While fans thought that Selma director Ava Duvernay would be signing onboard for Marvel’s “Black Panther,” it turns out that’s not exactly the case. Duvernay has turned down the offer and for what is a pretty good reason.
At the recent blogger confer “BlogHer,” Duvernay discussed why she had passed on the project. She started with how the negotiations had been going. She wanted to make sure the people involved were ones she could “go to bed with” as she put it. Collaborating is always a kind of marriage, so she had to be certain that she could do that for three years. “It’d be three years of not doing other things that are important to me. So it was a question of, is this important enough for me to do?” she said.
Duvernay said she was very close to signing the contract, as she was excited about the cultural opportunities that came with it. A superhero movie with a black lead is a huge deal when it comes to the film industry and the reach the movie might have given her was what had initially drawn her to the project. “At one point, the answer was yes because I thought there was value in putting that kind of imagery into the culture in a worldwide, huge way, in a certain way: excitement, action, fun, all those things, and yet still be focused on a black man as a hero — that would be pretty revolutionary. These Marvel films go everywhere from Shanghai to Uganda, and nothing that I probably will make will reach that many people, so I found value in that. That’s how the conversations continued, because that’s what I was interested in. But everyone’s interested in different things.”
In the end, Duvernay decided to pass on the project due to different views on how the movie would fit into the overarching universe Marvel prides itself on.
“What my name is on means something to me — these are my children,” she said about her work. “This is my art. This is what will live on after I’m gone. So it’s important to me that that be true to who I was in this moment. And if there’s too much compromise, it really wasn’t going to be an Ava DuVernay film.”
While it’s sad to see such an amazing director pass up on a film like this, you have to admire her integrity. She’s not about to sell out on something she doesn’t believe in, a quality that seems to be lacking in the film industry lately.
Black Panther will feature Starry Chadwick Boseman in the title role and is expected to premiere July 6, 2018.
You’ve met the A-Force, now Marvel is pulling out all the stops to introduce it’s “next big thing.” The line-up for Marvel’s All-New, All Different brand is going to be a mish-mash of some of your old favorites, and new characters you may have never seen before, so let’s dive in, shall we?
Here are a list of the characters, and which books you can find them in (that we know of). Clockwise, we have:
Agent Phil Coulson (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.): These people have to report to somebody. He’s the guy with a gun surrounded by people with super powers.
Spider-Gwen (Spider-Gwen): Gwen Stacy and her readers hit the jackpot when it was announced she would be a regular in the Marvel U.
Spider-Man (Amazing Spider-Man): Yep, Peter Parker is still around, doing Spider-stuff. No surprise here.
Iron Man (Superior Iron Man): Tony is on his way to becoming a total d-bag. Sorry, let me clarify – a totally unlikeable d-bag. The new suit suggests that he does not hold on to his symbiote-Extremis armor much longer.
Ultimate Spider-Man, Miles Morales (Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man): The end of the Ultimate universe means that Miles will have a new home alongside the 616 Peter Parker and a slew of familiar Spideys.
Red Wolf (time travel back to 1972 for his 9-issue solo series): Not to use the “T” word, but I’m hoping this resurrected character isn’t a token move, just to sell books under the guise of diversity.
Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel): Ain’t no party like a Ms. Marvel party cuz a Ms. Marvel party don’t stop.
Thor, Jane Foster (Thor): After the recent reveal that the new Thor is Jane Foster, and that she is dying, what the heck will become of her going forward in the MU?
Ant-Man, Scott Lang (Ant-Man): He’s not your father’s Ant-Man, that’s for sure. Scott Lang is twice as hilarious, and hasn’t created a killer robot – so he’s already winning that debate, in my books.
Steve Rogers (Civil War): After passing on the mantle of Captain America, Steve Rogers is just an old man who knows how to do nothing but fight (I see you, Solid Snake!). Could he perhaps take over Nick Fury’s duties?
