is very different from past continuity when the Guardians didn’t take marching orders from Earth, weren’t overly concerned with Earth, and single-handedly dealt with the big issues.

BMB:  [takes a hit from the hookah]  Continuity, schmontinuity.  Too much is made of continuity among you fans.  Sales is what’s important.  Sales.  Get it?  If I throw in as many Avengers as possible, write the book like these third-rate space jamokes are B-team Avengers, and ride that wave of cash from the movie hype (again mimes water skiing actions) – we all get another big payday.  

It’s simple really – I just make up a few new curse words for Rocket and try to find him a catchphrase every issue.  “Glarkgin” is the new curse word this issue.  Brilliant, huh?  He says it about 9 times over 4 panels.  I thought of that one when I put some gin in my Dr. Pepper slushie while I was eating a Clark bar.  Mouthful of gin and Clark bar at the same time equals Clarkgin, right?  Then you just science-fiction it up by changing a letter and you get Glarkgin.  If I can find a made-up curse word or a catchphrase that catches on; it’s gonna be all over t-shirts and bumper stickers – and there’s another payday.  The rest is just a few contrived fights and a bunch of meaningless conversations about little issues.  Gotta save the big issues for Avengers and X-Men, you know.

TL:  Yeah.  That’s what I thought you’d say.

BMB:  [Takes hits from the hookah, blows smoke rings, stares into space]

TL:  The editing has been lackluster on this book from the start, but with a few notable exceptions; the art has been pretty good.  Until this issue, that is.  The art was pretty bad this time out.

BMB:  Art, schmart.  Who cares about the art?  We’ll sell thousands if for no other reason than the movie.  Marvel Zombies are brand loyalists.  They’ll buy anything with the brand on it – regardless of art, regardless of writing.  Quality, shmality.   Why pay for good art, when the zombies will buy it anyway? It’s all about sales, baby! 

TL:  Well – at least we agree on the brand loyal thing.  What about the editing?  I noticed quite a few grammatical errors – and you even spelled Rich Rider’s name wrong at the end.

BMB:   Editing, schmediting.

TL:  How did I know you’d say that?  Seriously – Rider is spelled with an “i” and not a “y.”

BMB:   [grins and sips the slushie]  So I spelled Dick Rider’s name wrong.  So what?  He’s history.  Loeb’s version is where it’s at, baby!  Cha-ching!  You know?  Out with the old and in with the new.  We’ve been busy shoehorning Loeb’s version into everything we possibly can.  Hey – Loeb’s gotta eat too, ya know?  Can’t have Dickie-boy around stealing attention away from Loeb’s version, right?  Just wait till you see the number I do on old Dickie-boy next issue!

TL:  And here I was going to apologize for calling you Minister of Hackery for the A-Holes.  No apology will be forthcoming now.

BMB:  [laughs]  Yeah – we all got a laugh about that in the bullpen.  The A-Holes, huh?  Funny.  After next issue, you’ll have to promote me to King of the A-Holes and demote Brevoort to Cardinal of Douche-Baggery.

TL: [winks, makes the shooter gesture]  No prob.  Is there anything else you’d like to say to the Cosmic fans before we close?

BMB:  Well, I don’t normally concern myself with small, vocal minorities like the cosmic fans.  That is, other than to just call them small, vocal minorities anytime anybody asks about why they’re so upset with how Loeb and I have treated them.  Especially since there is no more “Marvel Cosmic.”  I mean – cosmic, shmosmic.  It’s all about the Marvel Universe, baby!  And by Marvel Universe I mean Earth.  Well, just New York City, really.  And maybe a few of the boroughs around NYC.  I mean, come on – we sell Earthcentric superheroic fantasy stories.  Who needs cosmic anyway?  Cosmic is just about giving some funny-looking characters some goofy things to do in space and making up a few new words along the way, right?  As long as we make it read like Avengers and somehow tie it to NYC, we’re golden, right? Don’t believe me?  Just ask Loeb.

(Editor’s note: This continues our series of satirical parody reviews)

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Marvel EIC Axel Alonso Comments On DnA’s Return To Guardians of the Galaxy In April

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This April sees Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning return to Guardians of the Galaxy for back-up stories as well as a prelude comic for the movie.

Over at Marvel’s CBR, EIC Axel Alonso offers the following:

One more return to talk about in April is DnA — Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning — returning to “Guardians of the Galaxy” on a couple of different things solicited for April; a back-up story in “Guardians of the Galaxy” #14 and the “Guardians of the Galaxy Prelude” set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What do you see as the importance of bringing them back into the fold at this point?

Alonso: DnA’s contribution to the cosmic universe and the Guardians of the Galaxy is unquestionable, and their adoring fan base proves that. It was just a matter of time before we got them involved — and we felt an anniversary issue was the perfect opportunity. Dan and Andy will each be writing their own separate backup stories for Guardians of the Galaxy #14, featuring the characters they helped bring to the forefront of the Marvel U.

