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'Uncanny Avengers': Exclusive first look at the flagship title of Marvel Now!

Uncanny-Avengers

Earlier this week, EW exclusively announced the impending arrival of the Marvel Now! initiative, which will radically alter Marvel’s lineup with a mix of new and relaunched titles. Now we’ve got a look at Uncanny Avengers, one of the new titles, written by Rick Remender and drawn by John Cassady, which focuses on a new superteam that throws together characters from the Avengers and X-Men franchises. Take a look at the cover of Uncanny Avengers. (Click on the image below to enlarge.) READ FULL STORY

Your Comic Book Primer for 'The Amazing Spider-Man'

Amongst all the excitement for Columbia Pictures’ Amazing Spider-Man reboot, there lurks a nagging question: Why the Lizard? There were, after all, proven commodities like the Green Goblin and Dr. Octopus, to say nothing of Venom or the Sandman. (No, I’m begging you: Say nothing about Venom or the Sandman.)  If you or your curious tween wants to know more about the web-head’s latest cinematic foe, you should pick up two recent Spider-Man collections: Spectacular Spider-Man: Here There Be Monsters (2004) and Amazing Spider-Man: The Gauntlet #5 — Lizard (2010).  READ FULL STORY

Comic-Con Exclusive: Witness the future of the Marvel Universe with Marvel NOW!

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Marvel Comics is embroiled in Avengers vs. X-Men, a crossover event which follows an all-out war between the publisher’s iconic superteams. When Avengers vs. X-Men reaches its conclusion, the stage will be set for a massive restructuring of the Marvel Universe. “It’s not hype when we say that AvX is the culmination of a lot of stories we’ve done over the last several years,” says Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso. “Characters are redeemed or not. Characters are changed. The X-Men and the Avengers are both repositioned for the future. What better time to shake things up? “

And Marvel is shaking things up. Entertainment Weekly is excited to exclusively announce Marvel NOW!, a massive new initiative that will launch new titles and relaunch old ones starting in October. Some of the company’s top storytellers are leaping from one corner of the Marvel Universe to another. Brian Michael Bendis is leaving the Avengers for a new X-Men book; Jonathan Hickman will end his run on Fantastic Four before kick-starting a new twice-monthly, jampacked Avengers book; and Rick Remender will begin work on the flagship title of the new era, Uncanny Avengers, a book that will blend Avengers and X-Men characters into one superteam. “I’m excited about taking creators out of their relative comfort zones,” says Alonso.

Of course, this isn’t the first time that a major comics publisher has inaugurated a new era with new creative teams and new #1’s: Just last year, DC Comics relaunched their entire line with The New 52. But Alonso is quick to draw a sharp contrast between DC’s initiative and Marvel NOW! “This ain’t a reboot. It’s a new beginning.” Unlike New 52, Marvel NOW! will roll out gradually over a few months, with creators finishing off their runs and then starting new ones. “I feel that it’s a much more humane approach for retailers and fans to tell them: ‘Look. In the months of October through February, every week you can go into a comic book store and find a few new jumping-on points for the Marvel Universe, a place you’re going to like visiting. Or revisiting.”

We spoke exclusively to Remender, Hickman, and Bendis about three of the books that they’ll be rolling out for Marvel NOW! Read on for more, and be sure to check out our exclusive piece of art from Marvel CEO Joe Quesada.

Uncanny Avengers: Remender describes this as “a bridge book, something that can delve into both worlds. It has a natural purpose for existing after AvX, where we can focus on human-mutant relations. The broad strokes are: Captain America comes out of AvX and recognizes that he hasn’t done enough to help the mutants.” The book will be drawn by John Cassaday, and will include heavy-hitters like Cap, Thor, and Wolverine, but Remender is also excited to focus on some less well-known characters, like Cyclops’ little brother Havok. “Havok’s always been the black sheep rock-and-roller of the Summers family. He can’t do that anymore. You’re going to see Havok become one of the biggest players in the Marvel Universe.”

