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Other Comics / All-Female Team of FEARLESS DEFENDERS
« on: November 08, 2012, 09:51:54 am »
Marvel NOW! Gets an All-Female Team of FEARLESS DEFENDERS
By Albert Ching, Newsarama Staff Writer

There aren't a lot of superhero comics that star female characters, a fact that's been lamented by observers and fueled recent debate.

Come February, Marvel is debuting one more: Fearless Defenders, from the creative team of writer Cullen Bunn (The Sixth Gun, Venom) and, making his Marvel debut, artist Will Sliney (MacGyver, Farscape). The book stars the unlikely duo of Valkyrie and Misty Knight, and is something of a follow-up to the Fear Itself: The Fearless miniseries, which also starred Valkyrie and featured Bunn as lead writer.

Not only does Fearless Defenders star two female characters, it's an all-female team, and features a brand-new female antagonist plaguing the main cast. Newsarama has the first interview with Bunn on the series, who reveals the third member of the team — hint, she's one of the original New Mutants and lost her powers due to House of M — and talks about working with Sliney, and shining a spotlight on a few lesser-known Marvel characters.

Newsarama: Cullen, based on the title and the presence of Valkyrie, one wonders, does Fearless Defenders tie-in at least partly to the end of the Fear Itself: The Fearless miniseries?

Cullen Bunn: It does, to some degree. The basic idea of the book is that Valkyrie is choosing a new team of Valkyrior, and she's been asked to choose all these women from the heroes of Midgard, instead of from Asgard. She has completely failed in this task. [Laughs.] Valkyrie has been unable to choose anyone that she feels is worthy to be one of the hosts of the shield maidens. So she just hasn't done it. She's dropped the ball.

Because she's not done what she said she would do, nature — or supernature, as it is — abhors a vacuum. The absence of the Valkyrior has opened the door to something terrible. Something awful is waking, and Valkyrie finds that it's really her fault that she's put everything at risk.

Nrama: So of course the "Defenders" name implies that this is a team book, but it sounds like not necessarily in the conventional sense?

Bunn: It is going to be a team book. It'll be an all-female team. But I didn't want to go into issue #1 and say, "here is the team." My goal is to take my time in building this team. I want to build it slowly — even after the first arc, the team will not be formed completely.

Instead, I started looking at characters who make sense, and also can be interesting foils for Valkyrie. And that's when this idea of Misty Knight came up. I put the two of them together in the first issue, and I liked the way they interact so much, and I think they offer something completely different than what you've seen before. They became my core team. They're sort of the window characters — they're the proxies for our readers. The rest of the team will build around them.

Nrama: So Valkyrie and Misty Knight are co-leads of the book?

Bunn: Correct. They're our co-leads, and the rest of the team will build around them. I think it'll be interesting to see how the two of them see things differently. You've got Misty, who's a very street-level character. And you've got Valkyrie, who's a goddess. So you've got very different backgrounds, and I think they will see their potential teammates very differently, and I think you'll see that the two of them have some differences of opinion on who would be the right team for what they're going to be facing.

Nrama: Not sure how much you can say about the rest of the team at this point, but will it be a combination of new and existing characters?

Bunn: As we build the team, you'll see some of the more well-known characters, but I don't want it to be a team of characters who are all on six other books, either. I think some team members will be definite surprises, if not all of the team. There will be some new characters joining the team, who no one has seen before.

That said, this will also be a book that gives us a great opportunity to showcase the women of the Marvel Universe. You'll be seeing a lot of characters in the book who may not necessarily be in the core team, but will have the opportunity to guest-star and rotate into the book.

Nrama: "Defenders" is definitely a title with lots of history at Marvel, and Valkyrie is tied heavily into that history. What's the philosophy for you in calling the title Fearless Defenders? It's been tough recently for books titled "Defenders" — Matt Fraction's recent book was awesome, but had trouble finding an audience, and ended this week with issue #12. What makes this a uniquely "Defenders" title, for you?

Bunn: It has been a book that has had some difficulty. I agree with you, Matt's book was really awesome. But I think, in the end, what I liked about it was, when I look back at what Defenders has always been — going way back to the original team — it's been this book that kind of defies expectations of a team book. I just don't think anyone is going to expect what they'll get out of this book. Like the original Defenders, this book goes against what people are really thinking about when they think about a team book. People say, "It's a team book, so it has to have these types of characters in it." I don't think anybody would be expecting Valkyrie and Misty Knight to be leading the book. That's kind of the way I want to approach the entire series. It's all going to be a little bit offbeat, a little off-center of what you might expect. When I look at the history of Defenders, that's what that team has always been.

