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Weekend Reading: Batman, Tintin, Starlog and Jerry Bingham

Batman Confidential 50A big week on the internets, so let’s get right to it.

For me, the big news is that my pal Jerry Bingham is illustrating a 5-part story in Batman Confidential, starting in issue #50 that went on sale this week. If you’re on the fence about it, here’s a multi-page preview of it that’ll make you wish Jerry drew more comics. Fans of Batman: Son of the Demon rejoice!

Batman: Over at Project Child Murdering Robot, Ricky Sprague comments on the upcoming Christopher Nolan Batman movie with some language that might be NSFW but SWR (still worth reading)! Bonus shout out to Batman: Year One: “It was among the first of the modern age comic book character reboots that now seem to occur every other year or so. Mr. Miller's hardboiled writing was at its peak, and Mr. Mazzucchelli is one of the best illustrators ever.”

Biff! Bam! Pow!: Bob Greenberger at ComicMix tackles the eternal question: Is Legends of the Superheroes any good? “You have to love kitsch, bad writing, awful acting, and comic books to enjoy (or endure) these specials.”

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Iron Man 3 Release Date Announced

Iron Man 2

Disney, Paramount and Marvel have just announced the released date for Iron Man 3: May 13 May 3, 2013. That’s a long time to wait, but Marvel is planning a whole host of superhero movies that will be released in the interim.

The Avengers, distributed by Disney, will hit theaters on May 4, 2012. Meanwhile, Paramount will release Thor on May 6, 2011 while Captain America debuts in July 2011. There’s also talk of a possible Black Widow movie featuring Scarlett Johansson.

Read More | MTV Movies

Marvel Team-Up: Comics + Pizza

Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Editorials, Marvel Comics,

Spider-Man CakeWhat do you like on your pizza? Pepperoni? Mushrooms? Spider-Man?

DecoPac, one of the leading cake decorating companies, already has a deal with Marvel Entertainment for cake toppers featuring Marvel Comics characters like Spider-Man, Iron Man and more.

And following a Direct Market tradition, the company has even created a series of limited edition cake decorations.

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Comic-Con News: Mark Ruffalo is The Hulk

Jackson, Renner and Ruffalo at Comic-Con 2010

Robert Downey, Jr., also known as Iron Man, gave news-hungry Comic-Con fans exactly what they wanted during his appearance at the convention: he announced the next Hulk.

Mark Ruffalo, primarily known for roles in the romantic comedy and dramatic film genres, will officially step into The Hulk’s sizable shoes to take on the role of self-effacing scientist Bruce Banner, the green hero’s alter ego. (Edward Norton, who played the green superhero in the 2008 film, was dropped from the upcoming Avengers movie project, leaving a huge casting hole in the Marvel movie franchise.)

Meanwhile, Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) has been confirmed for the role of Hawkeye.

is scheduled for release in 2012. Comic book fans won’t have to wait that long to see more live-action heroes, however: Captain America and Thor are both getting their own movies, which will release in the summer of 2011.

Read More | Entertainment Weekly

New Hulk in Upcoming Avengers Flick


Edward Norton is no longer the face of .

Norton, who played Bruce Banner in the 2008 film, will not reprise his role in the upcoming Avengers film. The cast currently Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Chris Evans (Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and several more - but no Hulk has been cast yet.

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Weekend Reading: Frazetta, Viz, Carl Barks and Facebook

Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Editorials, Marvel Comics,

Frank Frazetta FlashmanYou know it’s going to be a bad week when one of the most beloved fantasy artists passes away. He was absolutely one of my favorite artists and one of the first artists who, like , could get me to buy pretty much anything with his name on it.

Tom Spurgeon has an excellent overview of the late artist’s career. “Frazetta’s art on the Warren Magazines Creepy, Eerie and eventually Vampirella combined some of the pulp tendencies for which he was soon to become very well known with a sense of classic horror. They remain some of the company’s most iconic pieces of art.”

Viz Media: I often post job listings here for Viz Media, the longtime manga publisher in San Francisco – longtime as in they’ve been doing it since it wasn’t quite so cool to do it. So I was saddened to hear that they let go more than 50 of their staffers. That’s, I think, the largest layoff of comics professionals that I can remember and certainly the largest in recent years. I hate to see that kind of thing happen, and I wish everyone the best as they figure out what to do next. Heidi MacDonald at Comics Beat recently posted this link from Dan Blank’s website; I’ve practically memorized it.

