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Star Wars Marvel Comics Rumored For 2014 Comic-Con

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:16309:]]With Star Wars comic books returning to Marvel Comics this October with a reprint Omnibus, it is only a matter of time before announcements will be forthcoming about new Star Wars comic books from Marvel.

What better time is there to make an announcement than at Comic-Con?

The current rumor is that the new Marvel Star Wars comic books (thought for 2015) will be from Kieron Gillen and Jason Aaron (via Bleeding Cool).

That’s a fine choice (if you ask me) as Aaron’s has done a stellar job with Thor, and Gillen is definitely no stranger to cosmic space-based stories as well.

It’s also rumored that Gillen will be on a new Angela series with Marguerite Bennett.

The report makes no mention of Bendis on a new Star Wars; possibly Marvel learned their lesson from the Guardians relaunch?

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Alternative Comics Beat: The Wicked + The Divine

Alt Beat

By Ken Porter

The Wicked + The Divine

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Written by: Kieron Gillen

Art by: Jamie McKelvie

Colors by: Matt Wilson

 

 

 

 

 

New gods

Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie have created fantastic stories like Young Avengers and Phonogram together, and now with The Wicked + The Divine they continue that streak. Tackling gods in a modern setting is tough. Mainly because it’s become a staple for urban fantasy and science fiction. But Gillen and McKelvie put interesting rules and characters into the situation which breathes new life into this kind of story.

The premise is fun from the get go — Every ninety years a group of gods are reincarnated as normal human beings. They only live for two years, then die as a part of their mysterious life cycle. The first issue picks up with a girl named Laura attending a concert for a pop star calling herself Amaterasu. What Laura soon discovers is that the young pop star actually believes she’s the shinto god, and from there her night spins out of control.

 

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The feel of the book

There’s something unique to projects that Gillen and McKelvie work on. The best way I can describe it is, whether it’s about music or not, their collaborations always feel like they’re a bit rock ‘n’ roll. Even with Young Avengers there was a tone and style that made me feel like there was something rebellious and musical about the series. With The Wicked + The Divine the feeling is amped up, like its Gillen and McKelvie turning the modern gods story on its head and delivering their own brand of narrative in the genre.

What makes it a great alternative?

One of the things that makes this a great alternative is that the premise itself is unlike anything out there. At least when it comes to things that I’ve been reading or noticed in comics. You get some super powered beings, which isn’t new to the medium, but you get it through the lens of media celebrities and eccentric characters.

 

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Who would enjoy this?

I think fans of series like X-Statix will really enjoy this book. It has a somewhat similar setup and tone, although it feels a bit more grand and mythic than the X-Men book about angsty TV stars. I also think that fans of books like American Gods would have fun with this series. Based on the first issue it feels like there are going to be a lot more fun characters to explore, and strange mystery to solve. If you’re looking for something different on the stands then I suggest picking up the first issue of this book. Image is putting out tons of interesting titles, and this is one of their latest gems.

Ken Porter is presently interning with Cosmic Book News and also writes comic books including “Ink Ribbon” from Visionary Comics. Ken was also the winner of last year’s Top Cow Talent Search contest and was recently published in “Artifacts” #33.

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Gillen’s Iron Man #17 Features Major Tony Stark Retcon (Spoilers)

Today’s issue of Iron Man #17 features a major retcon in the life of Tony Stark.

Spoilers follow.

Earlier this morning Marvel let loose the specific details about the issue through the Associate Press.

It turns out that Tony Stark is actually the adopted son of Howard and and Maria Stark.

It also turns out they had a son of their own, Arno, who has been “imbued with alien technology proffered by the rogue android 451 — who has been hidden away from the world, laden with unknown abilities and, perhaps, powers.”

Fans should recognize the name Arno as the name of the Iron Man from 2020.

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Tom Hiddleston’s Letter Printed In Journey Into Mystery #645; Thanks Kieron Gillen

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The Norse God of Mischief himself, Loki, has written in to a Marvel Comics letters page to express his thanks at his portrayal.

Actor Tom Hiddleston sent in a letter to Marvel Comics writer Kieron Gillen to express his gratitude for how Gillen wrote Journey Into Mystery (Via CBR).

The letter, printed in Journey Into Mystery #645, Gillen’s last issue, can be found below.

I believe Kid Loki may be going on to assemble as one of the Young Avengers in the Marvel NOW! relaunch.

Tom Hiddleston will reprise as Loki for Thor 2, “The Dark World,” with a bunch of details (spoilers) recently coming out that just may hint at Loki’s role in The Avengers 2.