Nrama: Also, what's the significance, to you, of writing an all-female team?  That's a big deal in superhero comics, and clearly something that happened by coincidence. There's a lot of importance and responsibility in that, given the climate of the industry.

Bunn: This is an idea that I came up with when I was working on Fear Itself: The Fearless. I was probably writing the sixth issue or so when this dawned on me. I came up with the idea that Valkyrie might have to replace the Valkyrior with women from the Marvel Universe, and when that idea dawned on me, I did not approach it as, "This is my opportunity to tell a story with an all-female team." I approached it as, "This is a great opportunity to tell some really cool stories, some things that I think would be exciting."

That said, now that it's actually happening several months later, it is not lost on me that it is important to treat these characters with respect; to make them real characters. I'm not a writer who's going to sit back and say, "I want to write a good all-female team," I just want to write a good team, and approach them as real people, and build some personality into some of these characters, and try to develop a fanbase for a lot of these characters who, in some cases, people may not have been exposed to at all yet.

I think there are a lot of great female characters in the Marvel Universe who have not been given the chance they need, because maybe they can't support a book all on their own, or maybe they've been on a team and they've been kind of lost in the shuffle for, in some cases, many, many, many years. This is my opportunity to put them all together, and to give them the spotlight.

Nrama: Let me throw a character name at you who might fit the bill, and you can "no comment" at will. Wasp just came back from presumed death, and she doesn't seem to be in a Marvel NOW! Avengers book yet.

Bunn: She did just come back, didn't she? [Laughs.] I kind of want to build that speculation of who's going to be on the team. I want people to say, "Hey, are we going to get a new team member in the second arc, and who are they going to be?" So I don't want to say too many people that are going to be on the team.

I'll tell you that Misty Knight and Valkyrie are on the team. The third member of the team, who you'll see really quickly, is going to be Dani Moonstar. She's an awesome character. She has a fanbase. There are a lot of people who really like Dani Moonstar — I'm one of them. Even better, she has such a connection to the Valkyrie. She was on the top of my list when I started putting together who I thought would be the core roster.

I think she also represents what I'm talking about — she has a fanbase, she gets a lot of attention in New Mutants, but New Mutants just came to an end. I think she's a character who deserves some time in the spotlight, and this will be a different capacity for her as a character. I think you'll see Dani in a different light, and for so many reasons, she's a character who deserves that moment to shine.

Nrama: Yeah, that's a character that a lot of people seem to have fondness for, but she really doesn't have much of a role outside of the context of New Mutants.

Bunn: Right. I think when people read the second issue, and Dani makes her appearance on the team, people will really like her role in the book. I have an endgame in mind with Dani that will change her character to some degree, and it will define her for the future in a different way.

Nrama: You're paired on Fearless Defenders with artist Will Sliney artist, who has done work at BOOM! and Image, but is new to Marvel. It's fairly early still, but how has working with him been so far?

Bunn: It's fairly early in the process, but the great thing was, I was just at New York Comic Con, and Will was there, so I was able to actually sit down with Will, and talk to him about the series, and really get his take on some things about the book, and talk to him about what I wanted to do. I always enjoy it actually being a collaboration. I don't want to just turn in a script, and then see pages. I want to work with the artist. I think you get a better result when the writer and the artist are both invested in the book. I wanted this to be [Sliney's] book, as well.

I think he's turned in 10 pages so far of the first issue, and it looks pretty great. I think it's a book that'll look unlike any of the other books coming out from Marvel NOW!, in a good way. He's giving it its own distinct feel, and its own distinct vibe.

Nrama: And it's fortuitous that you met him at NYCC, since he's in Ireland and that chance might not have come up again anytime soon.

Bunn: Yeah, he's in Ireland. They put my accent and his accent together. I think the editors at Marvel think it's funny to have me work with the Irish folks, because I'm working with Declan [Shalvey] on Venom. [Laughs.]

Nrama: It's notable that though you've written a lot for Marvel in the past couple of years, Fearless Defenders is really your first chance to create something new from the ground up on a more long-term basis, rather than coming on board an already ongoing series.

Bunn: It definitely is, and that's one of the reasons I'm most excited about it. It's the chance to tell a story from the ground up, really. I get to do some world building in the Marvel Universe.

With shorter arcs, which I love doing, it's very difficult to do that. You get in, you tell the story, you get out. With Fearless Defenders, I'm getting the chance to get in on the ground floor and hopefully take my time to develop this concept, and to develop the story, and to bring this team about. 