It’s interesting, because even though they were working with some of the same characters, they had something of a different take on the characters and concepts, and it seems that maybe at first Marvel wanted to present a different take on the cosmic books when relaunching them over the past year. Is it at a point where the current cosmic material is established enough that it makes sense to bring back DnA?

Alonso: DnA’s contribution to the cosmic universe goes without saying, and no one overlooks the contribution of any of the creators who contributed to building the cosmic mythology. That said, when you’re rebooting a franchise with the goals we had for “Guardians,” it’s about more than supplying a quality book – you’ve got to send a loud-and-clear message to retailers and fans that this is an event, and the most sure-fire way to do that is to bring in your big guns: talent that’s associated with top-quality, high-selling work. We tapped Brian [Michael] Bendis and Steve McNiven in the hopes that we’d achieve a quality book that would achieve certain sales goals, and it worked. “Guardians of the Galaxy” #1 was one of the best-selling titles of the year, and the series continues to perform. But again, we weren’t building on rubble; we were building on something solid.

Probably worth mentioning that Bendis’ GoTG #1 had 30 variant covers…

Discuss This In The Cosmic Book News Marvel Cosmic Forums

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Cosmic Book News EIC Matt McGloin Responds To Tom Brevoort About Nova (Video)

Tom Brevoort is back at it again, answering fan questions on his Tumblr account about Richard Rider and Marvel Cosmic.

As it’s Tom’s account, he tends to be choosey about how and what he answers.

The latest has Tom and myself getting into it about how Marvel Cosmic and Nova was promoted compared to Loeb’s NINO Nova.

Tom wonders how Marvel treated them differently.

CBN:
How come Rider was never promoted like Loeb’s? And you were the head Marvel Cosmic editor, too. 

Brevoort:
Sorry, but how was the current Nova promoted better than the previous Nova, apart from launching during Marvel Now? 

For a change, I decided to throw the following video up on YouTube with some of my thoughts.

We’ll see how this works out. Maybe there will be more.

Head on over to our Marvel Cosmic forums for more.

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First Look At Silver Surfer In All-New Marvel Now Point One

Before the Silver Surfer surfs the spaceways in his new ongoing in March, the Sentinel of the Spaceways appears in the All-New Marvel Now Point One one-shot slated for a January 8, 2014 release.

Marvel EIC Axel Alonso took to his Twitter to offer the following first look of Mike Allred’s art from the issue.

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ALL-NEW MARVEL NOW! POINT ONE #1
DAN SLOTT, AL EWING, JAMES ROBINSON, NATHAN EDMONDSON & NICK SPENCER (W)
MICHAEL ALLRED, LEE GARBETT, STEVE PUGH, PHIL NOTO, AND RAGS MORALES (A)
Cover by SALVADOR LARROCA
Variant cover by STEVE MCNIVEN
• Here we go again! It’s your one-stop entry point to the world of ALL-NEW MARVEL NOW! Loki embarks on a mission for Asgard! The Silver Surfer and Dawn experience the cosmic rays of Nautikos! A Kree Pursuer and her Special Forces team prepare to invade the Earth! The Black Widow goes undercover in Russia! And can even the Indestructible Hulk survive the aid and assistance of fellow Avengers Cannonball and Sunspot?
• Features completely new LOKI: AGENT OF ASGARD, SILVER SURFER, BLACK WIDOW, ALL-NEW INVADERS and AVENGERS WORLD lead-in stories!
56 PGS./Rated T+ …$5.99

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Fraction Still At Marvel After Departing Inhumans

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Yesterday saw word surface about Matt Fraction leaving the Marvel Inhumans event with Charles Soule announced as the new writer on Inhuman when it hits in April.

Now Marvel and Fraction comment on the situation, and Fractions fans worry not as the writer is staying with Marvel.

“This is just an instance where we — meaning Marvel and the writer, Matt Fraction — came to the realization that we weren’t on the same page, we probably never would be, and no one would benefit if we tried to force it to work,” Alonso told CBR in a bonus to his weekly column. “The series that Matt wanted to write would have been good, no doubt about it, but it was not the series we need to lay the foundation for this new universe within the Marvel Universe. The reason this [creative shift] came about a bit late is because of the mutual respect we’ve built over ten-plus years, and, well, because we really wanted it to work out.”

Fraction continues with mention he’s worked on the Inhuman book for the past six months with Marvel Editorial, but they just couldn’t work out their differences.

“As un-dramatic and uninteresting as it sounds, my version of ‘Inhuman’ wasn’t what they were into and, y’know, it’s their company,” Fraction said. “It’s a legit case of ‘creative differences’ in spite of everyone’s best intentions. After what? Five or six months where this has been my primary focus and we’re still not on the same page — I can’t say they didn’t try, they can’t say I didn’t try, and at some point, you gotta move on. It happens. It didn’t make sense to continue working together on this book. I was not fired. I am not fired. I am still employed. We are all still friends. ‘Inhuman’ is a really big deal for all involved. You need to be moving as one.”

