Nov. 12, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.
When Marvel took to ABC’s “The View” and Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” in July to announce that a woman would become Thor and a black man would become Captain America in its comics, debate ignited over what in Asgard’s name the House of Ideas was thinking. Such dramatic changes coming simultaneously to two of the publisher’s classic marquee brands – names that front blockbuster film franchises at its sister company Marvel Studios – were celebrated by many people as positive progress, but others decried the decisions: “This is political correctness run amok,” “Affirmative Action Man” and “PC Avengers, Assemble!” read parts of some readers’ reactions posted on Hero Complex stories about the announcements. Whether they’re meeting fans or foes, the new Captain America and Thor represent two ongoing concerns for Marvel and the comics industry’s growth: minorities and women. […]
Nov. 11, 2014 | 9:43 a.m.
“All-New Captain America” No. 1, starring former Falcon Sam Wilson in the red, white and blue title role, launches Wednesday, and as the story unfolds in the coming months, writer Rick Remender, supporters and doubters will finally see how this change flies. That Sam would replace his longtime friend Steve Rogers as Captain America was announced by Marvel’s chief creative officer, Joe Quesada, on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” back in July, part of a two-part TV reveal that also saw ABC’s “The View” tell its audience that the comics giant’s next Thor would be a woman. Those choices were hailed by some as progress and derided by others as politically correct pandering and/or sales stunts. Rather than coming from an editorial edict, Marvel, Remender and “Thor” writer Jason Aaron have said, the ideas for the changes to the two […]
Nov. 07, 2014 | 4:06 p.m.
“Big Hero 6,” Disney Animation’s latest theatrical feature, is a classic superteam origin story. But what’s interesting is that the characters’ original creators function as a kind of superteam themselves. The writing collective known as Man of Action is credited on screen with the characters of “Big Hero 6,” but in reality the group consists of four individual writers: Steven T. Seagle, Duncan Rouleau, Joe Casey and Joe Kelly. They have distinct points of view, but together they share everything: both the glory and the workload. “We have a very socialist business model,” says Seagle, who co-created the “Big Hero 6″ characters with Rouleau for Marvel back in 1998. “It shocks and appalls a lot of people. At first we were all skeevy about it, whether that would work in Capitalist America, but it’s really panned out pretty well.” The […]
Nov. 06, 2014 | 7:16 a.m.
“Star Wars” comics are back at Marvel after more than 20 years away from the publisher, and heralding the title’s homecoming is none other than Jaxxon, the giant green space rabbit who fought alongside Han Solo in the comic’s early years. But don’t worry. It appears Jaxxon isn’t around to stay. The character cameos on a variant cover for “Star Wars” No. 1, due out in January. The variant, by artist John Tyler Christopher, will only be available at the comic’s launch parties. “We think old and new fans alike will be just as excited as we are to see Jaxxon, even if it’s only for this fun variant cover,” said Marvel’s David Gabriel in a press statement. Unveiled Wednesday, the cover is meant to be “a callback to the original Marvel Comics ‘Star Wars’ series,” Gabriel said. Marvel published […]
Nov. 04, 2014 | 1:43 p.m.
Jeremy Bernstein is a man with diverse interests. As a writer, he helped craft video game worlds for both “Dead Space 2″ and “Pretty in Pink,” and he also helped concoct elaborate schemes for the ensemble group on the TNT show “Leverage.” But Bernstein also longed to do a supernatural crime story. Enter: “Santa Claus: Private Eye,” the 12-installment digital comic book title that debuted on Mark Waid’s Thrillbent site earlier this fall. Hero Complex recently caught up with Bernstein, who is also a biochemist, to discuss the comic, a noir-inflected thriller involving P.I. Nick Santana, as well as his other various writing pursuits. ———— For the record Nov. 4, 3:30 p.m.: The headline on an earlier version of this post incorrectly gave the title of “Dead Space 2” as “Deep Space 2.” ————- Hero Complex: So, biochemistry and screenwriting? […]
Oct. 28, 2014 | 1:31 p.m.
