Check it out — Marvel’s cover to “All-New X-Men” #13 by artist Stuart Immonen, written by Brian Michael Bendis. This is my favorite X-book on the stands right now.

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“Mutants Surrounded in Immonen’s ‘All-New X-Men’ #13 Cover” — Click to read entire article!

“Previously unsolicited, Marvel Comics has released a first look at Stuart Immonen’s cover of ‘All-New X-Men’ #13, written by Brian Michael Bendis with interior art by Immonen via Diamond Comics’ retailer website. With Angel having left the team to join Cyclops’ band of renegade mutants in ‘Uncanny X-Men,’ Immonen’s cover features the four remaining time-displaced X-Men surrounded by a group of armed soldiers.”

It’s old news now, but if you missed it — ABC has given the all clear for Joss Whedon’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” TV show starring Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson!

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“OFFICIAL: Whedon’s ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ A Go On ABC; Logo, Cast Photo Revealed” — Click to read entire article

“Yesterday the word was out that ABC was picking up Joss Whedon’s ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ TV series after a 7 second teaser of the pilot leaked online. Today the news became official as EW reports the show’s a go for the network’s Fall 2013 season, offering a first-look at the new logo.”

Actors Matthew Mercer and Clare Grant spoke with me about voicing Tony Stark & Black Widow in Marvel Animation’s “Iron Man: Rise of Technovore” anime.

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“Mercer & Grant Give Voice to ‘Iron Man: Rise of Technovore'” — Click to read full article

“With the anticipated arrival of ‘Iron Man 3’ in theaters May 3, Marvel is thrusting Tony Stark in the spotlight early with the animated feature ‘Iron Man: Rise of Technovore.’ Releasing April 16 on DVD & Blu-ray, ‘Technovore’ is an English dub of the anime directed by Hiroshi Hamazaki, presenting an edgier take on the Marvel Uninverse than other Marvel Animation projects like the ‘Ultimate Spider-Man’ cartoon.

The English dub voice actors are headlined by ‘The Walking Dead’ star Norman Reedus, who plays The Punisher in ‘Technovore.’ Matthew Mercer plays Tony Stark, fresh off of voicing Tygra in Cartoon Network’s ‘ThunderCats’ and Leon Kennedy in the video game ‘Resident Evil 6,’ while Clare Grant of Team Unicorn gives life to Black Widow.

CBR News: Who or what, exactly, is the Technovore?

Matthew Mercer: It’s from a storyline in “Iron Man” #294 from the ’90s. The Technovore’s a character from Tony’s past who went through a transformation experimenting with bio tech armor that wrote itself into this individuals DNA. It’s a living suit of armor that makes it extremely dangerous and completely unlike anything they’ve ever seen before. Things get weirder considering this individual has a strange, almost psychotic philosophy he adheres to.

The scope gets very big — there are parts that remind me of “Akira” and other thought-inducing anime from the early 90s.

Clare Grant: I love the animation for this movie. It’s beautiful. It’s broody.

In playing to that, I tried to keep Black Widow grounded, solid and tough. I didn’t let her get in my girly voice — I kept her in my ‘I will kill you voice.’ [laughs]”

I didn’t like #1 and fell asleep during #2 (How many times did Mickey Rourke sharpen something while talking to himself?), but “Iron Man 3” shows promise — The Mandarin is like a wicked Splinter with Harry Potter powers. Check out the Super Bowl XLVII extended trailer and an image gallery by clicking below!

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“The Mandarin, Tony Stark Heroics Highlight ‘Iron Man 3’ Super Bowl Spots” — Click to read full article

“A 30-second trailer for ‘Iron Man 3’ ran during Super Bowl XLVII with Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr., turning on the heroics, saving people in a free fall after their plane explodes in midair. Shortly thereafter on the Iron Man Facebook page a 1:30 trailer debuted with extended footage, highlighted by a shot of Don Cheadle as James Rhodes sporting a new set of armor.”

This actually ran last week on CBR, so I’m running a little behind!

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“New Variants Show ‘Age of Ultron’s’ Star in Action” — Click to read entire article

“Marvel Comics released a first look at new variant covers for ‘Age of Ultron’ #4 & #5 by Adi Granov in the column “GabrielNOW!” on Diamond Comics’ retailer website. The ten issue Marvel NOW! maxiseries written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Bryan Hitch was announced late last year after an extended period of silence.

