Walt Simonson On The Avengers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, so it won’t be this line up but this is still awesome. Marvel just announced that Walt Simonson will be penciling an arc on Brian Bendis’ Avengers this year.  The story takes place in the upcoming Avengers vs. X-Men event, so I’m sure it is going to be chock full of classic Simonson characters.

“I’ve never really gotten to draw the Avengers. I’m excited to draw them. But really, I wanted to work with Brian. We’ve always said it would be fun to work together, but I’ve been at DC. Now I’m back on the freelance trail and called Brian up. I did not expect to be handed a whole story arc. And when Brian said ‘There are a lot of characters’ I didn’t really realize how many characters,” said Simonson.

“I have a lot of homework to do. There are a lot of characters I know and others I know but who have changed.”

This arc starts with Avengers #25 and runs for six issues. This Andrew WK song sums up exactly how I feel about this:

Spider-Woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D.

Spider-Woman, how I love thee. There is just so much I love about the character like her mysterious background, distinct powers and even her interesting outlook on her self which was usually self doubting..

So in 2009, when the long-awaited new series for her hit the comics stores, I was more than read. It was written by Brian Michael Bendis (who I consider a ‘friend in my head–radio/television personality Wendy Williams’ term for a famous person that you don’t know personally but would assume you would get along with due to their public persona–due to him being quite the Jessica Drew fan) and had art from Alex Maleev (who never fails to amaze me). Needless to say, this new series was quickly added to my “to read” list.

The first story arc–and sadly the last (which we’ll get to in a second)–had Jessica going off to the crime ridden country of Madripoor to track down a Skrull posing as Spider-Man on the behalf of S.W.O.R.D., a covert task force dealt with tracking down aliens on the planet.

Needless to say, this wasn’t an easy assignment, as not only does she battle with the rogue Skrull, but faces off with the Madripoor police, Norman Osbourne’s Thunderbolts team of former super villains, and HYDRA commander Viper.

Obviously, this story was enjoyable because of its action-packed plot and Maleev’s art. But what makes it stick out is Jessica’s internal dialogue. She’s a very compelling character, filled with self-doubt.

So why was this series cut short? Bendis and Maleev had intended this to be the first ever monthly motion comic, with the print copy and animated version being released on the same day. And you thought day-and-date print and digital comics was cool!

In the collected version, they explain how difficult it was to adapt the art into the motion comic format, and reasonably so. I wish this series would have gone on past its initial seven issue story arc, but the good thing is that it tells a complete story. If your interested in seeing a preview of the Spider-Woman motion comic, Marvel has the first episode posted on its YouTube page (you need to be a registered YouTube member because it has a PG13-ish rating). If you like it, you can buy it on iTunes or on a DVD/Blu Ray.

Untangling the web of outrage about the new Ultimate Spider-Man

So the new Spider-Man featured in Marvel’s Ultimate line seems to have created a bit of controversy. Not for killing Spider-Man, but for his replacement half-black, half-Hispanic teen named Miles Morales who debuts in Ultimate Fallout #4 today. Unfortunately, it’s very hateful.

Instead of it being the “OMG! WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!?” in 2005 when DC killed off Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) and replaced him with the younger Hispanic Jamie Reyes, reaction by internet bullies has been very racist. Bleeding Cool has compiled a list of some of the worst comments left on an article about Miles’ debut.

To these people, I say calm the hell down. They’re missing the point completely. The fact that the new Spider-Man isn’t white has nothing to do with the story. Peter Parker’s dead, and that can’t be changed. But Miles was inspired to pick up the legacy of the fallen hero, something that has nothing to do with the color of his skin.

The frustrating part is all this fake outrage. The majority of those commenters probably don’t even read the comics and only know about Spider-Man from his appearances on the big screen and television. If they did, they would know that this isn’t the main version of Spider-Man, but an alternate one.

Just when things started to die down, artist Sara Pichelli’s quote in the United Kingdom’s Daily Mail seems to have further confused people about the new Spidey.

“Maybe sooner or later a black or gay – or both – hero will be considered something absolutely normal.”

Sara said this in a recent article. This was wrongfully misinterpreted that the new character was gay as well.

So now they’re up in arms that Spider-Man is not only black, but gay.


