Welcome one and all to this 20th edition of CBC's News Edition. And we got some very big stories in comics this week. Let's get to it.
AVENGERS VS. X-MEN
by Frankie Rodriguez
With sales in Marvel slowly gaining speed again with the recent hits of Incredible Hulk # 1, Uncanny X-Men # 1, Wolverine & the X-Men # 1 and Avengers: X-Sanction # 1, Marvel announces it's big event for 2012. And while we were expect some kind of monthly event, most comic fans were absolutely shocked when we got our first glimpse of Avengers vs. X-Men; the 12 issue, bi-weekly maxiseries event starting in April. The 12 issue event will feature the two biggest teams within Marvel duke it out as the battle is heralded by the return of the Phoenix Force.
There has every really been an Avengers vs. X-Men Super blowout. So it's almost as if we have to do it,
said Brian Michael Bendis.
Bendis will be joined by not 1 but 4 other writers in this Mega-event which includes Jason Aaron, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction and Jonathan Hickman. The five writers will all write at least 2 issues each with 2 of the writers writing 3 issues, each writer taking a turn then returning to the next in order. Joining the five writers in the major epic are artists John Romita Jr, who just finished a recent stint on the Avengers as penciller; Olivier Coipel, who has become apt in drawing both franchises since he drew House of M several years ago; and Adam Kubert, who is no stranger to drawing the X-Men but has done little Avengers work over the years.
The series will ship bi-weekly with a special code on each of the print issue to obtain a digital copy. Google + will intergrate special promotions for the title before and as the maxiseries prints.
Storywise, Captain America (and former Uncanny X-Men) writer Ed Brubaker stated:
We're gonna go, you know, balls to the wall. Widescreen. Big ideas. Big action. Big moments.
The story begins with two events: First, The current Avengers: X-Sanction miniseries where Cable plans on killing the Avengers within 24 hours in order to protect Hope. And second, Nova returning to Earth, stating that the Phoenix Force is back and possibly more destructive than ever after the events of the new Marvel Point One Special released last month. With hints that Hope may become the new host for the Phoenix Force and that the new Phoenix Force could very well destroy the universe with a host . . . the two teams will throwdown like never before.
And the effects, Jonathan Hickman stated:
Only one can come out on either side. It's gonna impact every book that we have.
This was hammered home by both EIC Axel Alonso and Brian Michael Bendis as they confirmed that there will be a winner, much like Civil War. And Axel said that, like Schism, each team will have a defensible side:
You've got two populations whose motivations are simple and understandable and defensible. That's part of the beauty of this. You're seeing a story that evolves out of 'What would you do?'"
And Hope Summers isn't the only factor. Wanda Maximoff, aka The Scarlet Witch, will also play a part in this after the events of the Avengers: Children's Crusade maxiseries. And while The Thing will be in it as part of the New Avengers, none of the other Fantastic Four or the Future Foundation will play a part in the story. What side will Wolverine's X-Men, who just split from Cyclops's X-Men will play. Will they side with the other X-Men after such a huge, philosophical split? And how will the Summers family play into this alongside Cyclops & Hope? Cable is slated to be sticking around while X-Man is firmly behind his father. Yet, what role Rachel Grey (Summers) will play? Being the one host of the Phoenix who had the most control of it and the current surviving member of the Grey Blood line after the Shi'ar Secret Death Squad killed them, Rachel will have a large stake and role in the story.
And while Marvel confirmed that this will be the event of 2012, they will not be flooding the market with one shots or miniseries. Alonso himself stated that most, if not all, of the tie-ins will be within the ongoing series as needed and will be significantly less than previous years events.
Avengers vs. X-Men will start with a recently added prologue issue #0, written by Brian Michael Bendis & Jason Aaron with art by Frank Cho coming out in March. Avengers vs. X-Men #1 will hit stores in April.
VALIANT FIRST HINTS OF RELAUNCH IN MAY
by Frankie Rodriguez
Several months back, CBC news edition announced that Valiant Entertainment had been reborn with a vengeance. And now, Valiant announced last week their first few titles for their relaunch and other plans. During Free Comic Book Day this year, Valiant will release a special sampler of their new titles debuting that month . .. for free. The new anthology will feature stories from Harbinger, Bloodshot and X-O Manowar.
The new titles will have small stories to give readers a taste of what is to come in the new titles. Plus, it will sport the cover with a brand new, redesigned X-O Manowar, done by Jelena Kevic Djurdjevic. The sleek warrior will be one of the flagship characters of the new relaunch.
Particular with the redesign of X-O Manowar, the hero will be sporting a sword as Valiant Executive Editor goes into why Aric has a sword this time around.