Perhaps appropriate for a team that comprises a vision for the Marvel Universe’s future, the Uncanny Avengers’ first villain will be, literally, a ghost of the past. “In 1943, Arnim Zola, who was this bio-fanatic engineer, recorded the Red Skull’s consciousness, and set it to wake up 70 years later. So the Red Skull [in Uncanny] is right out of 1943-44. Prime Nazi scumbag. In his mind, he’s taking that vitriol and hate and Nazi horror and methodology, and pointing it at the mutant species.” And Remender stresses that the mash-up philosophy of Uncanny extends beyond the team’s lineup. “I’m not just smashing the heroes together, I’m smashing the villains together. It becomes something unlike anything we’ve ever seen, with stakes that are so huge, it takes a team comprised of the best Avengers and the best X-Men to go take care of it.” (Starts in October)

Avengers: Jonathan Hickman tells big stories. During his run on Fantastic Four, the writer has become known for meticulously plotting out stories years in advance in what Alonso describes as “his Unabomber-sized notebook.” And he’ll bring that maximal aesthetic to Avengers. “It’s not six Avengers, it’s 18 or more,” he teases, promising a diverse mix of popular characters, B-listers, and new characters. (Jerome Opena will have his work cut out for him as the Avengers artist.)

Unsurprisingly, Hickman’s favorite Avengers stories veer toward the cosmics: the Korvac Saga, the Kree-Skrull War, and the time-scrambling Avengers Forever. Hickman’s first story arc on Avengers is called “Avengers World,” but even the term “world” sounds a bit too micro for Hickman’s ambitions. In the wake of AvX and a new era of Marvel, “The obvious solution is for the heroes to become something bigger and larger, a more appropriate response to an ever more dangerous time.” Avengers will be published twice a month, and Hickman is currently planning to mix together longer five-to-six-issue story arcs with one-off stories that focus on individual characters. As for those characters, Hickman is mostly keeping mum about the lineup right now, but he revealed one teammate to whet our appetite. Kids, we’ve got six words for you: Shang-Chi, master of Kung Motherf—ing Fu. (Starts in December)

Click forward to learn about the most intriguing (and sure to be controversial) Marvel NOW! books…featuring the return of Jean Grey!

Comic-Con preview: Is this the return of Jean Grey? -- EXCLUSIVE

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This week, Entertainment Weekly‘s Comic-Con issue will prepare you for the geek event of the year with an in-depth look at a whole host of movies and TV shows. But what’s Comic-Con without comic books? (Nothing but “-Con.” Look at that lonely hyphen!) That’s why EW is excited to reveal an exclusive first look at an upcoming initiative by Marvel Comics that will build off the current Avengers vs. X-Men crossover and radically alter the Marvel Universe as you know it. For now, we just want to tease you with a first look at an exclusive piece of art by Marvel CEO Joe Quesada. READ FULL STORY

Entertainment Geekly: The 'Before Watchmen' debate (Plus: Alan Moore does Harry Potter!)

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For years, Watchmen was one of the great untouchable masterworks in geekdom. Alan Moore’s deconstruction of the superhero myth was a watershed moment for the mainstream cultural acceptance of the comic book form. It was also a great story, with a beginning, a middle, and a decisive ending — a rarity in a medium built on characters designed to live forever. So it was only natural that DC Comics would ignite a mini-firestorm of controversy when they announced a sequence of Watchmen prequel series, Before Watchmen. READ FULL STORY

Harry Potter is the Antichrist in Alan Moore's new comic book

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Harry Potter is one of the most beloved fake human beings of all time. He was the central character in a series of novels that rescued the whole notion of “reading books” for a generation of children. He was the star of a film franchise that grossed several kabillions of dollars globally and redefined how Hollywood makes movies. And he is also the Antichrist, a being whose birth has been prophesied for generations, whose awful reign will cast an eternal shadow over our misbegotten planet. At least, that’s the argument put forth by Alan Moore — the brilliant comic book writer best known for writing Watchmen and complaining about Watchmen — in the newest entry in his long-running League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series. READ FULL STORY

'LEGO Batman 2': How do you make Gotham City out of Lego? -- EXCLUSIVE TRAILER

As the full title implies for LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes — which hits stores tomorrow — the famed Caped Crusader is assisted this time out by a healthy quorum of his Justice League allies, including Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman. Transforming all of these iconic comic book characters into cute Lego figures may seem like a daunting task, but according to Jonathan Smith, head of production at Lego games developer TT Games, it was quite the opposite.