First she never said the character was gay. Secondly, its 2011. People need to be a lot more accepting.

That said, so how did we get to this point?

Another interview with writer Brian Michael Bendis revealed that they had planned on killing off the Ultimate version of Peter for a while. By changing the ethnicity of the new Spider-Man only helps distinguish the two different characters.

Community's Donald Glover tried to use his Twitter followers to help him land the role of Peter Parker in the new Amazing Spider-Man movie. Although he didn't get the part, they made a joke about it in an episode that season.

Community actor Donald Glover played a part in this decision. Glover took to the internet in a unsuccessful bid to play the role of Spider-Man in the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man.

“He looked fantastic!” Bendis recalls. “I saw him in the costume and thought, ‘I would like to read that book.’ So I was glad I was writing that book.”

 Bendis also had a bit of a personal interest in the new Spidey’s ethnicity. His two adopted daughters are an African America and an Ethiopian.

“Wouldn’t it be nice for them to have a character or a hero that speaks to them as much as Peter Parker has spoken to so many children?” Bendis says. “There’s nothing wrong with that, and I think we need more of it.”

And that’s the thing. It doesn’t matter what color our heroes are. What is important is that they inspire us to be better people, and this is something that the Miles Morales Spider-Man will do.

Heck, I wanted to grow up to be Roadblock from GI Joe.  

Anyway, all this phony outrage just drives me nuts. If this twist in the Spider-Man mythos isn’t for you, then do what your grandmother always told you: if you can’t say anything nice, then say nothing at all.

Ultimate Spider-Man: DEAD

Death of Ultimate Spider-Man

Yes, this may be a spoiler for some since comics don’t come out till tomorrow. Quite frankly this is not a spoiler since USA Today broke the story.

For those unaware, Marvel (specifically Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen) killed off Spider-Man. Not the traditional one, but the one featured in the Ultimate comics since 2000. The Ultimate line featured revised, more modernized versions of the classic Marvel characters, featuring an updated Spidey. This version was independent, and allowed the creators to explore and reimagine the character and his world.

Spider-Man’s run lasted 160 issues, and tomorrow it comes to an abrupt end. Peter Parker dies saving everyone who is important to him–Mary Jane Watson, Gwen Stacy and his Aunt May–from being killed at the hands of arch-rival Green Goblin. Ultimately, he sacrifices himself on their behalf.

The Spider-Man mythos is built on tragedy and responsibility. It all goes back to what his Uncle Ben told him:

With great power comes great responsibility.

Peter ultimately becomes Spider-Man to seek revenge upon the robber-turned-murderer of Uncle Ben. Peter ultimately had the chance to prevent this, but he didn’t. This failing became his cross to bare, with him finding comfort because he was using his “great power” to make sure that no one would have to lose a loved one the way he did.

As Spider-Man was forged in death, its only fitting that the character ends that way. Spider-Man exists only because he failed to prevent the death of a loved one. Its only appropriate that his life was bookended by ceasing to exist because he prevented the death of his loved ones.

Bendis gave a great quote in the previously mentioned USA Today article.

Bendis had kicked around the idea of killing him for years. As the Ultimate Universe progressed, he saw ways to do things that hadn’t been seen before or explore brand-new relationships.

“We had talked about what Spider-Man meant and what it could mean and what kind of new stories you could tell,” Bendis says. “If he died saving Aunt May like he couldn’t save Uncle Ben, then you really had something.

“It occurred to me that if Peter passed away in a meaningful way, he could be the Uncle Ben character to a new Spider-Man, which then continues it to be a real Spider-Man story. Then it became more than just, ‘Oh my God, you killed him!'”

Ultimately, Spider-Man redeemed himself, which is a fitting end for him. He may have failed Uncle Ben, but he didn’t fail Aunt May.

This differs from when DC killed off Superman in 1992, as they always intended on bringing back the last son of Krypton. Marvel swears up and down that this is the end of the line for the character.

The tricky part is where they decide to go from here. Marvel has already announced that in the fall there will be a new Ultimate Spider-Man, and Bendis hinted that the new one will be influenced by Peter’s death.

Hopefully they won’t bring in some clones, as the one featured in the regular series only lead to more headaches. Until then, rest in peace Ultimate Spider-Man.