Previously, Fraction let it be known that the Marvel Studios Thor movie interfered with his run on Thor. There has been rumors of an Inhumans movie, but it’s unknown if that plays a part with Fraction leaving this title.

Inhuman #1 has an April release with art by Joe Madureira.

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Op-Ed: The Lo(e)botomization of Nova

The Cosmic Triune

An Opinion-Editorial

“The Lo(e)botomization of Nova”

 

Lobotomization:  to deprive of intelligence, vitality, or sensitivity.

                                                     -Definition courtesy of Merriam-Webster Dictionary

 

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According to Marvel Editorial, Issue #10 of NINO is the 100-issue mark of “Nova” comic books published.  I dis-respectfully disagree.  I count 90 issues of true Nova comic books and 10 issues of Nova In Name Only comic books.   It’s insulting to equate Nova with NINO in any way, but Marvel Editorial’s whole approach to the Nova fans since the “hiatus” of Volume IV has been insulting.  They frequently talk about Rich and NINO in the same breath as if there’s no difference between the history of the two.  Hey Marvel Editorial – they’re not interchangeable.  Rich was great.  NINO is a farce.  And a sub-standard farce at that.

Sure I know it’s just a marketing gimmick to try to improve the rapidly declining sales of the ongoing insult to and dis-respect of true Nova fans that is NINO, but I think this “occasion” calls for an analysis of how the “creative team” of Loeb, Wacker, Bendis, Brevoort, and Alonso took a good concept and ruined it for all the wrong reasons.  I liken their process of turning Nova into NINO to the above defined dis-credited Neurosurgical procedure of lobotomization as popularly portrayed in such movies as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Sucker Punch – and I refer to their process as “Lo(e)botomization.”

 

The Deprivation of Intelligence:

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Loeb himself has been directly quoted in various articles saying NINO should be written as an “idiot.”  I could stop writing this section directly after such a quote, but I think it’s important to detail how this Lo(e)botomization is made a reality and how it affects fans of the true Nova concepts.

Let’s start with a little Nova history.  In 1976, Rich Rider was created and portrayed as a late teen/young adult struggling to learn how to control and use the powers he had been granted by an emergency deputization.  Finally, in the Annihilation event, he was transformed into a powerful and mature leader of men.  Fans both old and new praised this metamorphosis, and Nova Volume IV became the best Nova series to date with its imaginative, intelligent, action-packed storylines and its new and improved hero.  Of course, it received none of the marketing hype and support that NINO has enjoyed, and it was eventually placed on “hiatus.”  What we didn’t know is that prior to “hiatus” it was apparently decided by Alonso et al to declare Rich “dead” even though Volume IV writers, Abnett and Lanning, have been quoted as saying that in their storyline Rich was never dead but merely temporarily “marooned” in the Cancerverse.  Obviously, Rich was declared “dead via editorial fiat” in order to create room for Loeb’s new “idiot” character, Sam Alexander (aka NINO).

Setting aside Alonso’s disrespect for and disregard of Rich Rider fans for a moment, his decision marks the beginning of the “deprivation of intelligence” aspect of the Lo(e)botomization of Nova.  Loeb immediately created a 14-year-old Peter Parker-ish character (without the Parker intellect), hi-jacked and watered-down the look and concepts of the Nova mythos, eliminated all true cosmic elements by plopping the little “idiot” on Earth in a one-horse town, and set out to appeal to a pre-pubescent audience (and to a small post-pubescent audience who just can’t seem to get enough of hackneyed teen angst storylines) with silly, implausible stories involving the “idiot,” NINO, blundering and cheating his way through every situation.  To say that the NINO storylines are juvenile, puerile, un-imaginative, boring, and intelligence-insulting in comparison to Volume IV would be an understatement.

To make matters worse, Loeb has presented no reason why NINO deserves to have or keep the powers other than that the powers are “inherited” by NINO from his drunken father’s “magic helmet.”  Even worse, 14-year-old NINO has had no training to use powers equivalent to the power of a tactical- nuclear-weapon-carrying fighter jet and is continually put in kill-or-be-killed combat situations with the full knowledge and consent of his (apparently negligent and unfit) parents.

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So readers are expected to believe that an “idiot” child can responsibly confront situations on Earth and in space for which he has no prior experience/training; that he can safely handle powers that could level a city without endangering himself and the public; that his parents have no problem with him constantly risking his life sometimes light years from home, and that everyone in the Marvel Universe is completely fine with it?  I don’t know about other people, but I like a modicum of plausibility in cosmic stories.   Loeb’s scenario for NINO is intelligence insultingly implausible.

And there’s a moral issue, too.  Why does Marvel/Disney believe it is perfectly moral to un-willingly induct a minor child into a para-military organization and place said child in kill-or-be-killed combat situations?  The rest of Western Civilization would disagree on moral grounds, and even as this article is being written the United Nations is forming a resolution condemning use of child combatants.  Since Disney makes its money selling entertainment to kiddies, do they really want to send the message that minor children performing combat operations is perfectly acceptable to their company?  If so, I can’t wait to read their official explanation justifying their position.