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Casting Corner: Julie Christie, Kevin Bacon and More

Julie Christie

Here’s a quick look at some of the casting announcements made recently:

Julie Christie: The Away from Her star and Gary Oldman are both in talks to join The Girl With the Red Riding Hood, a “gothic” adaptation of the classic tale. Amanda Seyfried has already been cast in the Catherine Hardwicke-directed film as the woman who is terrorized by a werewolf in a medieval village. Christie would play Seyfried’s grandmother while Oldman hunts down the animal. Max Irons and Shiloh Fernandez will co-star.

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Review: Marvel Comics Siege #2

Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, Marvel Comics,

Siege #2 Rating: *** 1/2*

Marvel Comics’ Siege continues this week with issue two of the four part mini-series. The issue returns to the scene of the battle in Oklahoma where , HAMMER, and the Dark Avengers are battling it out with Thor and the citizens of Asgard. All look lost as Norman Osborn stands over a defeated Thor, but he’s saved by Maria Hill using a bazooka, which blows Norman out of the way.

Ares discovers quickly that he’s been duped by Norman into helping lead the invasion of Asgard. Ares decides to make good on his promise and rip Norman’s head off when the Sentry comes in to protect Norman. They duke it out and in a shocking big splash page moment, the Sentry rips Ares in half. I knew someone was going to die in this issue and I had a feeling it would be Ares, but in no way did I see him meeting his end this way. Very cool!

Issue one left off with an angry Steve Rogers watching the footage of the invasion of Asgard. We pick up here with Steve gathering the New Avengers, the Young Avengers, and Nick Fury and his Secret Warriors so they can all head to Oklahoma to defeat Osborn once and for all. Also with this group is Bucky the new Captain America. He hands over the shield to Steve stating he believes if they are going to do this, it has to be done right and Steve must wield the shield once more.

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Review: Marvel Comics Siege #1

Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, Marvel Comics,

Marvel's Siege#1Rating: *** 1/2*

Marvel Comics is promoting their latest blockbuster crossover Siege as a project that has been seven years in the making. It began with Avengers #500 when writer Brian Michael Bendis first took over the title. The storyline was called Avengers Disassembled where the Scarlet Witch went crazy, the Vision was destroyed, and Hawkeye and Ant Man (Scott Lang) were killed off. It was a good story and a huge turning point for the team that left many fans very angry as fan favorite Hawkeye was killed in an unsatisfactory manner and the New Avengers were then launched with a non-traditional lineup which included the Sentry.

As the years have gone by, we’ve had various crossovers such as Civil War, , and Dark Reign which further complicated the lives of the Avengers and the Marvel Universe in general. All of this has lead us to Siege, which is a storyline that will focus on Norman Osborn and his Dark Avengers invading Asgard to expel it from the Earth. This was a very good start. Osborn wants power and looks at Asgard as a roadblock. With the assistance of Loki, Osborn is able to get a reason to invade Asgard.

During the Civil War, innocent civilians were killed during an incident involving the New Warriors. Loki is able to replicate a similar incident using the Asgardian Volstagg who battles the U-Foes which results in the death of thousands of civilians at Soldier Field in Chicago. Osborn’s Dark Avengers are not too willing to go along with the invasion - especially Ares who promises Osborn if this is a trick of some sort, he will kill him personally. 

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Marvel Comics Review: Captain America: Who Will Wield The Shield

Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, Marvel Comics,

Captain America #1 Rating: ****
Well, I’m not sure why Marvel Comics released this one-shot epilogue to Captain America: Reborn when the series still has one issue to go, but it’s here. Reborn was originally slated to be a five issue mini-series, but at some point it was decided that an additional issue was needed to tell the story. So Captain America: Who Will Wield The Shield is shipping on schedule because last week should have been the last issue of the Reborn series. I’m not sure why did not just push this issue back to ship the same day issue six comes out or make issue five a double sized issue. Money? Probably, but you could still make money by doubling the price of a double sized issue.

Whatever the case may be, Captain America: Who Will Wield The Shield still stands as a great comic book even with all the nonsense of it coming out prior to the completion of Reborn. Even before Reborn was even announced, we all knew that Steve Rogers would come back to land of the living at some point. It was only a matter of when, the how was almost meaningless because fans just wanted their guy back in action. The issue opens with a flashback to the days of World War II and Cap and Bucky fighting I believe the Japanese - not the Germans, as you normally see during Cap flashbacks to the war.

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