Spider-Man comes home to the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Spider-Man to appear in MCU film and Marvel co-produced solo film in 2017.

My spider sense is tingling – and by that, I mean I actually give a toss about the character for once.

The way the Marvel announcement reads is a bit strangely phrased – Sony are bringing Marvel Studios into the amazing world of Spider-Man.

Marvel comics news

By that, they mean that head of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, will co-produce the next attempt at a Spider-Man film, (which had better not be another bloody origin story).

July 2017 will see the release of a new Spider-Man film from Sony Pictures Entertainment – but more interestingly before then, the terms of the deal also dictate that your friendly neighbourhood arachnid boy will first appear in an entry of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

More than yet another standalone stab at a character which isn’t actually very high up on my personal preferences, I’m actually excited to see how he’ll fit into the unfolding MCU saga.

My money’s on the next instalment of Captain America; the previously announced Civil War title, in whose original comic form Spidey was one of the key players.

Given the previously confirmed date for Thor 3 also being July 2017, the Spider-Man feature’s new release date means a knock-on effect for Ragnarok and the next three films in line behind it – with Black Panther, Captain Marvel and Inhumans each getting knocked back by six months or so.

I think we can assume it’s the end of Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, though I must admit I haven’t actually watched either of his efforts under the mask so am not sure whether he’ll be missed at this point.

My main questions lie in the motives behind the new deal. While Fox is doing a decent enough job of rebuilding their wavering X-Men empire – with Days of Future Past being by far my favourite entry so far – and the ability to throw a solo Wolverine out there to plug the holes in between, Sony can’t claim the same strong foundation and roster depth to build anything around Spider-Man; was anyone really that psyched for a Sinister Six spin-off?

On the other hand, I think Marvel really needed Spider-Man back in order to meet the full potential of Civil War, so this deal ought to benefit both parties.

I guess we’ll find out.

 

CM Punk to write Thor for Marvel

CM Punk and Marvel Comics are to team up on a Thor issue out in January.

Not content with being one of the most popular and talented WWE Superstars and pro wrestlers in living history, the man formally known as Phil Brooks will write an upcoming story for Marvel Comics’ Thor annual.

CM Punk Marvel Comics Thor

According to the story on Marvel.com, Punk will be teaming up with fellow Marvel debutant and Eisner Award winner Rob Guillory (Chew, Image Comics) on a contribution to Thor Annual #1, out early next year.

Fans of CM Punk the wrestler will know of the five-time World Champion’s love for comics; having also written the foreword for the hardback edition of the Avengers vs X-Men crossover, for years he borrowed a catchphrase from Ben Grimm aka The Thing – “it’s clobberin’ time!” – during his ring entrance.

When asked by Ryan Penagos how all this came about, Punk confessed to having “pester[ed] people at Marvel” during the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con – where he also appeared at a WWE-Mattel press conference during his storyline of unemployment between contracts – where he met Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso among others.

Being so busy on a full-time wrestling schedule prevented Punk from taking up the opportunity sooner, but now that he’s retired from the ring, Punk has been able to work on his very first comics commission.

Thor Annual 2015 #1

Thor Annual #1 cover by Rafael Albuquerque

“So the idea was, let’s do a story about young Thor as kind of a brash, bratty teenager who’s like, ‘I’m totally worthy of this hammer…’ And it’s more or less like a drinking story. He’s gonna be sitting around with a few choice characters…and they’re all gonna be drinking, and Thor’s gonna basically be complaining about essentially why his dad won’t give him the keys to the car.”

Punk wants The Punisher

Any aspiring comics writer would kill for the chance that Punk’s got here, but as one of comic fandom’s most famed proponents (think Kevin Smith but with decades of physical graft to show for it) Marvel will definitely benefit from the opportunity to bring in new readers. It’s certainly the case for me; I’ve got very few Thor stories in my collection but I’ll certainly be interested to see what flavour CM Punk brings to the God of Thunder.

But according to Punk, Thor wasn’t the first character on his list.

“In my mind, for some odd reason, I’ve just got this Punisher story in my head, and I think it’s super, super awesome…I think that my Punisher story is pretty badass. So everything I do for Marvel is going to be leading up to, “Please just let me write my Punisher story.” So until they let me do that, you’re gonna get all kinds of other stories about all kinds of other characters until they satisfy this need I have to write Frank Castle.”