 

The Deprivation of Vitality

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In Annihilation, Nova Volume IV, and The Thanos Imperative, Giffen and DnA gave us a true Nova – a mature, powerful, effective, true leader of men actually leading other powerful beings to confront and overcome universal threats.   These were big stories with edge-of-your-seat excitement that left the reader anxiously anticipating the release of the next issue.  These stories talked up to their readership with adult themes and high-stakes situations where literally anything might happen.

In contrast, we have NINO stuck in a small town dealing with schoolyard bullies and blundering/cheating his way through the occasional boring confrontation with a super-villain.  Yawn.  Have you read that teen super-hero story somewhere before?  How many times?  Yeah – me too.  Loeb, Brevoort, and Wacker present this hackneyed, puerile non-sense that talks down to readers as if it’s something new and special.  In actuality, it’s old, boring, listless, clichéd, and utterly predictable.  Loeb even made sure to kill off all the “Black Novas,” the only truly innovative and exciting idea he had in putting together the ongoing travesty that is NINO.  Those characters were much more interesting than NINO – and readers said so.  Once again, Marvel Editorial ignored the readership and retreated to the clichéd old angst-ridden teen superhero formula.

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What was vital about Rich Rider’s Nova, and potentially vital about the “Black Novas” had they been developed, was the “military science-fiction” aspect of the characters/storylines.  What made modern Marvel Cosmic (i.e. the Marvel Cosmic of the Annihilation event forward until hi-jacked by Loeb and Bendis) vital, new and interesting were the elements incorporated from both popular military science-fiction/science-fantasy (e.g. Star Trek and Star Wars), hard-core classic written military science-fiction (e.g. Lensmen and Starship Troopers) and written heroic fantasy (e.g. John Carter of Mars).  This was made possible because the pre-Loeb/Bendis Marvel Cosmic was niche-audience focused and largely ignored by the “super-heroic fantasy” selling, mainstream-oriented Marvel Editorial staff.  Once a Guardians of the Galaxy movie was announced and expected to be a big hit, Cosmic suddenly moved from “neglected niche” to the forefront.  It then, of course, had to be made to conform to the “super-heroic fantasy” formula that Marvel sells, so the very essence or vitality of what made Volume IV of Nova and Volume II of Guardians of the Galaxy was discarded and replaced.  In the case of Star-Lord, we went from the Giffen/DnA  “approaching middle-aged,” scruffy Han Solo-ish characterization to a 20-something feckless dream-boat-ish characterization.  In the case of Nova, the powerful, mature, leader of men that was Rich Rider was replaced by an “idiotic,” blundering, immature, obnoxious, teen Peter Parker-ish character sans the saving grace of the Parker intellect.  In both cases, the Cosmic aspects of the characters were made incidental rather than central, and we’re left with un-interesting characters obsessed with the petty and parochial problems of Earth.  Jeez, Marvel Editorial!  Don’t you have enough Earthbound super-heroes to deal with Earth’s petty problems without sucking away the vitality of the cosmic heroes just to make them conform to your comic book selling formula?  Ever consider maybe actually promoting a different approach?  Maybe if you’d supported DnA’s efforts the way you’ve supported Loeb and Bendis’, this article would never have had to be written.

 

The Deprivation of Sensitivity

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I’m not using sensitivity to mean “emotionality.”  Everyone knows Loeb has loaded NINO with enough smarmy, maudlin, and/or puerile sugar-sweet moments to send diabetic readers into a coma.  I know Disney loves that garbage – just watch any of their child-oriented movies if you don’t believe me.  For those of us over the age of 8 though – it just comes across as corny and annoying.

I’m using sensitivity as it’s used in a medical-scientific context to mean “reactivity to external forces.”  I’ve already discussed how NINO reacts to the external forces of plausibility and morality.  NINO gets a grade of “F” in reaction to those two external forces, and I needn’t re-iterate the ground already covered in previous sections of this article.  I touched upon what the fans really want under the vitality section and will cover it in more detail now in this section.

Brevoort has made it clear over on his Tumblr page that Marvel Editorial expected a backlash from Rich Rider fans once it was clear that Rich was to be replaced with NINO.  He has also made it clear that he thinks Rich had so few fans that the backlash would be of no consequence to Marvel or to NINO’s sales.  Alonso made it clear in several interviews that he thought Nova fans would buy ANYTHING with the word “Nova” smeared across the cover and he expected Rich Rider fans to “embrace” NINO.  Loeb simply said Rich’s story was “over.”  And Wacker has never missed an opportunity to insult, denigrate, and otherwise disrespect the Rich Rider character and Rich Rider fans in general over at a Certain Boot-lickingly Repellant website’s forums where he is given free rein to do so and where the moderators protect him from any fan talk-back.  Does that sound like sensitivity to a set of fans many of whom loyal Nova readers since Rich Rider’s premiere in 1976?  Heck – that doesn’t even conform to Disney’s model of hospitality.  Marvel Editorial Staff – you need to go on down to Orlando and undergo Disney’s Hospitality Training course.  You should probably send Wacker and Brevoort two weeks early since they’ll need the remedial (i.e. “slow learner”) version.