Black Panther, T’Challa (New Avengers, Avengers): Even if it’s just to hype him up for his solo film, give this man something to do, Marvel! This is the guy who just recently went to war with Namor. T’Challa is a fan favorite in need of some resurrection, and Marvel doesn’t have to do much work to make that happen; he’s not Aquaman, for crying out loud.
Spider-Woman, Jessica Drew (Spider-Woman): Another Spider-person carving a space of their own in the MU. She’s smart, sassy, and hopefully has a bigger role to play as an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. going forward.
UPDATE: A second team was announced today.
Same thing, clockwise from the top left, here is the second team and where you can find them in comic books:
Doctor Spectrum (New Avengers): After being murdered by Black Bolt, she is making a comeback here.
Rocket Raccoon (Groot): It wouldn’t be the MU without him at this point.
Hyperion (Avengers): A new Hyperion joined the team with the Marvel NOW! reboot, one without the image of being a bootlegged Superman. I’m interested to see where he fits in the MU, but this new costume looks better than the previous ones.
Iron Man: Is him being the centerpiece of both images a sign of something? It seems unlikely that Marvel would do that incidentally; could this be indicative of a two-Tony dynamic like the one from Ultimate End. Who doesn’t want more Iron Man?
Daredevil (Daredevil): Oh. Em. Gee… Is that the Shadowlands version of Daredevil? I hope it’s not something lame, like just to emulate the homemade suit on the Netflix series. I would much like to see Matt Murdock back in control of the Hand.
Doctor Strange (Secret Wars): He’s currently serving as Doom’s bitch-boy in the Secret Wars series, but that doesn’t mean he’ll stay like that. He’s still one of the most powerful beings in the universe, and seems to be carrying an Asgardian axe – one used specifically for kicking ass, and then taking names.
Old Man Logan (Old Man Logan): Has Logan outgrown the X-Men? This very surly version of an already-very surly character is going to be an odd, but intriguing, fit in an MU with so many mutants and heroes in it. I’m thinking it will be like reading Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt with superheroes… if the role of Kimmy was played by Hugh Jackman.
X-23 (All-New X-Men): Doesn’t really matter your take on the situation, but X-23 looks BAD ASS as the new Wolverine. Kudos to Marvel for bringing back the original colorway. Total fangasm for her taking over the mantle.
Medusa (A-Force, Inhuman, Inhumans: Attilan Rising): This cutie with the long red hair is part of the A-Force, an all-new, all-female team of badass women, but more recognizable as part of the royal family of Attilan.
Human Torch, Johnny Storm (Uncanny Inhumans): Johnny has had a ridiculous journey the past couple years. He died. He was resurrected. His spot on the team was taken by Spider-Man. He lost his powers. In short, it sucked to be Johnny Storm. That is, until some Terrigen Mist helped Johnny find his powers, and a new team.
Karnak (New Avengers): Here’s a guy who doesn’t look like he belongs… You may remember this guy as the one who jumped out of a window and killed himself before the Terrigen Mist spread and created so many Inhumans.
The Thing : Whether he’s feeling self-conscious about his rock-hard abs or just trying out a new fashion style, Ben Grimm is back and rocking a Guardians of the Galaxy suit – one that matches Rocket, who is perched on his shoulders.
Citizen V: This guy (whomever it is taking up the mantle) is so flamboyantly patriotic, he’s like the Elton John of America. Even Steve Rogers is like, “dude, tone it down.” The concept of Citizen V (vee) has been around since World War II, and whose death led to the creation of super soldier Steve Rogers. His new iteration looks like the lovechild of Batman, Captain America and Spawn.
Comicpalooza takes place in Houston, TX. This year, Hush Comics was given the honor of going as press, our first time for doing so. Read all of the accounts of what happened on our site!
