July 29, 2014 | 3:05 p.m.
Paolo Rivera won two Eisner Awards for his lush work on Marvel’s “Daredevil,” but he hasn’t produced regular interior art since leaving that title in 2012. This October, he returns to monthly comics with “The Valiant,” a new miniseries written by Jeff Lemire and Matt Kindt. Uniting Valiant Comics’ superhero characters against a threat that has evolved through time, this project gives Rivera freedom to stretch his creative muscles in a fledgling comic-book universe, and early preview pages and concept designs promise all the detail and dynamism of his work at Marvel. Born and raised in Daytona Beach, Fla., Rivera was introduced to comic books by his father, Joe Rivera, a painter of custom motorcycles who kept assorted issues around the house. “I grew up in Florida not too far from Disney,” Rivera says. “I was a kid who could […]
July 28, 2014 | 8:00 a.m.
Who is the most important person in Marvel Comics history? Several audience members responded to Mark Waid’s question by shouting back “Stan Lee!” No, the Eisner Award-winning “Daredevil” writer told the crowd gathered for a panel about Marvel’s 75th and the Man Without Fear’s 50th anniversaries. But they were close: It’s Lee’s wife Joanie, Waid said. In 1961, Lee “was starting to feel burned out” after 20 years and about 10,000 issues of various genre stories under the direction of publisher Martin Goodman, said Waid, an expert on comics history, and was looking to do something else with his life. “It was his wife Joanie,” Waid continued, “who said … ‘If you’re done with comics and go away and do something else, at least take one last shot and do something that you really want to do… And if it […]
July 28, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.
If Hollywood seemed a tad quieter than normal this past weekend, there was a good reason: Like moths to a porch light — or Batman to the Bat Signal — film and television creators, executives and stars were drawn en masse to downtown San Diego in an effort to drum up excitement for their upcoming wares at the annual Comic-Con International pop-culture expo. The unveiling of the first footage from the highly anticipated superhero mash-up “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and an extended early glimpse at “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” may have sent the biggest reverberations through the four-day film, television, video-game and comic-book fest. But there was plenty of other news to stir the excitement of the 130,000 or so convention-goers who descended upon the San Diego Convention Center, many decked out in costume, to watch exclusive […]
July 26, 2014 | 7:59 p.m.
Marvel is famous for its Saturday Comic-Con International panel, and this year, the comic book studio didn’t disappoint — confirming that “Guardians of the Galaxy 2″ will open on July 28, 2017, and debuting new footage from Joss Whedon’s highly anticipated 2015 release, “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Represented on stage by movies guru Kevin Feige, Marvel brought out the members of its sprawling A-list “Avengers” cast — Robert Downey Jr., Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Cobie Smulders, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Evans, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Paul Bettany, James Spader and Elizabeth Olsen to wild applause (the crowd in the 6,500 seat Hall H had been chanting “Marvel” and doing the wave, rock concert-style, before the session even began). (If you’d prefer not to know anything about the “Avengers” sequel, this might be a good time to stop reading.) Although writer-director […]
July 26, 2014 | 4:27 p.m.
Marvel is launching back into “Star Wars” comics with major creative Force, with three series – a core title, plus a Darth Vader ongoing and a Princess Leia miniseries — rolling out in January, February and March. Writer Jason Aaron (“Thor, God of Thunder”) and John Cassaday (“Astonishing X-Men”), who Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada introduced to the “Cup o’ Joe” Comic-Con International panel Saturday afternoon as “Jedis,” will pick up the story right after the original film in January’s “Star Wars” No. 1, an ongoing monthly series. “As far as I’m concerned it’s 1977, and we’ve just been hired to produce the direct sequel to that original movie,” Aaron said. “I want everybody here who reads this book to feel like I felt when I was a kid and first met these characters … I want you to […]
July 25, 2014 | 5:53 p.m.
