– Agent Coulson’s exposure continues to spread. The agent – played in Marvel Studios’ superhero films by Clark Gregg – has appeared in five films and counting and has even been animated in the “ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN” cartoon on Disney XD. This week, the character has been introduced to the proper Marvel Universe in BATTLE SCARS #6, which went on sale today (http://www.newsarama.com/comics/movie-character-marvel-universe-debut.html). The finale to the mini series by Chris Yost and artist Scot Eaton also introduced Nick Fury’s long lost son, Marcus Johnson, who has taken his father’s position as well as cyclopean fashion sense and name. Considering that Coulson was first introduced to viewers in “IRON MAN” in 2008, it is probably amazing that Marvel waited four years to insert him into their comic book universe. He isn’t the first character created for another medium who was eventually transferred into Marvel’s comic books; Firestar is the earliest example from the 1980’s, and Reptil from a few years ago.
– Marvel continues their promotion of ASTONISHING X-MEN #50, which is written by new series writer Majorie Liu and drawn by Mike Perkins – and leads to issue #51, which Marvel is promoting as a special wedding story (http://www.newsarama.com/comics/john-cassaday-astonishing-x-men-50.html). Original series artist John Cassaday draws a variant cover, which pays homage to his own cover for ASTONISHING X-MEN #1, circa 2004. Naturally, large numbered issues of series like a 50th issues often see some promotional push. While even money is the wedding will involve Northstar and his significant other Kyle, it has been a long time since there was a major wedding story in an X-Men book – Jean Grey and Cyclops’ wedding in the 90’s was the last major one.
– Disney, which is now Marvel’s parent company, has seen a major shake-up. Walt Disney Studios’ chairman Rich Ross has stepped down from his position and is leaving Disney in general after 15 years (http://www.deadline.com/2012/04/shocker-rich-ross-out-at-disney-more/). Insiders note that this is a “resignation” for dignity and that he was fired; while “THE AVENGERS” is slated to be a mega-hit, Ross is coming off expensive flops such as “MARS NEEDS MOMS” and especially “JOHN CARTER”, which cost over $200 million. Rumors abound as to who will replace him; Variety notes that it very well could be Kevin Feige, who is the president of Marvel Studios (http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118052926?refcatid=13&printerfriendly=true). The films he has helped produce have grossed over $5 billion since “IRON MAN” in 2008, and he has managed to negotiate many high profile cost effective (from a studios’ standpoint) contracts with actors such as Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Downey Jr., and Chris Evans. However, another factor is Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter, the CEO of Marvel Entertainment since 2005 and who established control over the company in 1997 when it went bankrupt and was essentially bought out by Toy Biz, a company Perlmutter co-owned (http://www.deadline.com/2012/04/disney-bob-iger-president-ceo-rich-ross-fired/). While he is not one of Disney’s shareholders, he retained his position at Marvel despite Disney purchasing the company in 2009; he has been on Marvel’s board of directors since the 90’s and naturally capitalized on their bankruptcy to assume command. Perlmutter is a reclusive billionaire known in many circles as being a vicious micro-manager who is difficult to deal with. Disney chairman Bob Iger is having his hands full with Perlmutter who has been undercutting him at Disney’s products division. While Marvel’s comic division has been allowed to do what it wishes, Marvel’s media productions have begun to feel the effect of Disney ownership, and a change up top will eventually trickle down. The Beat even theorizes that Marvel could wind up closing their expensive offices in New York City and move to cheap areas upstate or even to the west coast (http://www.comicsbeat.com/2012/04/21/tolja-ike-perlmutter-making-waves-at-disney/). Stay tuned.
– “THE WOLVERINE”, the latest Fox production starring Hugh Jackman (who is also producing the film) is setting the stage for filming in the star’s native Australia (http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/movies/its-claws-for-celebration-as-the-wolverine-with-hugh-jackman-filmed-in-sydney/story-e6frfmvr-1226333812605). The film is set for release on July 16th, 2013. It is behind schedule due to the difficulty in keeping a director; James Mangold is set to direct. There were also concerns about the film portraying Japanese villains so soon after the recent natural and nuclear disasters there.
– Sony has tapped Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, who have written “STAR TREK”, “MISSION IMPOSSIBLE III” and “TRANSFORMERS” to write the sequel to “AMAZING SPIDER-MAN”, which is tentatively scheduled for May 2nd, 2014 (http://www.superherohype.com/news/articles/170363-kurtzman-and-orci-to-work-on-screenplay-for-the-amazing-spider-man-2). The specifics of the plot are unknown, but director Marc Webb has hinted that he is tinkering with the origin story to stretch it across several films. “AMAZING SPIDER-MAN” hits theaters July 3rd.
– Production is beginning on “IRON MAN 3” – which Disney paid a king’s ransom to claim distribution rights from Paramount for, along with “THE AVENGERS” – and more casting announcements are coming forth. Guy Pierce – who was once rumored to be up for the role of Daredevil – has been cast as Dr. Aldrich Killian for the Shane Black directed production (http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118052904). Dr. Killian was a key figure in the Warren Ellis written EXTREMIS arc from 2005 – which is reportedly this film’s inspiration. Andy Lau is rumored to join the cast as “Tony’s friend” as well (http://www.superherohype.com/news/articles/170357-andy-lau-joining-iron-man-3), along with a rumor that the film could involve Iron Man’s nemesis, the Mandarin, in some form. Jessica Chastain is also up for a role as a scientist (http://www.deadline.com/2012/04/jessica-chastain-back-into-iron-man-3-talks/); her role is unknown but it could be Dr. Maya Hensan, who was from that EXTREMIS arc. Meanwhile, Shane Black describes the film as “a technological thriller” (http://www.superherohype.com/news/articles/170367-cinemacon-shane-black-drops-hints-on-iron-man-3). “IRON MAN 3” is set to debut May 3rd, 2013.
Last Week’s Marvel Comics News – http://nextooze.com/article/marvel-comics-news-4-17-12-2012-s-c2e2-report-hawkeye-gambit-s-new-titles
This Week’s DC Comics News – http://nextooze.com/article/dc-comics-news-4-25-12-david-hyde-chris-roberson-flee-before-watchmen-more
This Week’s Indie Comics News – http://nextooze.com/article/indie-comics-news-4-25-12-invincible-spin-off-axe-cop-s-fox-tv-show-more