Dear Kieron:

You and I see Loki the same way. He’s one dark, anarchic, bottomless black hole of rage, hatred, pity and pain. An exiled outcast, a lost & lonely agent of chaos, who wouldn’t know what to do with familial forgiveness if it walked up to him in the street and slapped him in the face. I’ve had as much fun playing him as you’ve clearly had writing up. I know your run on JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY has been so hugely popular. What an enormous honour to share Loki’s legacy with you. Here’s to bringing Norse back!

– Tom Hiddleston

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Marvel Reveals “Avengers Vs. X-Men: Consequences” Cover; Reveals Winner of AvX

Like the X-Men even had a chance.

Please.

Marvel released the Patrick Zircher cover to Avengers Vs. X-Men: Consequences #1 which shows Cyclops defeated by the Avengers.

Marvel also previously revealed the cover to Avengers Vs. X-Men #12 which features a triumphant Cyclops with Kid Nova seemingly only barley left standing.

With the events that took place in AvX #11 this isn’t that much of a surprise.

Avengers vs. X-Men: Consequences explores the aftermath of the battle with the first issue out October 10th, written by Kieron Gillen with art from Tom Raney.

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Review: Avengers Vs. X-Men: Versus #2

(Editor’s Note: Tread Lightly, This Way There Be Spoilers!)

 

This is going to be painful. Not as painful as reading this book, but painful enough! 

When the premise of this Versus book came out, a battle royale of fights too big to fit inside the A vs. X series, I was psyched! Childhood daydreams would finally come to fruition and Marvel was promising that these battles would have definitive winners! As a matter of fact, this is what Marvel says on page one of this book, quote: “Did you read the cover? This is Versus #2, the comic where Avengers and X-Men pound the snot out of each other one-on-one until there’s a clear victor!” end quote. I don’t exactly know if Marvel knows what a “clear victor” is, but out of four total battles they have given us in the past two books — only one is definitive!

So let’s get out the score card, shall we?

Book One of Versus has Iron Man vs. Magneto. Cool premise, better fight — no clear winner! Magneto lies there in awe of the coming Phoenix Force and plays possum so Iron Man will leave! Winner: Iron Man. Second fight is Thing vs. Namor. A classic battle of two characters that hate each other — no clear winner! Both characters emerge from the ocean at the exact same time, but the Thing is declared the winner! Wait, what?

So, issue two has Gambit vs. Captain America by Steve McNiven. This one had very cool moments by Gambit. Charging Cap’s shield was cool, but when he charges a smug Cap’s chain mail — it is awesome! Except, Marvel would never let anything happen to Cap, so the explosion does nothing to him but tear his costume! He then knocks Gambit out with a single punch while talking to Tony Stark on his Bluetooth! Really? I’m afraid so! Winner: Cap.

Fight #2 is Colossus vs. Spider-Man by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca. Strange choice for combatants and an even stranger battle. Pretty much, it was Spidey shooting webs and spewing banter in Colossus’ face while he swung with all his might! Colossus gets some wallops in, but Spidey finally just swings off with Daredevil as Colossus stands seething! Winner: Colossus!

How is someone swinging away as another one stands there a “clear winner?” Am I wrong about this, does anyone else find this an utter cop-out?  If I am paying four dollars for a smash mouth battle royale with a “clear winner,” I want someone broken by the end of it! Not someone feigning sleep or following another combatant and certainly — NOT RUNNING AWAY! 

Marvel may excel at making completely amazing movies, but their books have fallen by the way side! If they expect to continue to have a fan base that is true to their product, then they should begin by standing by their word. Give readers what we want and deserve, we’ve been loyal to you all these years — it’s about time for some reciprocation!

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Review: Uncanny X-Men #11

All you need to do is look at this cover to be completely enthralled with what is to come! Juggernaut Colossus versus Red Hulk! Who isn’t itching to see how this one ends up?

You will not be disappointed with the tale Kieron Gillen and Greg Land lay before you! Taking place directly prior, during and after the events of The Avenger vs. The X-Men #1, we get to finally see a less zealous version of Cyclops. In AvX, he has been portrayed as some kind of religious nut that can’t see how dangerous his decisions are. Here, in a book written by an actual X-Men scribe, we see a leader that has to make a tough decision even though it will cause a rift between his “family” and the world’s mightiest. We also are privy to the internal thoughts of Namor, Hope and Colossus as they embark onto the battle field and will forever be changed in the process. Gillen has a great grasp on the “voice” of these individual characters, making the reader reconnect with them on a more personal level than they have in a long time. It is the perfect juxtaposition with all the chaos surrounding Utopia!