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Fact is, NINO is a failure.  It’s a failure conceptually, morally, in entertainment value, and – increasingly – in sales.  Potential buyers are voting with their dollars and for the most part they’re voting thumbs down.  NINO sells less than Volume IV sold without all the hype.  NINO has failed to be embraced in large part by the Rich Rider fans who feel insulted and alienated by the treatment shown them by Marvel’s Editorial staff.  Heck – even the cover to NINO #10 lavishly portrays an insult to long-term Nova fans with “idiot” NINO standing in a pose of defiant triumph with his foot on Rich’s helmet.  There’s a reason why something similar is NOT seen on any of our actual war memorials.  It’s because that’s a universal sign of disrespect to a fallen enemy.  Apparently that’s how Wacker et al view the Rich Rider fans and they’ve not so subtly made that clear with NINO #10’s cover.  If they wanted to show respect, NINO should have been placed standing behind his fallen BETTERS with his head bowed and his hands folded in front of him.  In a way though, NINO #10’s cover sums it all up.  Marvel Editorial isn’t sensitive to the desires of the Rider Nova fans.  Heck – they didn’t even care what we wanted.  They just wanted to dish up some warmed-over and “Lo(e)botomized” Spider-man.

Suggested further reading:

Marvel Editorial to Cosmic Fans:  “We’re just not that into you.”
 

Article by Timelord

Dedicated to Loeb, Bendis, Wacker, Brevoort, and Alonso for their tireless efforts toward making Marvel Cosmic mundane enough to appeal to the lowest common denominator of comic book reader.

The opinions reflected herein are purely the opinions of the author of this article and do not necessarily reflect the official opinions of CosmicBookNews.

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NYCC: Dan Slott & Mike Allred On Silver Surfer

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As expected, Dan Slott and Mike Allred have been announced on a new Silver Surfer ongoing, which is due to hit next March.

The announcement came at the NYCC Marvel Inhumanity Panel.

Here are the highlights:

This is exciting – the first comic book I ever read was the Galactus trilogy. This was the first comic hero I ever met. I’ve been dying to do this. – Dan Slott

Slott is talking about waiting for his chance to pitch a Silver Surfer book

Dan Slott is talking about how despite his work on Spider-Man, he was dying for a chance to write Silver Surfer!

When editor Tom Brevoort and Dan Slott were talking about Silver Surfer, they knew they wanted Mike Allred to draw it.

“I wasn’t writing Silver Surfer anymore, I was writing Allred Surfer. And Mike got and said “did you write this for me?’ And I said “YES!!!” – Dan Slott

“With all the images in my head, I wasn’t writing Silver Surfer. I was writing Mike Allred’s Silver Surfer. When Mike got the first plot, he was like, “Are you writing this for me?” and I was like “YES!!” – Dan Slott.
 
Slott teases a new character and a potential love interest, and the audience collectively “awwws”.
 
Whenever you think about Silver Surfer, you see a lonely character. Now he’s got a girl on board. A nice earth girl joins him on his journey.” – Slott
 
“The fact that Silver Surfer now appears as part of a larger universe and isn’t stranded. There’s the Guardians of the Galaxy, there’s Nova. I think now’s a better time. We held off on doing a new one but the time is right now.” – Axel Alonso
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Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #6 (Bendis)

It’s really a shame that this book is called Guardians of the Galaxy when it’s such a pale imitation of all the preceding much better efforts using the same name. I wish Bendis, Brevoort, Wacker, Alonso, et al would just get it over with and re-name this book Space Avengers or, more accurately, Avengers in Low Earth Orbit, or my personal favorite: Holy Fark! Not ANOTHER Avengers Book!

Let’s face it; Bendis’ version of GotG is just another Avengers book. And even though the GotG is made up of people who actually have valuable knowledge about how the cosmos works, the politics of the local group of galaxies, and the advanced technology of the great powers of the local group – they’re relegated to wasting time protecting Earth from fairly minor threats while Earth’s protectors are in way over their heads out in the cosmos. Make any sense to you? Me neither.

So the woman who fought Ronan to a stand-still can’t take Angela? So the entire team that has fought The Magus, Thanos, The Phalanx, etc. (and won) can’t take Angela? But a single shot from Quill’s element gun lays her out? Right. Good one Bendis. And it only took you the entire issue to pull off that particular deus ex machina.

As usual, Iron Man is completely out of place, and Bendis writes most of the rest of the cast out of character – particularly Drax. At least he’s stopped trying to create stupid catch-phrases for Rocket. A great improvement in this book could be accomplished simply by dropping Iron Man from the cast and sending him back to Earth where he belongs.