The man inside the X-O Manowar suit is Aric of Dacia, a Visigoth warrior from about 400 AD. One of the elements I discussed with Jelena and our writer is the idea that while Aric has a value system that might be totally foreign from ours, that doesn't mean he isn't intelligent. Just because a predator drone might be incomprehensible to him, that doesn't mean that he speaks in monosyllabic sentences or grunts when he's hungry. When we were developing the character in house, I discussed General Maximus from "Gladiator," or William Wallace from "Braveheart," as characters that might have the same vibe. When Aric gets ahold of the X-O Manowar suit -- the most sophisticated piece of armor in the universe -- he's dropped into a blender. And although the concept of the subconscious might be alien to him, he still has one. How the armor interacts with him -- with his body and his mind -- is one I wanted to address. The sword is part of his culture, part of his time, and even if it manifests subconsciously, it might be natural that this is how he'd interface with this armor -- or how the armor might interface with him. I don't want to give away too much -- how we execute will be seen in the pages of the book -- and I can tell you right now the creative team we have on board is absolutely crushing it. But from a design standpoint, I think Jelena did an amazing job with the sword. You can just feel the energy coursing through it. In a few weeks we'll announce the team, but I've done this a few times, and I can tell you that the work so far has been stellar.
X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Harbinger and Shadowman are just some of the titles that will be part of the relaunch. The FCBD offering will be released in May.
THE TICK GETS INVINCIBLE FOR #100
by Frankie Rodriguez
The Tick. A super strong, near invulnerable super hero that is full of slap stick humor, funnier villians and all around fun for two decades now. Invincible, the Robert Kirkman hero who gives us a Superman powered like hero with a very different life and outlook with wonderful, sometimes bloody, adventures. This March, the landmark 100th issue of The Tick will have the hero meet the Image iconic hero in a special team up as Chairface Chippendale and a mysterious new villain will hold the universe in peril as The Tick, Invincible, Atom Eve and Arthur must stop this threat to save Tick's universe . . . and possibly Invincible's. The landmark team up will also feature a 20 page special History of the Tick, going through the history of this series till now.
The Tick #100 is written by Benito Cereno with art by Les McClaine, guest-starring Invincible and Atom Eve, will hit stores this March.
IDW GOING SAME DAY PRINT TO DIGITAL
by Frankie Rodriguez
IDW has been quietly been shifting things over with their line of late. The new Cobra Commander was revealed in the recently released GI Joe issue #8. Transformers #31 ended the ongoing series with the new Death of Optimus Prime issue slated to come out this week as well as the two new ongoings: Transformers: Robots In Disguise and Transformers: More than Meets the Eye to hit stores in January. They even gotten licensing to True Blood comics to start a new ongoing in March.
Now, IDW is pushing aggressively in their digital sales with a move to comiXology as of Wednesday of last week. IDW now has a new storefront on iSO and comiXology with new apps for their titles. And as of March 2012, IDW will be going same day print to digital to all their books across all kinds of digital platforms: iSO, Kindle, Web and Android. You will be able to select a back catalogue of titles as well as purchase new ones.
ComiXology co-founder & CEO David Steinberg commented on the new partnership:
Powering IDW’s entire catalog across their bestselling apps is a privilege. The diversity of IDW’s line offers something for everyone, whether you’re a comic fan or not. With the recent addition of Comics by comiXology pre-loaded on the Kindle Fire to our platform, IDW now has a fully cross-platform solution that can reach new fans.
IDW Publisher & CEO Ted Adams added:
IDW has always been dedicated to making our comics and graphic novels as accessible as possible on as many platforms as possible, and this deeper IDW-comiXology relationship continues that commitment. We are strong believers that digital comics expand the reach of these books and consistently bring new readers into the industry.
This deal was instituded after the recent addition to IDW titles pushed comiXology's sales pushed the digital comic book business saw a dramatic 50% rise of sales over their threshold on same day as print offerings. All titles on digital format will be offered at regular cover price. IDW same day as print for their entire line begins this March.
GATES LEAVES HAWK & DOVE TO LIEFIELD
by Frankie Rodriguez
Finally, as announced this past weekend, Sterling Gates final issue of Hawk & Dove will be released next month. The writer was taken off the book after he was told that they wanted to go a different direction with the book. This marks the second writer in the row who had suffered such a drastic change; just weeks after announcing Ron Marz's last issue of Voodoo is this month's Voodoo # 4 with the same reasoning that DC wanted to take a different direction. Liefield was asked to take over as writer, according to the iconic artist, after a weekend of dilberation, he took on the assignment.
Gates had stated that he had written issue #6 but that was scraped as well as part of his final issue so that it would help transition over from him to Liefield with ease.
Hawk & Dove #5 written by Sterling Gates & Rob Liefield and art by Liefield hits stores next month
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Just cause man. Just cause!
Happy Holidays Everyone. Next Week, we are gonna do the best and worst of 2011 special. See you then.