Now that will be something.

Punisher & Daredevil films planned?

Head of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige mentions Marvel heroes in consecutive sentences.

Marvel Comics' Daredevil

Don’t you just hate it when those so-called journalists get the jump on a piece of news that’s so cool and exciting that…they make you wait for it?

Okay, so maybe it’s not really news, but for a hardcore group of Marvel fans who have gathered around the snowballing Marvel Cinematic Universe, the upcoming wait for an interview with Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige can’t come soon enough over at bleedingcool.com, as one of their writer monkeys dropped this little tidbit, straight from Feige’s mouth:

“We’re trying to figure out what to do with Daredevil now. Punisher could show up at one point. You know, once we get characters back into the Marvel fold we don’t want to do something right away, we want to do the smart thing at the smart time.”

That bugger. Those buggers. Obviously, with the varied amounts of success which the darker seam of Marvel characters such as Daredevil, The Punisher and Blade have struggled for over the past few years, it can’t be said that Marvel geeks are clamouring for all guns blazing action right this very second; as the rest of the Cinematic Universe is unfolding so brilliantly that we’re probably a little more content to wait and see.

Well, I say that, as I’m trying to book my Age Of Ultron cinema tickets right now, but personally I’m happy for the moment. As mentioned before on this little corner of the ‘net, now that the film rights to these films are going back to Marvel, we could see any number of them popping up in the near future.

While for me, the Blade films suffered from some casting problems and Daredevil suffered from some not-being-any-good-at-all problems, these films are ripe for re-imagining in the near future. After all, if Spider-Man can reboot itself every six months then why shouldn’t they have another go at the less-frequently trotted out comic book heroes?

I reckon Punisher and Daredevil could easily set out another chapter of the Universe between them; one which is a little more grounded in reality (well, compared to the one with all the gods knocking about anyway). Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime; tough on John Travolta and Colin Farrell. Okay, maybe not those two again. For me, “the smart thing at the smart time” which Feige refers to would be a straight-up team-up film between the two; double your pleasure for a box office take which would be, let’s say, 1.75 times what they could expect from a solo mission. Cast a couple of relative unknowns in the role so that we’re not trying to comprehend the smug grin of one of America’s most handsome men (who has since gone on to inherit a wee bit of cash as the CEO of Wayne Enterprises) and take a gamble on a 15 or an 18 rating.

What do you reckon? Will we be seeing Frank Castle and Matt Murdoch’s alter egos onscreen any time soon?

Angela moves to Marvel Comics

For my latest post I was going to review the last book I read; it was really bloody good and I think you Geeks would get a real kick out of all the pop culture references buried within just like I did. But y’know, it’s been a really long day and the cricket is about to start so I thought I’d just discuss lawsuits instead.

Angela_hunter

Namely, this one. Neil Gaiman was hired to write issue nine of Todd McFarlane’s Spawn series in 1993 for Image Comics; a company which was founded to protect the rights of creator-owned characters rather than the work-for-hire attitude employed by the Big Two.

In writing the issue, Gaiman created three new characters: one of whom, Angela, will soon begin life in the Marvel universe as a character in Age of Ultron, part of an arc which is to be overseen by Gaiman in other Marvel properties. Gaiman’s residual payments – which he was entitled to after being credited as co-creator alongside Spawn creator McFarlane – were eventually withheld by McFarlane following years of compliance. McFarlane was said to have claimed full ownership of the character due to Gaiman’s being work-for-hire at the time. Years of litigation later, and Gaiman is now preparing to take Angela’s story into a different universe after winning a sizeable settlement from reprint royalties due to him.

It’s really rather ironic that a comic publisher which was set up specifically to grant comic writers the rights to their own property was then plunged into a rights war by one of its co-founders over a character which, while only telling a part of the whole story, remains a fan favourite in her own right to this day.

I’ll leave you with two things: First, Image’s second key concept: No Image partner would interfere – creatively or financially – with any other partner’s work. (Obviously that doesn’t extend to employees.)

And this: Image was founded by disgruntled ex-Marvel employees; the very place where Gaiman has taken his Image creation. As Bart Simpson would say, the ironing is delicious.

What do you make of Angela’s move to Marvel Comics? Will you be picking up the future adventures of the angelic bounty hunter?