“Editor” Wacker must shoulder a large part of the blame for the decline in Marvel Cosmic’s quality. He along with Bendis and Loeb seem hell-bent on erasing everything that made DnA’s revamping of cosmic into something worthy of a big budget movie, and replacing it with hackneyed storylines aimed squarely at the lowest common denominator of comic book readers. Thankfully we’re spared Wacker’s smarmy glad-handing of easily pleased non-cosmic fans as there’s no letters page to suffer through this issue. Coipel’s art is certainly respectable, but it’s not quite up to the bar set by Pichelli. It’s a shame the writing is not up to par with the art as Pichelli makes an excellent addition to the artists who render cosmic well. Ponsor’s colors remain at their usual eye-catching best. As usual, the art and coloring are the best things about this book.

I suppose the movie hype and the appeal to Avengers-zombies are the elements that keep this book selling as well as it does. That’s too bad as these characters deserve such better treatment than they’re now receiving. In the hands of a capable cosmic writer, GotG could be great again. As it is, Bendis’ GotG is just another Avengers-like glorification of mediocrity which is not truly written as cosmic and not truly meant for cosmic fans.

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Spider-Man Can’t Save Wacker & Alonso’s Nova; #7 Continues To Tank

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It looks as if the new Nova, dubbed NINO (Nova in name only) continues its downward spiral as Diamond has released its early estimates for the month of August where we see Nova #7 comes in at #63 overall.

Specific estimated numbers have yet to be released, but by comparing the surrounding titles to the previous months, we are guessing Nova #7 lands somewhere around the 33,000 mark as it’s right above Teen Titans (July saw Teen Titans have 33,000).

Update: Actual estimates are lower than we thought.

We also see that the use of Spider-Man as a sales gimmick in Nova #7 had absolutely no bearing whatsoever – or maybe it did? Sales may have been actually lower without the evil wall-crawler who currently graces the top ten for comic book sales on a month-to-month basis.

So this definitely can’t be looked at as a good sign for Marvel as the addition of a top ten character with Superior Spider-Man has added no benefit to NINO Nova. As sales continue to slide, Marvel will be forced to confront the fact Axel Alonso and Stephen Wacker’s reboot: a) isn’t working; and b) isn’t what the fans want; hopefully Disney and Marvel Studios are taking note.

For a comparison to the DnA 2007 version – that has consistently been outselling the new stuff from Stephen Wacker and Marvel EIC Axel Alonso without the added expensive promotional campaign – Nova #7 (pictured right) sold 34,840 back in October of 2007. The particular issue didn’t feature Spider-Man, but was a tie-in to Annihilation: Conquest, an event left on its own and not a part of anything Avengers unlike NINO.

There was no Guardians of the Galaxy comic book in August as artist health issues were cited as a reason; however, there was a trade for the first Bendis run where we see Marvel “borrowed” DnA’s Cosmic Avengers idea (you know, the one Tom Brevoort turned down stating it wasn’t a good enough idea) with: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 Cosmic Avengers (Marvel NOW!).

One plus for Marvel on the cosmic side of things is that Infinity seems to be a most promising event, at least all the issues penned by Jonathan Hickman. The other tie-ins have been pretty much what Marvel Cosmic readers have come to expect with NINO and Bendis‘ Guardians. Just think how good it would have been if DnA’s Nova and GoTG were involved.

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Marvel Announces “All-New Invaders”; Silver Surfer Part Of Marvel Now Phase 2

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Today sees a big announcement from Marvel with the next phase of “Marvel Now!”

Those plans include the previously announced Matt Fraction ongoing Inhuman, and it is also learned the plans will include All-New Invaders from James Robinson and Steve Pugh.

Black Widow and the Silver Surfer are mentioned as being a part of the new initiative as well, though it isn’t specifically said if they are new titles or just involved in the stories.

The second phase dubbed “All-New Marvel Now” begins December 24th with Avengers #24.NOW (yes, a point one “now” issue), described by USA Today as being a new entry point for the series, followed by Inhumans and All-New Invaders in January.

Avengers #24.NOW sees Captain America and Iron Man round up a new team of Avengers to deal with a runaway planet heading toward Earth.

In Robinson’s All-New Invaders, Human Torch, Namor the Sub-Mariner and the Winter Soldier seek to stop the Kree from using a device that can control gods and create an unstoppable army.

Fraction’s Inhuman deals with the fact that a large population of people are exposed to a mist that makes them powerful Inhumans themselves.

“My favorite thing is showing people why those characters that aren’t necessarily household names like the Falcon and Silver Surfer should be, and why they’re every bit as vital to the Marvel mythology as Spider-Man and the Avenger,” Marvel EIC Axel Alonso said.

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DnA’s Nova Continues To Out Sell Wacker’s NINO: Under 35K

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July comic book sales estimates have been released where we see the new Sam Alexander Nova series continues to plummet.

Sales for the book are now under 35K from a series high of over 80K, and once again, the series is selling less than the 2007 Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning Richard Rider Nova run.

ComiChron lists sales for NINO #6 coming in at 34,234, with Nova #6 back in 2007 listed at 36,967.

Tom Brevoort recently stated that sales were a factor in the cancelation of the 2007 Nova, which directly contradicts statements made by Joe Quesada.