In what seemed like a covert operation straight from the pages of Marvel, myself and Hush contributor Taylor Lowe were whisked out of the line we were standing in to see the legendary Stan Lee. A woman approached us in the line and grabbed our press badges, examined them closely, asked who we were with, and quietly said, “Come with me.” What else were we to do? Along the way, we were told to look for others like us. As we briskly walked past fans waiting in line, we were hoping to find other recruits who looked like us, or rather had the same badge we did. We were excited, but also a bit worried we had stepped out of line for nothing. As it turns out, we were led to the front row adjacent to the main stage, after passing security with a gruff “We’re press.” As we took our seats, our very own Nick Fury introduced herself as Rosario. Rosario Pena is the media relations director for Comicpalooza, and was able to set us up with a lot of cool opportunities over the weekend. So this whole story was really a way to say “Thanks Rosario, from Hush Comics!”
Stan Lee truly is “The Man.” He is 91 years old and still going strong. He is very good at not skipping a beat when asked questions many people ask. He is also a bit of a comedian. Lee started off by saying Houston, Texas has the greatest people in the world for bringing him here, but obviously everyone wants him.
Before his question and answer session, moderated by Fox 26’s Dave Morales, began, Lee joked, “Ask easy questions!… No, ask me whatever the hell you wanna ask me! It’s been a long trip; a man gets tired.” When asked about his origin story, he went into great detail. No, he did not expect his characters to become what they are today and have been for decades. Why did he get into comics? “I just wanted to keep my job and pay the rent.” He told the audience about hearing about a job at a Magazine Management. He ended up in the comic magazine department as the assistant of the other two employees, Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, legends in themselves. Lee’s job was to fill ink pots and edit. Over time he was given stories. Then suddenly Kirby and Simon were fired, leaving Stan the only person on his department at 17 years old. The magazine owner said, according to Stan, “Hey, kid. Can you run things until I hire a grown up?” Stan continued that as time passed the manager forgot about him, so he became the writer, the editor, the art director, the everything. He wasn’t necessarily proud of his work, though. In that time, “nobody had respect” for his genre and he was ashamed to tell people that he worked on them. He wanted a real job in the magazine. When asked what he did for a living, “I’d say, ‘I’m a writer’ and walk away. They would ask ‘Of?’ ‘Magazines’ and walk away. ‘What magazines?’ ‘Comics.’ And then HE would walk away.” Of course, he isn’t ashamed now and got over his humiliation once he started going to conventions and seeing the variety of fans who loved his work. Awww!
Stan spoke about being a child and what inspired him. Since comics weren’t exactly mainstream when he was a child, it was interesting to hear what did inspire him. He talked about reading a lot. He enjoyed Mark Twain, Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Rice Burroughs and Edgar Allan Poe. He also told the audience he can recite “The Raven”, the infamous Poe poem, by heart. If anyone has a video of Stan Lee reciting that poem, send it our way ASAP. Lee said that his goal in life, like all writers, was to write the great American novel. “I never got around to that.” I have to disagree. Lee has written canon for the most read characters and staples of American pop culture of all time. Stan also talked about his time in the military during the war. His job was to write training manuals that the troops could easily read. He also made training videos because their were so many troops, they couldn’t be trained fast enough. He also confirmed that it was during this time he got to work with Dr. Seuss and Frank Capra. He said he was the only one doing work because they were too busy talking about how great they were. Oh, Stan.
Lee touched several times on his acting dreams. He said many times that we may see his roles in the current Marvel movies as “cameos”, but he sees them as supporting roles. He joked that he is an enormous acting talent now. He also said that if he had to pick a career other than comics, he would be an actor. He idolized Errol Flynn. When asked what he would have done as an actor, he quipped, “I would have won an Oscar.” He also teased his next “supporting role” in Guardians of the Galaxy, cracking that his role has nothing to do with the movie and he thinks the director was drugged wen he decided to put Lee in that role.