As good as the writing is, it is Greg Land’s rendering of the battle of the behemoths, that will make you not want to put this book down! An underwater barrage of giant fists awaits, and let me tell you — it is a war! Greg Land always amazes me with the skill in which he renders the female form, it is beautiful and eye catching, but today — it is all about breaking things! He creates a brutal symphony of destruction that will cause any fan to pause and take notice of how well it is done! One warrior lies at the bottom of the ocean as the other seethes in rage — absolutely amazing!

Finally, we see a book with the AvX banner tag that actually delivers something new to the story! Kudos to Kieron Gillen and Greg Land for helping this tale progress instead of completely living in the past like all the other books have! Plus, the ending is something that will set all of mutantkind on a collision course with the world that hates and fears them. If the Phoenix Force doesn’t destroy the earth, the ramifications from this ending just might!

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Review: Uncanny X-Men #7

Since joining Cosmic Book News, I have, on and off, been a reviewer of the Avengers line of Marvel Comics. But, unless you have been under a rock, you know that in April our Assembling Heroes will be battling those merry mutants from Utopia, the Uncanny X-Men.

So, for the first time since the beginning of my 10-year hiatus from comics in 1995 (caused by too many, too expensive X-books), I have jumped back into the gene pool and tried to pick up the threads of the newly relaunched Uncanny X-Men, Issue #7.

I am glad to say I like what I see!

Kieron Gillen is a fine storyteller, and I really dig the mix of powerful (wow, Mags AND Subby?) mutants on this no-nonsense team. Obviously, things have changed vis-à-vis Cyclops and his philosophies (thus the split with Team Wolverine and the reestablishment of the school by Logan).

What I really liked about this issue – and granted, here comes me from the 1990s right into the middle of a 21st century storyline – was not only did it have a cosmic air (I assume the “celestial energies” were indeed energies from THE Celestials?) but some damn fine writing and theories utilizing evolution and the rules or non-rules society(ies) should have about the phenomenon. Shades of the concept X-Men was founded on!

It was kinda fun to see the “Bad Apex” actually improve its metallic armament so that Magneto could not affect its weapons. And the melding of the “Good Apex”/”Unwife” with Danger (whom I had to Google since it was my first intro to the character) was simply wild. What a great concept, dating back to New Mutants Doug and Warlock.

Nice to see some of the “All-New, All-Different” mainstays (Storm, Colossus) are still in the main book. Also nice to have Emma Frost and Magik along. (Cannot wait to see them in action.)

Of course, a good story is nothing without good art, and the team of Greg Land and Jay Leisten did this adventure proud! The alien culture appeared Kirby-awesome, the necessary talking heads were never boring because of the shadowing and great facial expressions, and the action was off the chart – even though Unwife got more attention than Team Cyclops.

So here is to my return to the Uncanny X-Men. And all you faithful readers with no hiatus? I think you will enjoy this mag too!

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Review: X-Men: Regenesis #1 (One-Shot)

Two friends and teammates, men who have been through everything together over countless years, have decided to go their separate ways. And in doing so, they have not only dissolved their friendship, but they have also torn the entire mutant race asunder. Who will stay a fighter and who will become a student? This book …

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Review: Uncanny X-Men #542

Kuurth, Breaker of Stone, walks towards Utopia, slowly, steadily and unstoppable. Nothing can slow his march, plan after plan crafted to hinder the Serpent’s Worthy has failed. Man’s fear of mutants has escalated to heights never seen before, and everything Scott Summers has worked so hard for — may be destroyed before his very eyes. …

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S.W.O.R.D At The Ready: Interview With Kieron Gillen

The latest title unsheathed from the X-Universe, S.W.O.R.D., written by Kieron Gillen with art by Steven Sanders is set to debut this November.

The secret organization known as S.W.O.R.D. (Sentient World Observation and Response Department), was first introduced in Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men. John Cassady, the artist who worked on Astonishing, is doing the art for the covers of the ongoing series.

CosmicBookNews.com’s Editor, Matt McGloin, spoke with writer Kieron Gillen on what characters fans will see, how the organization might handle some of the more powerful cosmic threats and whether or not Marvel’s “Cosmic” villains or heroes will pop in to give S.W.O.R.D. a run for their money.

CosmicBookNews: Can you tell us a little about the ongoing S.W.O.R.D series? Can you describe the organization S.W.O.R.D for us?

Kieron Gillen: S.W.O.R.D. has been around for fifty years. It’s a Sister agency to what SHIELD use to be. Where SHIELD dealt with internal security, S.W.O.R.D. looks to the stars. On this galactic scale, SHIELD are the FBI. S.W.O.R.D. are the CIA. Their mandate is a little larger than that. They’re partially border security, partially diplomatic corp and partially full-on intergalactic spies trying to head off any threat against terra firma before it exists.

In short, S.W.O.R.D. stops something like Secret Invasion happening eight times a year, without anyone knowing.