‘This is the first large-scale story to hit across the landscape of Marvel NOW!, so it’s frighteningly important to what’s going on and what will be going on in the future!’ Brevoort said in Gabriel’s Diamond column. ‘We’ve been laying the seeds for Age of Ultron as far back as the Heroic Age, and as you can see from the list of tie-in titles, it’s a story that’s going to impact all across the Marvel Universe, into every corner — from ‘Uncanny Avengers’ to ‘Wolverine & The X-Men’ to ‘Superior Spider-Man’ and ‘Fantastic Four.’ It’s also a team of world-class creators telling an epic saga of sweeping scale! And people are going to absolutely plotz when they get to the final pages of the final issue — guaranteed!'”

A couple weekends ago I attended a Disney XD event to interview Drake Bell, the voice actor of Spider-Man in the new “Ultimate Spider-Man” cartoon, and Cort Lane the show’s Supervising Producer to talk Season 2 (which debuted January 21)!

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“Drake Bell & Cort Lane Swing into ‘Ultimate Spider-Man’ Season 2” — Click to read entire article

“CBR News: Cort, let’s start off with you giving us something exciting Spider-Man fans can expect to see is Season 2 of “Ultimate Spider-Man?”

Cort Lane: It’s Season 2, so we have to go bigger and we’re going to make a lot of people happy — you’re going to see a number of classic Spider-Man villains. The first six episodes lead up to, and reveal, our version of the Sinister Six. There’s one member we can’t tell, but the rest of the team is Electro, The Lizard, Kraven the Hunter, Rhino and Beetle. When the Sinister Six comes together, it’s a whole lot of trouble for Spider-Man. As a teaser, Hawkeye guest-stars in the Beetle episode.

This show is a pure Marvel production, and it often pulls from comic book lore. In using the Sinister Six, have you utilized the classic comics as a resource for this season’s stories?

Lane: That’s a good question. We can pick and choose from classic storylines, the “Ultimate Spider-Man” comic series, the “Ultimates” line of comics and put our own twist to them. People will be surprised with how we have taken Rhino, a character without a personal relationship to Spider-Man, and in this second season we’ve made that relationship more personal — I think that’s where the stories work best for him. What we have been able to do with Norman Osborn in this season is tell some stories similar to those told in the last ten years of comics. I can’t give too much away, but you will see iterations of Norman in this season that have been in the comics for the last few years.”

Every month when new solicits are announced for comics, something always makes me go, “Woah! I WANT THAT!” Marvel’s “Wolverine: The Adamantium Collection” is one of those items. A killer line up of writers and artists on 35 of the most memorable Wolverine issues of all-time makes for a desirable oversized slipcase HC.

But holy fucking shit, Marvel Disney — TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS!? Seriously! Has the cover price of a graphic novel ever been that high in the history of mankind? Not even sexy IDW Artist’s Editions are that suggested retail price. What the hell.

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This is not the actual cover of the “Adamantium Collection.” It hasn’t been revealed yet, although this issue is in it. It should also be in your collection.

WOLVERINE: THE ADAMANTIUM COLLECTION HC

  • Written by PAUL JENKINS, BARRY WINDSOR-SMITH, CHRIS CLAREMONT, LARRY HAMA, WARREN ELLIS, MARK MILLAR & JASON AARON
  • Penciled by ANDY KUBERT, BARRY WINDSOR-SMITH, DAVE COCKRUM, FRANK MILLER, JIM LEE, ADAM KUBERT, LIENIL YU, KAARE ANDREWS & CHRIS BACHALO
  • Cover by BILLY TAN
  • Slipcase by GABRIELE DELL’OTTO

It’s the best and brightest moments from Wolverine’s long and storied history — presented together in a gorgeous, oversized slipcased hardcover and packed with dozens of extras, just in time for Logan’s triumphant return to the big screen! Witness the transformation of sickly James Howlett into the battle-hardened Logan, and then into the metal-clawed super hero called Wolverine! Experience Logan’s struggles to learn the ways of honor, control his bestial nature, and deal with a litany of friends and foes from his checkered past! Thrill to his near-fatal encounter with Magneto! And be there as Wolverine takes on the responsibility of mentoring the next generation — and opens a school! Collecting ORIGIN #1-6; material from MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS (1988) #72-84; UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #162, #205 and #268; WOLVERINE (1982) #1-4; WOLVERINE (1988) #75 and #119-122; WOLVERINE (2003) #32; and WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN #1-3.

