– What fate may befall Cyclops after the finale of AVENGERS VS. X-MEN? It has been teased since August that there will be a designated fatality in the final stretch of the crossover event – specifically in issues #11-12. Marvel ultimately released a sneak preview of colored artwork from UNCANNY AVENGERS as drawn by John Cassaday (and written by Rick Remender) which seems to feature Cyclops – post Phoenix possession – being lobotomized and with some generator placed into his brain (http://www.bleedingcool.com/2012/09/05/what-are-they-doing-to-cyclops-brain/). In fairness, it hasn’t been confirmed who the lobotomy patient is, but it is worth noting that much like with Daredevil in SHADOWLAND (circa 2010), Scott Summers is a character who has been written into a corner of late. In the first promotional artwork for Marvel NOW! as drawn by chief creative officer Joe Quesada, there is a man in a red suit wearing a helmet with an “X” shaped visor who may or may not be Cyclops (http://cdn.ifanboy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Marvel-NOW_Promo-Art_EW_JQ.jpg). Furthermore, ALL-NEW X-MEN is soon coming by writer Brian Bendis and artist Stuart Immonen which will feature the five founding teenage X-Men being thrust forward in time into the present. This will include teenage versions of Cyclops and Jean Grey/Marvel Girl, and Bendis has gone on record as seeing this exercise as a way to “bring Jean back” with a clean slate. Could Marvel see this as a similar avenue for Cyclops (or even Angel/Warren Worthington III, who has been a mess since the 90’s)? In a variant cover for AVX #12 by Jerome Opena (the incoming AVENGERS artist) features Cyclops as the lone host to the Phoenix Force (http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=40920).
The comparison to Daredevil in SHADOWLAND is not an accident. By that point in late 2010, Daredevil had long abandoned his status quo as a lawyer to become the new “kingpin” of Hell’s Kitchen, then the head of the ninja cult called “the Hand”, and finally possessed by a demon into becoming a supernatural warlord. SHADOWLAND ended with a quick “death and revival” for Daredevil which cleaned the slate and paved the way for Mark Waid’s Eisner Award worthy relaunch of his title. If Marvel editors genuinely believe that Cyclops has been taken to such a similar extreme position over the past five years, then some “clean slate” maneuver could be imminent for ol’ Slim. AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #11 goes on sale later today, so stay tuned!
– Marvel have released more vague teasers for Marvel NOW! which note simply the last names of the creative teams on a potential book as well as one word to describe it. Three of them are set to launch in December (http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=40878). Dennis Hopeless is set to write two of them; one series with artist Kev Walker under the blurb “SURVIVE”, and another with artist Salvatore Larroca headlined with “WANTED”. The third teaser for December is Daniel Way and Steve Dillon on something headlined by “LIGHTENING”. It is possible this could be a relaunch of THUNDERBOLTS, whose old tag line was “Justice Like Lightening”. Writer Jeff Parker was writing Thunderbolts for over two years, but the series was since re-titled DARK AVENGERS. As for the others, possibly guesses are relaunches of Secret Warriors or even Secret Avengers. The last teaser is for a series in January 2013 with writer Sam Humphries (ULTIMATE COMICS ULTIMATES) and artist Ron Garney under the blurb, “KILLERS”. Rick Remender has noted that in December, UNCANNY X-FORCE comes to an end (http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=40927), so one of these could be a relaunch of that. This is atop a Morbius The Living Vampire series debuting around the same time as well as relaunches of – or new spin offs for – various X-Men and Avengers titles. As with the last batch of similar teasers, expect more data once solicitations are due for December/January, which will be in a few weeks.
– Back in August it was announced that James Gunn was being courted to helm the “GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY” film by Marvel Studios (http://quadrust.com/article/marvel-comics-news-8-22-12-avengers-academy-canned-gotg-director-more-elves). Joss Whedon – set to direct “THE AVENGERS 2” as well as the “SHIELD” TV show pilot – has seen the script and describes it as “twisted” and confirms that Gunn “loves the raccoon. Needs the raccoon” (http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1693491/joss-whedon-guardians-galaxy-tiff.jhtml). Suffice it to say, Whedon has total faith in Gunn to deliver on what may Marvel Studios’ riskiest film. While Whedon was around, he dropped more hints about “AVENGERS 2”, such as: “The creation of the team is not the happy ending. It is the beginning of something that is complex and difficult, and now I get to dig a little deeper” (http://spinoff.comicbookresources.com/2012/09/11/joss-whedon-the-avengers-2/). Whedon also commented on the fact that he will have some say in the “next phase” of Marvel Studios films in terms of input.
– Gazillion Entertainment has announced the start of beta testing for the massive multi-player online role playing game, “MARVEL HEROES”, starting in October (http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=40935). Those who seek a chance to participate can apply on the game’s main website on a first come, first serve basis. This is naturally Marvel’s answer to “DC UNIVERSE ONLINE” released by their competition years ago. Unlike that game, players for this game won’t create their own characters but will instead take control of one of Marvel’s official characters such as Iron Man, Spider-Man, Punisher, and even Squirrel Girl. Naturally Marvel seeks to capitalize on the success of games such as “WORLD OF WARCRAFT” or “EVERQUEST”, or even “CHAMPIONS ONLINE”. Will the risk reap that reward?
Last Week’s Marvel Comics News – http://quadrust.com/article/marvel-comics-news-9-5-12-shield-tv-show-expanded-avengers-roster-mcd-dies
This Week’s DC Comics News – http://quadrust.com/article/dc-comics-news-9-11-12-wonder-woman-s-second-tv-series-attempt-more
This Week’s Indie Comics News – http://quadrust.com/article/indie-comics-news-9-11-12-dark-horse-round-up-kickstarter-search-site-more