CosmicBookNews: Can you tell us about the characters involved, Henry Gyrich, Beast, Agent Brand — what are their roles in S.W.O.R.D?

Kieron Gillen: Up until Secret Invasion, Abigail Brand was commander of S.W.O.R.D.. Since then, the trans-national body which governs it has inserted Henry Gyrich as a co-commander. They’ve split the duties between them as they try to rebuild the organization. That Brand is even in co-control says a lot about how important she was in actually stopping the Skrull invasion. While there’s a floating role, Brand tends to look more outwards while Gyrich looks inwards. Brand is mainly dealing with aliens out there.

Gyrich is mainly dealing with aliens right here. Brand, being a compulsive micromanager, and he does a lot of the day-to-day running of the Peak, which is S.W.O.R.D.’s orbital headquarters. They spend 99 percent of the time there doing the day-to-day responsibilities.

The other one percent is where our stories focus, where Brand stops all the enormously hard work and starts having to take enormous risks to save the world. On those days, she’s Jack Bauer with less stubble.

Beast is only now cementing his relationship with S.W.O.R.D.. He’s Brand’s primary science officer, but is also in her “A-Team” of field agents. As in, a core team she tends to take everywhere. The empath Sydren (who you’ll have seen in Astonishing X-men) and Lockheed (who you’ll have seen in THE MIGHTY MARVEL UNIVERSE FOREVER) are the other core pair.

CosmicBookNews: The mission of S.W.O.R.D is to remove all alien beings from the earth. How are they going to go about this? Some aliens are arguably a lot more powerful than the earth based characters, how will S.W.O.R.D deal with, say a Silver Surfer class threat?

Kieron Gillen: With difficulty.

It’s tempting to leave it like that. “With difficulty” is absolutely the point, and how they approach those problems will reveal a lot about the organization.

S.W.O.R.D. has kept itself mostly secret for fifty years. It’s not the sort who generally go in with seven-hundred tanks. In this case, with those too powerful to fight, they’d try and work out an appropriate motivation for them to leave.

Of course, the Surfer isn’t on earth at the moment, so that particular one isn’t a problem.

CosmicBookNews: Furthermore, there are a lot of aliens on the earth, for instance would S.W.O.R.D look to remove a certain alien symbiote or even the “aliens” from Asgard?

Kieron Gillen: The certain alien symbiote’s an interesting one. Brand suspects that Gyrich is actually an appointee via Osborn’s political weight. As such, whether Gyrich actually goes for Venom or not will tell us a lot about what’s really going on here.

The Asgardians are another interesting one. I suspect the lawyers are still arguing over that one, but S.W.O.R.D.’s don’t really consider any of the pantheons on Earth as aliens. Intra-dimensional threats, abstractly, are under A.R.M.O.R.’s domain.

Or maybe it’s just they’ll be the last ones on the list.

CosmicBookNews: How far will S.W.O.R.D. go to achieve this? Even if it means direct conflict with their parent organization, H.A.M.M.E.R. and Director Osborn? Are they under orders from Osborn?

Kieron Gillen: As I said above, there’s a suspicion of influence. But strictly speaking, S.H.I.E.L.D. – and now H.A.M.M.E.R. – isn’t actually their parent organization. It’s a sister organization. Osborn’s influence, if any, is indirect.

Gyrich and Brand are at each other’s throats throughout the series, but there’s one thing which they both agree on. They do whatever it takes to make Earth safe. Where they differ is their belief in what it actually takes to make Earth safe.

CosmicBookNews: At the end of Beta Ray Bill: Godhunter we saw Beta Ray Bill state that he “is home.” Will Beta Ray take part in S.W.O.R.D. in any way? Do you have any other plans for using Beta Ray Bill?”

Kieron Gillen: When I wrote “Home” I was mostly referring to the idea that he’s back with what remains of his people – and thus wherever he is, he’s basically home. Secondarily, I was referring to Earth. Thirdly, more the emotional state. It was that sort of line.

Of course, I totally wrote an ongoing relationship between ’em. Ti Asha Ra is staying on the Peak. Bill owes Brand a favour. While he does appear in the first arc, I do have hopes to use him down the line. I’ve got enormous empathy for the horse-headed fella.

CosmicBookNews: Are there plans to include Marvel’s cosmic characters in this at some point?

Kieron Gillen: One of the best things about writing this series is the amount of the toys in the Marvel box that you get to play with. Anything that crosses the boundary between Earth and the Heavens is in our domain. That totally includes all the cosmic characters. I have a mad crush on several.

CosmicBookNews: Thanks so much for your time! We look forward to reading S.W.O.R.D. which is do to hit stores November 11th!

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