Stan talked briefly about his beloved superheros, too. He talked about three in particular. Of course, one of them was Iron Man. He talked about how popular he is of late and credited Robert Downey Jr. with much of it. He spoke of the origins of Iron Man as a character. Lee took the chance of making him during the time of Woodstock. It was a challenge to make a man who was about money and weapons–everything hippie kids were against, and make them like him. The only thing about Iron Man he didn’t like was how his armor was drawn, but that was because nobody could take that much time on it. He, however, does like how it looks in the movies. Lee also admitted that if he were to cosplay, he would dress up as Iron Man, but mostly so he was protected. Otherwise, he would be Dr. Strange.
Another character on deck was Captain America. While Lee did not create the ‘Cap, he did bring him back. First, he changed the shape of his shield from a triangle to a circle. That was all Lee. Then he gave him a problem, something Stan is fond of doing to his characters. “I wanted to make him distinctive in some way, so I thought if he was brought back from having been frozen in the ice years ago, and 20 or 30 years of history had gone by that he was unaware of, and when I started writing him, it was when there were hippies and people hated the military, industrial complex, and all of that. And he didn’t understand that sort of thing because he grew up in a time when everybody was just patriotic and nobody rebelled or protested. So, I tried to make him seem like he was an anachronism; he felt he didn’t belong in the age he was living in.”
While Stan talked briefly about many of his heroes, he expounded upon Spider-Man, not only the character, but the inception of the book idea itself. He admitted that Spider-Man is his favorite creation. It was also the one he wrote where he could maybe say “I am Stan the Man,” as asked by an audience member. He then told an amazing origin story for how Spider-Man came into existence which you can hear here. He also said the hardest character to write was Green Goblin. It took a lot to “dream him up” but once he did, the writing was easy. Oh, and another tidbit? Stan Lee didn’t know Mary Jane, or MJ, was a nickname for pot. But because of the coincidence, everyone thought he was “so cool.”
Other amazing things that happened during Stan the Man’s panel included a fan saying “You’re my hero,” and Stan responding, “I would expect that.” His best advice for aspiring creators is that there are no tips. The only way to create it to “dream it up.” He also talked about how hard it is to name a character. He talked about wanting to name a character “The Destroyer.” When he looked up if that character existed, he got mad and wanted to know who did. Turned out, it was him, but he had forgotten. A little girl asked “Who is your favorite girl character?” Stan said She-Hulk, no doubt because of the recent controversy surrounding her. He also said he really liked Mary Jane. Stan is surprised any superhero is still around, but now is confident they will be around forever, crediting the movies for that. When asked about bad guys and their perpetual baldness, he was surprised. He wondered aloud why the good guys are always good looking and the bad guys are sinister. He said they should make the villain Brad Pitt and the good guy Boris Karloff. He then rejected Brad Pitt and put himself as the handsome one. Finally, would Stan change anything. “No, I can’t think of anything.”
As far as Stan and his future plans go, he has a lot more work than the average 91 year old. Being the chairman of Marvel, he is working on Guardians of the Galaxy, Antman, Black Panther, and Dr. Strange. They will make more Iron Man movies and more Captain America movies. He is also working on a Latino superhero. There is a script written and there will be an actor cast soon. With his other company, POW! Entertainment, Stan is working on a Chinese American hero called The Annihilator. He also has a character out in India called Shakra the Invincible, and we will be coming to the U.S.A. soon. How does Stan wrap it all up? With a giant “EXCELSIOR!”
Graphic Novel Review: Black Panther: Who is the Black Panther?