“Everything we see in this world, we convert into Lego by instinct,” he tells EW with a chuckle. “I don’t mean to sound mystical about it.” Smith does admit, however, that creating a Lego version of Gotham City intricate enough for players to interact with all of it, sandbox style, was rather more complicated. “That required more people, and more meetings,” he says. “We have a sense of Gotham, but Gotham can be many things. Over the decades, it’s taken many different forms.” Smith says his team strove to “feature all the most memorable [Gotham] buildings that we have seen over the decades,” and make them identifiable based on color of the lights surrounding each district. (Ace Chemicals, for example, has a “green glow.”)

You can check out the result of the team’s efforts in an exclusive trailer for the game below:  READ FULL STORY

Damon Lindelof and Jeff Lemire team up for new 'Batman' story -- Exclusive interview and art!

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Today, as part of their expanding line-up of digital-first comic books, DC Comics launches a new Batman digital comic called Legends of the Dark Knight, a series of stand-alone stories about the Caped Crusader. And to kick off Legends, DC brought together a pair of powerhouse talents. The debut issue was written by Damon Lindelof (co-creator of Lost, co-writer of Prometheus) and drawn by Jeff Lemire, the ascending comic book writer-artist whose impressive credits include the creator-owned Sweet Tooth and the critically adored Animal Man. In an exclusive interview, EW got on the phone with the dynamic duo (Lindelof was calling from the West Coast, Lemire from Canada) to talk about the roots of their collaboration and why Batman looks better when his clothes don’t quite seem to fit. READ FULL STORY

Why the next movie nemesis for 'The Avengers' might actually be the 'Justice League of America'

The superhero wars are heating up. With Marvel Studios’ The Avengers now No. 3 on the all-time box-office chart, Warner Bros. appears hungry for a blockbuster superhero group of their own and is trying yet again to rev up a Justice League of America franchise. According to Variety, Will Beall, the screenwriter of the forthcoming crime epic Gangster Squad, has been tapped to pen a script. The new effort comes four years after Warner Bros. grounded a different Justice League project directed by George Miller (Babe, The Road Warrior). At the same time, the studio is developing separate, individual franchises for Justice League members Flash and (for the umpteenth time) Wonder Woman. Behold the legacy of The Avengers: A potential second wind for modern superhero cinema, and an affirmation of Marvel’s shared-universe approach — a business model which Warner Bros. (via DC Entertainment) might be able to milk and maximize in ways Marvel Studios can’t, given that Warner controls all of DC’s most valuable brands (Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, in particular) and Marvel, at present, does not (see: Spider-Man, The X-Men, The Fantastic Four). READ FULL STORY

E3 Snap Judgment: Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman battle in 'Injustice: Gods Among Us'

The Game: For reasons as yet unclear, the heroes and villains of the DC Comics universe — including Superman, Batman, the Flash, Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, and Solomon Grundy — are brawling one-on-one Mortal Kombat-style in this new twist on the superhero mythos from the makers of, whaddaya know, Mortal Kombat. (Out 2013, for PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii U)

What We Played: I battled Wonder Woman as Batman, and lost; Solomon Grundy as Harley Quinn, and lost; Solomon Grundy as the Flash, and won; and Harley Quinn as Superman, and won. Those were the only six characters available for my demo, and we played on the only two arenas available: The Batcave and the Fortress of Solitude. The arenas, in fact, are part of what makes Injustice stand out from other fighting games. READ FULL STORY

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