Regardless if Brevoort is right or wrong, certainly Marvel EIC Axel Alonso and Editor Stephen Wacker must be sweating the numbers on the new NINO as Marvel invested heavily into the series and character.

Fans can’t help but wonder if only a small percentage of that investment would have been applied to Richard Rider and DnA, how big the series and character really could have been.

July marks the fourth consecutive month that DnA outsold NINO.

NINO Nova has suffered a series of set backs due to low sales with Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness announced off the book as of the second issue’s publication. In addition, it was recently announced the series would get its third writer within ten issues, as current scribe Zeb Wells is off the book as of #10 with a newcomer and an unknown coming on board.

It’s no wonder the series isn’t selling well as NINO is basically the antithesis of Richard Rider. Rider really came to his own for a lot of longtime and new fans during Giffen’s Annihilation continuing throughout DnA’s Nova to The Thanos Imperative. Rider also appeared as a member of Captain America’s Secret Avengers, bringing a lot of attention to the character as well. NINO is a character described as an idiot by Jeph Loeb who needs to ask his mom to join the Avengers, while getting a gun put to his head to be a Nova.

Speaking of The Thanos Imperative, the reprint topped the charts surprising Marvel, which gives us a good indication of where they are coming from as they seem out of touch with the fan base.

Marvel also rebooted Guardians of the Galaxy, another Abnett and Lanning title, which has been holding its own near the top of the charts with Bendis. However, the series has arguably received more promotion than NINO as the first issue had literally two dozen variant covers. In addition, Marvel announced that superstar writer Neil Gaiman would be co-writing the series, with retailers ordering a plethora of the issue, only to have it come out that Gaiman would be considered a “consultant.” Since then it’s been stated Angela will be moving on from the book as well.

One bonus for Abnett and Lanning fans is that the Marvel Studios Guardians of the Galaxy film seems to be borrowing heavily from Abnett and Lanning’s run, with director James Gunn recently describing the Marvel Cosmic duo, known as DnA, as the fathers of the modern Guardians of the Galaxy.

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McNiven Confirmed Off Guardians of the Galaxy; #7 Gets Delayed

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I think I said this after issue #1 hit, but Steve McNiven has been confirmed to be off Guardians of the Galaxy by Marvel EIC Axel Alonso.

It’s also learned that Guardians of the Galaxy #7 will be delayed, but will see another Marvel big gun come on board with Olivier Coipel for a “sequence” (i.e most likely a double-page splash).

Alonso offered the following at CBR:

Unfortunately, Steve will not be returning as he’s hard at work on “Uncanny Avengers.” Steve helped give us a great launch and, based on the feedback we’ve been hearing from readers, the transition to new superstar Sara Pichelli has been smooth.

And just to get all the cards on the table, since we also announced this week that “GotG” #7 is a bit delayed: Sara was hit pretty hard by a nasty flu bug over the past few weeks, and we’ve tried our best we can to hold the book for her, since she and Brian [Michael Bendis] work so closely together and he writes for her strengths. [Editor] Steve Wacker huddled with the folks in talent management — C.B. Cebulski and Dan Edington — to devise a creative solution that will actually see superstar Olivier Coipel come in for a powerful sequence involving Star-Lord and Thanos. But I’ve probably said too much.

McNiven moves on to bigger and better things with Uncanny Avengers.

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Silver Surfer To Get Marvel NOW! Phase 2 Treatment

Take this however you will Marvel Cosmic fans, but EIC Axel Alonso stated that the Silve Surfer will pe a part of the Marvel NOW Phase 2 treatment.

Via CBR:

On featured characters in Marvel NOW! Wave Two: We picked every character in there because they are characters to watch in the coming year. Just like last year when we were unveiling the Marvel NOW! Joe Quesada image and you were seeing characters — the Guardians of the Galaxy, you were seeing the new Spider-Man, you were seeing Nova, and we were promising they would be characters to watch. We’re saying the same thing with characters like the Black Widow, the Silver Surfer right now. How this will come to pass, I’m not going to say more. That’s for future announcements, but they’re all chosen for a reason. They’re all going to get their moment in the spotlight.

Alonso also previously said something to the effect that Silver Surfer and Adam Warlock would get “re-introduced.”

The Sentinel of the Spaceways next shows in Mark Waid’s Daredevil #30 in August.

DAREDEVIL #30
MARK WAID (W) • CHRIS SAMNEE (A/C)
• When soars the Silver Surfer!
• What weird menace unites Daredevil with the Cosmic Rider of the Spaceways?
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99

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Dear Ike Perlmutter: Bring Back Richard Rider As Nova

I think Marvel Cosmic fans have had enough of the Axel Alonso, Brian Michael Bendis, Jeph Loeb and the Stephen Wacker nonsense that we have been force fed since 2011.

The new Sam Alexander Nova as well as the Guardians of the Galaxy is a complete insult to any fan that read the previous run.

And what’s also an insult is the way that Marvel reacts to the fans that actually want to spend their hard earned money on a Marvel comic.