Collecting:Black Panther #1-6
Original Release Date: 2005-2006
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Character: The Black Panther/T’Challa
Writer: Reginald Hudlin
Art: John Romita Jr. (The Amazing Spiderman, Uncanny X-Men)
Storyline – 8
Art – 7
Captivity and Length – 9
Identity – 8
Use of Medium – 6
Depth – 8
Fluidity – 8
Intrigue/Originality – 9
The Little Things – 7
Overall Awesomeness – 8
In honor of Black history month Hush comics is bringing you another entry to our All Black Everything graphic novel review series. What graphic novel better represents this theme than the one starring Marvel’s first mainstream black superhero, The Black Panther?! Before I dive into the greatness of Who is the Black Panther, you may be curious about the ties the Marvel hero has to the African American revolutionary group most active in the 60’s and 70’s. You may find it interesting that Stan Lee’s and Jack Kirby’s idea for a prominent superhero of dark skin predates the party’s founding. Lee and Kirby state that, at the time, they recognized a lack of balance and representation throughout the panels. In an effort to bring that balance the two of them created T’Challa, the man behind the mask, and the legacy of The Black Panther. Premiering in Fantastic Four #52 (July 1966), The Black Panther makes a lasting impression as he trounces the famous superhero team when they visit The Panther’s home village, deep in the heart of Africa. The rest is history… black history that is. The Black Panther laid the path for other black superheroes to hit the scene: Luke Cage, Storm, DC’s John Stewart Green Lantern and several others all pay homage to The Black Panther as the father black superheroes.
The Black Panther made a powerful splash in the late 60’s and into the next decades, but the impact of that initial splash was lost on my generation. That is until Reginald Hudlin and John Romita Jr. teamed up to reboot the series in 2005 with Who is the Black Panther?, the subject of this review. The series opens with a brief trip to the past, 5th century A.D. A warring African tribe is making an attempt on the never before breached borders of Wakanda where the infamous Black Panther rules and protects his people and village. In a show of force beyond what any of these rival warriors have witnessed, the boarders remain unbreached. Jump ahead to the 19th century. South African apartheid is in full swing and the Boers are determined to bring down Wakandan walls and reap the untold fortunes within the mysterious village. Yet again the attempt is easily thwarted thanks to The Black Panther and his automated defense system that is light-years ahead of its time. This aspect is one of the elements that makes this story great. The notion that a peaceful and tribal African society can also develop gadgets and gizmos that would make Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking scratch their head in wonder is fascinating. Throughout the issue we see time and time again the technological superiority of The Black Panther and the Wakandan people. My personal favorite was the Skybike. What I would give to be able to ride that thing to work every morning!
More impressive than their technological advancements is their spiritual advancements. Like every good superhero, one must act and strive towards an ideal above the self and for the greater good. The Black Panther is not just a protector and warrior, but also the leader of a nation. While defending threats on the front line The Panther must also approve municipal sewage plant measures and discuss stately manners with the likes of Nelson Mandela (R.I.P.) and the United Nations. Since The Black Panther title warrants such respect and responsibility it is no simple matter of dawning a cowl and cape in the name of saving the day. It’s a title that must be earned. In Who is the Black Panther we are witness to T’Challa earning the mantle. I have a lot of appreciation for Hudlin and his attention to the events experience by The Black Panther while out of costume. For several of us comic book fans, we search for deeper meaning in the panels all the time. We look for things that inspire and motivate us. On this aspect particularly, I hold Who is the Black Panther? in high esteem.
Now, I stated earlier that The Black Panther predates the Black Panther Party (BPP) movement. While this is true, it is not to say that we do not see any comparisons in this 2005 reboot. The struggle of the BPP is most exemplified in this graphic novel through its super-villains. Most of whom hail from Western and European regions that were involved in 18th century slave trade (America, France, Great Britain) and subsequent civil rights perversions. As a direct descendant of African American heritage, it gave me a sense of pride to watch The Panther courageously and resolutely stand up to evil and hatred.
Who is the Black Panther falls somewhat short in the art and use of medium categories. With opportunities abundant, I wish there would have been move half and full page panels to emphasize truly awesome moments. Some elements of the plot were very unnecessary, distracting and (in some instances) in bad taste. “Recycled” US cyborg soldiers didn’t feel all that right in context. All that aside, Who is the Black Panther? is a solid read. It carries all the essential elements of a hero’s tale. The true treasures of this graphic novel are in its morals more-so than the ink on the page. For that (and the kick-ass Skybike) Hush is proud to have Who is the Black Panther? featured for our All Black Everything theme in honor of Black History Month.