Nrama: And there will be new villains, too, right?

Bunn: Yeah, in the first issue I'm introducing a couple of new villains. One of them is, in my mind, the nastiest villain to ever come into the Marvel Universe. She is absolutely ghastly. At her very core, she is a horrible, horrible person, and she is capable of some really deplorable things that we'll be seeing.

We're creating a new team, and I felt like it would be important to create this mastermind-type character who's coming in to be the main antagonist for the foreseeable future for the team. She's not the only villain you're going to see, and you'll some other Marvel Universe villains, but she is new, and I wanted people to believe she is a challenge for Valkyrie. Look at Valkyrie — she's a very powerful character. This woman is definitely going to be a challenge for Valkyrie, and she's going to be that challenge without having any powers whatsoever.

Nrama: So the book will have both female heroes and female villains.

Bunn: To some degree. I'm not going to say that this is a book where the only people who are going to star in it are women, but I did feel that for this main antagonist, there were certain things I wanted her to be. I wanted her to be a woman, and I wanted her to be definitely a challenge for Valkyrie, and I didn't want her to be a challenge in the traditional sense. She's not a woman who could go toe-to-toe with Valkyrie. At all. She couldn't go toe-to-toe with Misty Knight. At all. But we'll see that the way she works, she's no pushover.

Nrama: Cullen, anything else readers should know about Fearless Defenders at this stage?

Bunn: I've heard, for many years, that a female presence in Marvel books is important. I hear a lot of readers saying that. I also hear a lot of readers saying, "Let's do something different." Something that's not the same old trick. I believe this book answers both of those things. Those are some great reasons for readers to give the book a try, if nothing else.

Black Panther / T'challa's upgrade (King of the Dead)
« on: November 04, 2012, 06:02:07 pm »

Black Panther now has the memories of all the past Black Panthers, will this "upgrade" function similar to Dunes' concept of Other Memory?

More like Mat Cauthon in Wheel of Time.


Dunes' "Other-Memory" is still similar, but Matrim Cauthon is BETTER then Dune's "Other-Memory".

In WoT, Mat is a unparallelled general of tactics, strategy, contingency, planning and warfare...unbeatable...he gained his powers much in the same way as T'challa did in F4 608 in fact.

Matrim on his memories-
"Those other men’s memories were why the Band followed Mat, though they did not know. Because his head held memories of more battles and campaigns than a hundred men could have faced. Whether he had been on the winning side or the losing, he remembered how those battles were won or lost, and it took only a little wit to translate that into winning for the Band. So far it had, at least. When he could find no way to avoid the fighting."

Matrim is basically Odin in WoT, a lot of aspects  draw from Odin's mythology. Mat a had entered the realm of the Eelfin and was granted 3 wishes in a bargain with them. One of those was to fill in his missing memories...the filled them in with knowledge of centuries of generals.

Bast does the same, giving him all the strength and knowledge of every Black Panther ever. So T'challa will have all sorts of knowledge that my have been lost to time, and his experience should surpass everyone sans Gods/immortals.

So it's nothing like the Phantom. He doesn't have to recall anything..he has strength and knowledge of every Black Panther ever straight up, just like Matrim got his powers straight up.


« on: October 17, 2012, 01:50:51 pm »

Jonathan Hickman (W) •Steve Epting (A)
Cover by JOCK
Variant Cover by J. Scott Campbell
Variant Cover by STEVE EPTING
Young Baby Variant by SKOTTIE YOUNG
Blank Cover Also Available
To prevent the collision of our universe with another, the Illuminati, led by the Black Panther, must assemble NOW! It's the most powerful and brilliant team in the Marvel Universe--The Black Panther, Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Black Bolt, Mister Fantastic, Namor the Sub-Mariner and The Beast--against an infinite legion of parallel realities.
32 PGS. /Rated T+ ...$3.99

Jonathan Hickman (W) • Steve Epting (A)
Cover by JOCK
Variant Cover by SIMONE BIANCHI
• The Illuminati gather to plan for the death of Everything.
• Infinity gems, old wounds, lies, agendas and universal incursions.
• "It breaks hope -- it crushes what makes us decent and steals what little honor remains." --Black Swan
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99

Hudlin TV / Marvel and Sony Announce New IRON MAN Animated Feature
« on: October 08, 2012, 11:26:50 am »

Marvel's latest anime release, produced by Madhouse and co-presented by Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan, is Iron Man: Rise of Technovore, scheduled out in spring 2013.
The direct-to-DVD film features Iron Man against recent comic book villain Ezekiel Stane, plus appearances from War Machine, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Nick Fury and Punisher.

