The latest mighty batch of Marvel Comics related news items from October 26th – 28th, 2013!
Mystery member of “Mighty Avengers” revealed at Mexican comic con!
Last month, writer Al Ewing and “artist” Greg Land relaunched yet another Avengers title, “Mighty Avengers”, to add to the Marvel comics line up. The roster for the team included Luke Cage, Monica Rambeau (now Photon), Spider-Man (Dr. Octopus currently possessing Spidey’s body), Power Man, White Tiger, and Blue Marvel. Introduced in the first issue was a mystery member, wearing a cheap dime store knock-off of the web-head’s costume and dubbed “Spider-Hero”. It was initially suspected that this was some incarnation of Miles Morales, the current Spider-Man of the “Ultimate” universe. It was a mystery expected to last through the first arc of the series.
However, both Newsarama and Comic Book Resources are noting that this mystery was unraveled over the weekend at Festo Comic Con, a comic book convention held annually (or close to annually) in Mexico City every year since 1994. Samples of the script for “Mighty Avengers #1” were given to representatives to post online at the Festo Comic Con as part of a workshop with Marvel bigwig C.B. Cebulski to help aspiring artists assemble a portfolio. This script by Ewing seems to state in no uncertain terms that the mysterious figure behind the mask of “Spider-Hero” is…
None other than “Blade”, best known for hunting vampires. Created by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan in 1973’s “Tomb of Dracula #10”, the character initially mingled elements of horror with “blaxploitation” (which was popular at the time) to create a unique figure to the Marvel Universe in general and to the vampire hunters chronicled in the series in particular. A child born to a woman who was being bitten by a vampire during labor, Blade gained additional powers which enabled him to better fight vampires with later on. The character entered pop culture after appearing in the second season of FoxKids’ “Spider-Man: the Animated Series” in 1996 before making the leap to a big screen adaptation starring Wesley Snipes in 1998. A box office smash despite the fact that comic book adaptations had taken a hit from the bomb of “Batman & Robin”, the film earned two sequels, a live action TV series on “Spike TV” and a Japanese animated series on “G4”.
Despite this mainstream success (which altered the character notably), “Blade” has struggled to thrive as a solo star in comic books. He last appeared in “X-Men” comics in 2010 and the previous team title he was a core member of was “Captain Britain and MI-13”, which was canceled in 2009. The oddity is that if this is indeed true, then “Mighty Avengers” is claiming that Blade knew Rambeau in the past and is involving him in battles with have nothing to do with vampires – although a massive event like a large scale alien invasion would likely attract any anti-hero’s notice. Will “Blade” become the latest hero to don the mantle of “Ronin” as well? Both Echo and Clint Barton (Hawkeye) have served as “Ronin” in the past.
Disney produces Avengers anime!
The week kicked off with the announcement that Disney’s Japanese division would unite with Bandai merchandising to create an anime TV series called “Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers”. The premise for the series would be that it would feature a group of teenage kids alongside Avengers members Captain America (clad in armor), Wasp, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, and Spider-Man teaming up to save the world from Loki. Considering that “Marvel anime” based around Iron Man, Wolverine, the X-Men and Blade were ultimately dubbed and released on U.S. shores (as well as aired on the cable network “G4”), it is inevitable that this series will be translated into English and aired here; most likely on “Disney XD” or some other Disney owned station. The series debuts in Japan in 2014.
New “Spirit of Vengeance” introduced in “All-New Ghost Rider”!
Announced at the New York Comic Con, Marvel Comics announced that yet attempt to relaunch “Ghost Rider” would take place. Titled “All-New Ghost Rider”, it will be written by Felipe Smith and drawn by Tradd Moore (“The Strange Talent of Luther Strode”) and introduce a new Rider, drag racer Robbie Reyes. In an interview, the creators stated that they would alter the design and set-up to the character, having this “Ghost Rider” drive a car rather than a motorcycle, and for most of the combat to take place on the road.
The first arc will pit Reyes against street criminals as well as the super villain Mr. Hyde. Reyes would become the fifth Marvel character to bare the name “Ghost Rider” and would be the fourth of the modern era (and the second since 2011). Previous riders were Western hero Rex Fury (circa 1949, who was later dubbed “Phantom Rider”), Johnny Blaze (circe Marvel Spotlight #5, circa 1972), Dan Ketch (“Ghost Rider #1”, circa 1990) and Alejandra (“Ghost Rider #1”, circa 2011). The creators admit that “Ghost Rider” has seemed to have succeeded more as a design than a character, and one wonders if this latest new incarnation will alter that or simply add to the problem.
New “Captain America: the Winter Soldier” trailer hits!
Marvel UK had the honor of passing along the latest trailer for “Captain America: the Winter Soldier” to online sources. Directed by Anthony & Joe Russo, the film debuts April 4th, 2014 and is loosely based upon the noteworthy arc of the same name from a decade ago by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting. The film will once again star Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America as well as Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, and Cobie Smulders as agent Maria Hill. Sebastian Stan also returns as James “Bucky” Barnes, who has now been transformed into the terrorist hit man Winter Soldier. The next Marvel Studios film, “Thor: the Dark World” hits theaters at the start of next month.