Marvel head of television Jeph Loeb might not have been able to shed much light on the future plot lines of Marvel’s two ABC series “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and “Agent Carter” — the studio really relies on its narrative surprises — but he did reveal some key cast and directors on Marvel TV’s Comic-Con International panel on Friday. Loeb confirmed that Lucy Lawless will join the cast of “S.H.I.E.L.D.” in the show’s second season as a tough, knife-wielding longtime veteran named Isabelle Hartley. She’ll be joined by a young English actor named Nick Blood (yes, it’s his real name) as the mercenary Lance Hunter, known to comics fans as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s British counterpart, S.T.R.I.K.E. The third new cast member is Reed Diamond, who will play Hydra villain Daniel Whitehall. Additionally, guest star Patton Oswalt appeared in character as […]
July 25, 2014 | 4:56 p.m.
Marvel might have found its Stephen Strange. Oscar-nominated actor Joaquin Phoenix is in negotiations to star in the upcoming Marvel project, part of the studio’s phase three roster of comic book blockbusters, which will be written and directed by Scott Derrickson (“Deliver Us From Evil,” “Sinister”). Phoenix, whose lengthy resume includes lauded turns in “Gladiator,” “Walk the Line” and “The Master,” was most recently seen on-screen in James Gray’s drama “The Immigrant,” and Spike Jonze’s futuristic love story, “Her.” “Doctor Strange” will bring to the screen Stephen Strange, the former neurosurgeon turned Sorcerer Supreme who is the Marvel Universe’s greatest protector against magical peril – and one of his fellow superheroes’ most sought after advisors. First appearing in a Stan Lee-written and Steve Ditko-drawn story in “Strange Tales” No. 110 in 1963, the brilliant magician has fought such foes as […]
July 25, 2014 | 12:16 p.m.
The Spider-Verse continues to expand – even before fans have seen it form. Marvel announced more tie-in books to the Spider-people-from-every-place-and-every-time event starting in November at a panel about the story line Friday morning at Comic-Con. “Spider-Verse Team-Up” and “Scarlet Spiders” join the previously announced miniseries “Edge of Spider-Verse” in adding to the main story that runs in “Amazing Spider-Man” Nos. 9 through 14. Each of the three issues of “Team-Up” will feature two stories – the first in each by writer Christos Gage and art by Dave Williams, with the second stories written by different past Spider-writers, including one by Roger Stern and one by Tom DeFalco. “Scarlet Spiders” by writer Mike Costa and artist Paco Diaz features two Scarlet Spider-Men (Ben Reilly and Kaine) and Ultimate Jessica Drew – all clones. As for the main story, by writer […]
July 25, 2014 | 5:00 a.m.
About midway through Marvel’s new interstellar adventure “Guardians of the Galaxy,” David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream” plays over a shot of a ramshackle spaceship traveling toward a mining colony called Knowhere. The planet is actually the severed head of a fallen titan (or deity) where workers of alien races, some with candy-colored skin, collect valuable bone and fluid to ship to the outer reaches of the cosmos. The sequence could have been cribbed from the imagination of surrealist trickster Alejandro Jodorowsky, perhaps as part of his unrealized cinematic adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel “Dune.” Yet it’s far from the only over-the-top landscape in the film, which arrives in theaters Friday as Marvel’s riskiest venture. Based on a fairly obscure comics series, “Guardians of the Galaxy” is the first major studio film to be directed by James Gunn, a subversive stalwart […]
July 24, 2014 | 4:46 p.m.
Fans hoping for a chance to meet Stan Lee at Comic-Con International in San Diego were disappointed to learn Thursday that the Marvel icon was forced to bow out of his scheduled appearances at the pop culture expo. The culprit? A case of laryngitis. In a statement released Thursday, the first full day of Comic-Con 2014, a spokesman for Lee said, “Unfortunately, Stan Lee has lost his voice due to laryngitis and is unable to attend this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, and has regrettably had to cancel his appearances. Stan is otherwise well and in good health, though he is disappointed to miss the event and wishes everyone a great time.” FULL COVERAGE: Comic-Con 2014 Lee, 91, had been set to attend the convention on Friday and Saturday. Marvel enthusiasts will, however, be able to catch a glimpse of the […]