Iron Man: Rise of Technovore is scheduled to be discussed, among other projects, at the Marvel TV panel this Saturday, Oct. 13, at New York Comic Con. Since 2010, Madhouse has produced past anime series starring Marvel characters Iron Man, Wolverine, X-Men and Blade.


« on: September 13, 2012, 11:20:25 am »


In Uncanny X-Men #253 while Storm was in the hospital after being reverted into a pre-teen body, one of the doctors said, "But her features don't fit any conventional classification. Not Negroid, Caucasian, or Oriental -- Yet somehow, an amalgam of the rarest elements of them all."

Unless there is a serious climate change at Marvel, a change in culture in the X-office and X-verse, Storm is lost. Sure the "so-called Claremount A-list" Storm might return but it's dated. There is not a person I know that thinks that Storm is compelling. Yes, she has some great moments from that era... BUT that Storm aka O'oreo as coined by Mr. Majestik On CBR, is a tanned asgardian fetish-mammy. The Storm from the films is clowned from my view, voted having the worst dialogs EVER in a movie and overshadowed by Rogue with a oscar winning superstar actress even, fainting anytime she displays power in X-Men TAS, a mammy background character in X-men: Evolution then back to fainting and being the weakest X-man in the new X-men anime on G4. Yet part of her fan base blames the marriage. Fact is this, Storm was excluded from the two most monumental modern X-men WAY before the Marriage and Hudlin. That's a fact. Not being in Morrison X-Men or Whedon's Astonishing X-men (not buying that no fliers bs) which has multiple motion animation being released was the real blow to the character. Mind you Storm appears in Black Panther animated series and is shown never fainting once!

Since the mods over on CBR is banning the use of O'oreo (lmao, yet they allow a number of bigoted sub-text to go unchecked), maybe it strikes a nerve. Sure she doesn't write her self, but the folk in control seem to be hell bent on lining her up with that name. I mean read the above quote, cringe worth at best, marginalizing her being black! Many african's have a wide range of features...yet the most prominent writer of Storm according to the X-haters tried to write her blackness off..her african-ness away..then throws her into the arms of white men and Asgardian mythology? As a minority reader, that's not compelling at all.

There something to be said about a character that writers and readers would rather have running around a school then being a political leader, flexing her political power to help her mutant people! That's not a Black Panther writers place, X-writers would have to do that..yet the blame is pushed on Black Panther?
They would rather have her with Thor who powers make her pretty much pointless...and trust me besides Thor hitting it those fans would not give a frak. If they had to dumb down his powers, you can forget it. Then also Logan, or any white male that NOT after or could not get Jean, Emma, Rogue, Psylock in the X-verse? I'm not even talking regular MU female characters like Black Widow!

So like I asked before, what will it take for Storm to move forward? At this point i've lost pretty much all interest in the character. I think Monica is problably better if Marvel got their act together. Until then O'oreo it is.

I mean I have see folks trying to defend AvX vs #5, like T'challa having plans for her, like he would not have plans for anyone...better yet a character with foes and friends that can control minds. There thing is to demonize him. But that's another topic.

Long story short the Marriage was one of the best things to happen to the character period, and they held (x-readers and x-writers) held her back.

Black Panther / Will T'challa die in AvX.
« on: August 29, 2012, 07:44:36 pm »
Sure Hickman is going to use him, but then again...this might be vehicle for his "King of the dead" T'challa. The reason I bring this up, is the line T'challa said about "saving" the world in AvX vs #5. Like this and most things they have done with him...that don't make sense I could see it..

Sure I think Professor X is at risk...but I don't know if that would do anything...they already killed he a few years back.

The only thing he has left to lose is his left. Real talk.

Black Panther / T'challa on New Avengers
« on: August 09, 2012, 02:40:33 pm »
Jonathan Hickman: Yeah, very much so. AVENGERS and NEW AVENGERS are really just two sides of the same book, of the same story. Thematically, they’re aligned too. AVENGERS is about life and NEW AVENGERS is about death. That’s what the two books are. It’s a big book. In the AVENGERS, we tackle the biggest things.

T'challa is "King of the Dead". I wonder If he's on that team rather then the 18 man Avengers. I hope they announce on Friday.