Captain Marvel will headline her own movie in 2018, Marvel announced Tuesday, and Black Panther, Doctor Strange and the Inhumans are on deck. Marvel’s new lineup was announced at a special event at Hollywood’s El Capitan Theatre, and comics creators took to Twitter to celebrate the news. Perhaps most compelling among the online reactions was that of longtime “Captain Marvel” writer Kelly Sue DeConnick, whose fans tweeted their support using the hashtag #CarolCorps — a reference to their informal network of admirers of cosmic hero Carol Danvers, the Air Force pilot formerly known as Ms. Marvel. Oh! Wow. — Kelly Sue Demonic (@kellysue) October 28, 2014 Did not see that coming. — Kelly Sue Demonic (@kellysue) October 28, 2014 That’s right before my birthday. Can you preorder movie tickets…? — Kelly Sue Demonic (@kellysue) October 28, 2014 Uh… so is […]
Oct. 28, 2014 | 10:00 a.m.
Scott Snyder prefers horror where the humans are worse than the monsters. That idea, rooted in the Eisner Award-winning, bestselling writer’s early exposure to George Romero’s classic “Night of the Living Dead,” is at play in his new Image Comics series with artist Jock, “Wytches,” which arrived to enthusiastic reviews earlier this month. In “Wytches,” the titular terrors look more fearsome than “cackling women around the caldron,” as Snyder put it in a phone conversation with Hero Complex about his favorite horror stories. But what he hopes is more frightening than their bestial, skeletal appearance is that “they don’t come and eat anybody unless someone gives that person to them.” ‘Wytches’ preview: Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Page 5 | Page 6 The witches’ far-advanced knowledge of natural sciences means they can do […]
Oct. 27, 2014 | 8:00 a.m.
Wonder Woman is an epic character, and writer Brian Azzarello and artist Cliff Chiang promise a suitably epic ending to the saga they’ve created during the last three years. The duo, who have guided the superheroine’s solo adventures since DC’s New 52 reality reset in fall 2011, have memorably taken Diana of Themyscira’s classic origin as a girl made from clay and remolded it to make her the biological daughter of Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons, and Zeus (born of a love affair, not one of the Greek god’s tricky trysts). Tying Wonder Woman into the Greek pantheon — eventually replacing the felled Ares as god of war — has given her an extended family with whom every reunion is rife with conflict. In the final issue of Azzarello and Chiang’s acclaimed run (which also featured art by Tony Akins […]
Oct. 20, 2014 | 10:00 a.m.
Oddly Normal is as conflicted as her name. The smart, sullen schoolgirl star of writer-artist Otis Frampton’s emotionally stormy all-ages Image Comics series is the daughter of parents from different worlds: Her father is an average-as-average-gets Earth guy; her mother is a most unusual woman – a witch from the fantastical Fignation. And being a half-witch girl – complete with naturally green hair and pointy ears — in a typical American school isn’t easy. A social outcast with a sardonic wit for self-defense, she feels like an outsider even in her own family, who live in the sole creepy Victorian manse on a street of cookie-cutter suburban houses. In an angry moment on her 10th birthday, as seen in last month’s well-reviewed first issue, she isn’t careful what she wishes for. “Oddly Normal” No. 2, out Wednesday, continues Frampton’s reboot […]
Oct. 14, 2014 | 4:28 p.m.
Cory Doctorow’s short story, “Anda’s Game,” was released in 2004, but it’s only become more relevant in the past decade. Exploring the concept of “gold farming” in video games — the practice of amassing virtual wealth that is then sold to less patient players for real-world currency — Doctorow’s tale offers a fascinating look at video game economies through the lens of a young female gamer. “Anda’s Game” has gained greater gravity as economic and gender dynamics shift in the video game community, making now the ideal time for First Second to release “In Real Life,” a graphic novel adaptation of the story. “I think science fiction’s signature move is predicting the present,” says Doctorow. “If you take stuff that’s already latent and clearly important in the world around us and write about it as though it were something that […]