  • 720 PGS./Parental Advisory …$200
  • ISBN: 978-0-7851-6789-1
  • Trim size: Oversized slipcase edition (11-1/2 x 15-1/2)

And the real kick in the pants is not the price, but it should be 36 issues — “Incredible Hulk” #181 isn’t included. In the “Adamantium Collection.”

Godamnit. I’m still going to buy it at some point.

Last Wednesday, Rick Basaldua sketched this Rogue of the X-Men & Katherine French sketched Psylocke for me during an impromptu signing at Collector’s Paradise Pasadena.

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This is my fourth piece from Rick and third from Katherine, who have previously drawn for me Iceman and a few Ninja Turtles. I love how Rick’s Rogue is done in the style of Chris Bachalo. Also, my camera sucks.

So far this series has been a solid epilogue to “Avengers vs X-Men.”

REVIEW: “AvX: Consequences” #3 — Click to read entire review

“‘AvX: Consequences,’  by Kieron Gillen with art by Scot Eaton, serves as a direct epilogue to ‘Avengers Vs. X-Men,’ getting inside the head of the former mutant leader, forcing him to face the results of his actions in ‘AvX.’

Gillen has been on point with this miniseries and continues to be so here — the direction taken with Summers reinforces the idea he has indeed become the new Magneto — at least ideologically. Cyclops put mutantkind above everything else in ‘AvX,’ including the mass loss of human life. As a result he’s been imprisoned by Marvel’s Mightiest Heroes. However, these characters are living in a more complicated world than when Magneto was top dog and with that realization comes the crux of this mini: a muddied line between right and wrong.”

Oh man — Marvel recently released a preview of the 1:50 variant cover to “All-New X-Men” #1 by Paolo Rivera. As an Iceman fan this may have to be the first ever 1:50 variant I purchase.

So cool.

xmen1The very first X-Men comic to be published by Marvel was X-Men #1. It was released in September of 1963, and the team consisted of Professor X, Marvel Girl (Jean Grey), Cyclops, Iceman, Beast, and Angel. The X-Men’s most popular character, Wolverine, didn’t join the team until 12 years later in 1975 when he appeared in Giant Size X-Men #1!

A Fastball Special is the term that was originally coined for when the steel-bodied Colossus tossed a feral Wolverine at an opponent. Over the years though, many different characters have performed the move, but it has only been perfected by the Russian and Canadian mutants.

Meanwhile, over at D.C. Comics, there have been four different characters who have taken up the Robin mantle at Batman’s side. In order of duty they have been: Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, and Tim Drake again. Dick Grayson later grew up to become the blue and black clad Nightwing. Jason Todd brutally died at the hands of The 101113-48969-fastball-special1Joker only to return years later as the vigilante Red Hood. Now Todd has become something of an anti-hero, taunting his former comrades by donning their costumes and delivering a harsher form of justice. Tim Drake is still in high cover-largeschool and could easily be compared to Marvel’s Peter Parker during his younger years. Before she was Robin, Stephanie Brown patrolled the streets of Gotham City as the purple robed Spoiler. Batman took her under his wing when Tim went on an hiatus as Robin, giving Stephanie the role of Batman’s right hand… woman. She was seemingly killed by the villain Black Mask, only to come back a few years later. She has returned to her role as Spoiler.

Similarly, the Batgirl cowl has been taken up by two different women: Police Commissioner James Gordon’s daughter, Barbara Gordon, and the act first/ask questions later, Cassandra Cain. Barbara Gordon was Batgirl until The Joker crippled her by busting up her legs in “The Killing Joke” story arc. She is now consigned to a wheel chair and goes by the name of Oracle. Oracle is a computer hack, essentially taking the role of ‘mission control’ when it comes to the Bat-Family. Ironically, Cassandra Cain (who currently dons the Batgirl title) was trained by Barbara and is a total bad ass.