Black Panther / Tom Brevoort on AvX #7 and T'challa
« on: August 01, 2012, 06:15:45 pm »
Namor, The Wakandan castle grounds, dead Atlanteans, creatures, water and damage. The abandoned Quinncarrier.

Black Panther has stayed. He stands in the middle of the madness. Looking up to them. Standing up to them. Shaming them with his selfless leadership.

---AvX #7 script.

All the Avengers ran away, T'challa stood there like what?


Here, we see T'Challa distract Namor. Now, I know the two couldn't go toe-to-toe physically, but the enchantment the goddess Bast worked on T'challa in a recent issue of "Fantastic Four" has me curious. Just how powerful is he, now?

Exactly what that means is more of a question for another day. Clearly, that story coming out when it did, and the fact that Jonathan Hickman hinted at the events of AVX in that story, has a relevance and bearing here. In terms, though, of exactly what T'Challa is capable of now from a power and ability standpoint is something that will be explored in much greater depth in the months ahead.

For right here and right now, much like any of the other Avenger, I think the Black Panther, even a souped-up version, is not going to be the equal of a Phoenix-amped  

What about in a battle of wits? T'Challa was always one of the most cunning individuals in the Marvel Universe, and the enchantment in "Fantastic Four" seemed to suggest that he can now call on the wisdom of all the Black Panthers that came before him.

Certainly the Panther's stock in trade is his cunning and foresight; his ability to be six or seven moves ahead of his opponents and have contingencies in place to deal with whatever circumstances might arise. So I think on that level, particularly, he's savvier and a more controlled fighter; a more precise opponent than Namor, who for all his good qualities tends to react based on passion, anger and physical prowess. There doesn't tend to be a whole lot of strategy to what Namor does, even on a day when he's not sort of juiced up by having the Phoenix burning inside of him.

In essence, the Namor that's in the story is a character with all sort of subtlety burned away from him. It's a pure essence of the character who's very much ruled by heart and passion and fire, whereas the Panther is more cold and analytical and thoughtful. He wins fights with his mind even more so than his body

---Tom Brevoort

Lots of Panther stuff lately! I love that his upgrade is something they are treating as important.

Black Panther / Boooooooooo- Marvel......Big Spoil.
« on: August 01, 2012, 05:27:14 am »

Something doesn't add up though. I'm wondering if T'challa has total control of himself, with all those ancestors in his head. The haters should be happy, though. Still, maybe they are really doing the Dune-Leto II- Reverend Mother thing. Maybe this isn't T'challa? ...maybe he is trying to protect her. What did Lowe mean by a surprise? He's crazy if he thinks this is something compelling to most Panther fans...maybe she tells him she is carring his child? That's pretty much the only thing I can see..and now I'm sure they will be on the Uncanny Avengers...later on. Storm has sided with the Avengers...according to X-men Legacy.

Black Panther / Will T'challa kill Namor?
« on: July 26, 2012, 08:15:24 am »
Why the X?   :o

I guess Ocean Hitler is getting what's coming to him.

Black Panther / Hickman interview on his Avengers.
« on: July 23, 2012, 12:42:46 pm »

"The idea is that the Avengers have to get bigger," Hickman told CBR. "That means bigger in every sense. That means the roster has to be bigger, and the missions have to be bigger, and the adversaries and scenarios they find themselves in have to be larger. I've played with this stuff a little bit over in the Ultimate Universe. Obviously, it's a completely different weight class here, but in a lot of ways that's the kind of velocity that the book should have. We (Tom Brevoort and I) also felt like that if the book was going to be about an Avengers world, it should look more like the world. Of course there are complications starting out when the necessary movie characters are five white dudes and a white lady, but, you know, bigger roster. Frankly, I'm really, really excited at how we address that. The lineup is killer."

Yo, Hickman is the man. Props to Tom Brevoort as well.

Black Panther / Mystical aspects of the Black Panther?
« on: July 21, 2012, 04:15:33 pm »
From the new F4 issues?

Black Panther / AvX and AvX Verses: Panther news!
« on: July 14, 2012, 03:50:22 pm »
Lowe teased something special for Storm and Black Panther fans in an upcoming issue of "AVX VS." "There's a lot going on with Storm and Black Panther for sure. You'll also get a special treat in 'AVX VS' #5 written by Jason Aaron with art by Tom Raney," he said.

Looks like this is it...whatever it may be.

Also Monica is going to be a Avenger! Maybe T'challa should get with her, if they break them up. They told a fan 5 months, which is around the time of Avengers in December...or maybe New Avengers in Jan.

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