Case in point, is Marvel Editor Stephen Wacker who regularly harasses fans at the ComicBookResources message boards.

I can’t understand how someone is his position acts so unprofessional and rude toward comic book enthusiasts.

I also can’t understand how any of the fans would continue to buy anything he edits (Spider-Man, Nova, Daredevil, Guardians of the Galaxy, Thanos).

I know I don’t and haven’t for over a year.

Well, Wacker has been at it again, in a thread over at CBR, attacking people and their conversations about Richard Rider.

Not sure what the guy is thinking as with all the money Marvel did spent on promotion hasn’t paid off as the current Nova series is actually selling less than the previous Abnett and Lanning run, which didn’t get the costly writer, artist and PR campaign. 

From a business perspective, the new Nova by Stephen Wacker can’t be looked at anything other than a big-time failure.

DnA had a loyal following; just think with all the money Marvel spent on Wacker’s book, how well it may have done, and how successful it would have been.

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Good News For Guardians of the Galaxy Movie: Bendis, Loeb, Wacker, Alonso Marvel Cosmic Doesn’t Match Up

After reading Guardians of the Galaxy #1 & 2, and Nova #1 & 2, it’s pretty evident that Axel Alonso, Brian Michael Bendis, Stephen Wacker and Jeph Loeb have no idea what they are doing with Marvel Cosmic.

Just look at Rocket Raccoon stating how he is murdering everyone. 

Hickman might be able to save it with Infinity, but if Brevoort is going to edit those issues like he did Fear Itself, may the thunder god help us.

We all know Marvel cancelled the previous Marvel Cosmic regime as a result of Marvel Studios going forth with the Guardians of the Galaxy movie.

Marvel simply couldn’t let someone else be on the book that isn’t an Architect or what have you.

Well, sales are down; Loeb, McGuinness and McNiven are already gone — and Neil Gaiman is coming onboard to save Guardians.

How much Gaiman is really involved with the book will tell us its fate.

With Alonso’s Marvel Cosmic doing so poorly, some might think this would reflect badly on the Guardians of the Galaxy movie.

Well, from all indications it’s not, as director James Gunn has mentioned – numerous times – the previous canceled books by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning.

And we have some more good news as Marvel EIC Axel Alonso states at their CBR column, that the direction of their books doesn’t necesarrily follow Marvel Studios’ (for once).

While we don’t want our cosmic universe to present an aesthetic that is completely at odds with the movies, we aren’t worried about matching up 100 percent.

Hopefully, the not matching up parts means Star-Lord’s helmet is back in the movie and no Sam Alexander.

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The Difference Between How CBR Treats Marvel & DC; Where Is The Nova Poor Sales Question?

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DC Comics had a regularly featured column over at Marvel’s CBR.

However, CBR asked some “tough” questions that the DC execs didn’t like, so DC bailed.

In the April 17th B&B column, CBR wrote at the end:

Editorial Note: With regret, CBR News has to inform our readers today that there will no longer be a “B&B” column on the site after only four short months.

When CBR proposed the idea of a regular column with DC’s executive staff, our stated intent was for the feature to be a place to connect the decision makers at the publisher with the wider comics community. Aside from product and story information, discussing the industry news and debates of the day was something we always planned to focus on both in the regular interviews with Harras and Chase and the monthly fan Q&A. However, the DC team has made it clear to CBR that discussing some of the more controversial debates surrounding the company and the comics community is not something they feel comfortable doing in this format, and ultimately they decided to no longer participate in this feature.

Specifically, Harras and Chase declined to comment on questions about DC exclusive talent Jerry Ordway in regards to his statements about his work with the publisher. (Though it should be noted that DC Co-Publisher Jim Lee did discuss the matter in a recent CBR TV interview)

After ensuing discussions on the matter, CBR regrets that DC has decided not to continue what we consider a valuable discussion for readers, retailers and creators. We will however continue to cover the company’s comics, editorial moves and broader impact on comics to the best of our ability – including future interviews with DC executives and editorial staff as they are willing and available.

If you’ve been around the comic books news sites for any length of time, you’ll quickly realize that CBR is just a PR extension for Marvel, with negative comments and posts deleted in their forums, but editors and creators allowed to run rampant.

Hey, it’s all good business.

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Well, if you read the above column, and then read today’s Marvel EIC Axel Alonso column, the difference is quite obvious.

I’ll point you to the following, which Alonso stated:

So far, the response to “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Nova” has been fantastic. 

Of course, CBR didn’t follow up with a question about how the books actually are not doing fantastic as Guardians of the Galaxy shed 130,00 plus readers with its second issue — and the new Jeph Loeb Nova is now selling less than the previous run.

In addition, CBR never asked about the departure of Steve McNiven and let Marvel get away with some nonsense that BOTH Loeb and McGuinness left Nova after only two issues being published due to Loeb having other commitments, though this has all been planed for literally years.

Could be CBR isn’t really keeping up with the Marvel Cosmic news now that Marvel isn’t pushing it anymore on their site – much – as sales aren’t doing that well.

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