Secret Wars Agents of Atlas #1 Review

Of course on Battle World, almost everyone has “Kill Doom” on their bucket list. That motivation has made the vast majority of Secret Wars very hit or miss, but mostly miss. That’s fine for a few of the series, but sometimes a series embraces its messed up world and its adventure takes place largely in spite of Doom being god. Agents of Atlas does it in what might be the most refreshing way possible: a fairly simple rescue mission.

Synopsis

The book opens with a brief description of Baron Zemo who rules Metropolita with a ruthless iron fist. SHIELD acts as his bludgeon, and the Agents of Atlas is the only group who stands against him in any significant way. Gorilla Man has a meeting with agent Coulson because Johnny Woo (leader of the Agents) is missing. Turns out SHIELD isn’t the bludgeon the Agents thought they were, and off they go looking for Woo. As a plot, it’s pretty simple. So, what gives it it’s A+? As far as I’m concerned, there are three things: the art, the quirk, and the tightness of the narrative.

Art

Steve Pugh handles the art. I know him most memorably from Generation X (Marvel’s most underrated book IMHO), though his CBDB reads like a good portion of the comic book reading public’s “best of” lists. His art is clean, and expressive and makes good use of heavy lines. Those seem like such basic comic-art requirements, but Secret Wars has been overwhelmingly plagued by some low-rent looking art. But, in a single panel, we don’t even need the caption to see the looks of absolute haunted trauma.

Secret wars agents of atlas 2

He captures reactions and subtle details of non-human characters as well. It’s not really a ground breaking skill, but it’s nice to be able to interpret emotions via faces without having to rely on story cues (looking at you, Mike Land). I mean, ultimately, Pugh isn’t the best artist, or even the best artist of Secret Wars, but his clear, crisp art is.

Quirk

The story is full of quirk, both inherent to the concept of Atlas, and playing within the bounds of Marvel. Just for eyeball’s sake, (most of) our heroes:

agents of atlas 1 potw

Gorilla Man: a man turned gorilla through a curse, and whoever kills him inherits the curse
Marvel Boy: alien royalty psychically bonded to a UFO (not pictured)
Namora: cousin to the ruler of an underwater kingdom
M-11: a robot riddled with some pretty faulty programming.

Not pictured are Jimmy Woo — Chinese American secret agent; and Venus — a living siren acting as goddess. I mean, really, the team cries out for a Morrison run. If there’s anyone out there who can incept that idea in his brain, then by all means, please do. For the sake of the world.

The weirdness doesn’t end there either. I mean, Baron’s making these:

Secret wars agents of atlas 1

And I don’t care about spoilers, but there’s some weirdness with Baron’s sun that’s too delightful for me not to want you to discover it on your own.

Narrative

I think the best thing about this, like the Silver Surfer stories, and “Pax Romana” is that not a single word or panel is wasted. The story is so tight and fast paced. Every element feeds just perfectly into the next, and all the tension is character driven: because Gorilla Man is so good, they hunt for Jimmy Woo; the story resolves in part because M-11 is able to overcome his faulty programming. Zemo’s evil is the result of a very flawed search. But the action feels purposeful and fast and inventive, and you can’t wait to see what comes next. I mean, u guys…

Secret wars agents of atlas 3
I frequently think that Marvel tries to steer away from the weird and nonconformist sometimes because now they’re owned by Disney, and as such, their entire survival depends on being accessible, non-alienating, and recognizable. It just feels like genuine fresh air to see something so unique.

This Weekend in the Nerdverse – August 15th-16th

D23

This weekend at the box office the N.W.A. biopic proved to be a hot commodity, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. made a decent while perhaps surprising showing, and Fantastic Four was almost entirely erased from the hearts and minds of the human race.

  1. Straight Outta Compton with $56.1 million
  2. Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation with $17 million
  3. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. with $13.5 million
  4. Fantastic Four with $8 million
  5. The Gift with $6.5 million

Also, the D23 expo happened over the weekend. You may have heard of it, or you may not have to be honest. It is an expo for Disney super fans and has really taken off now that Disney owns Marvel and Star Wars. While Star Wars was allowed to be at SDCC 2015, many fans noticed an unbelievable lack of a Marvel presence. Disney wanted them to save all of their big announcements and stars for their own convention. And that they did over the weekend.

Benedict Cumberbatch appeared via video at the Doctor Strange panel to talk about what he plans to bring to the role and then he oozed enigmatic charm all over the damn place. God dammit I love that man. The panel also revealed and talked about plans for the film as well as concept art. Comicbook.com

Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie flew all the way from Germany to attend the Captain America: Civil War presentation and panel, where the first ever footage from the highly anticipated film was released. Comicbook.com

Kingdom Hearts will be teaming up with Disney Infinity in the third version of them game where you will have the chance to use none other than The Keyblade during combat. Comicbook.com

The Star Wars presentation is where it was really at for D23. The cast of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens was there, including Harrison Ford, and the cast of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was announced as well as the news that Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World) will be directing Star Wars Episode IX. Boom. Comicbook.com

In other news, Donald Trump, that lying sack of racist misogynistic psychotic shit, claimed he was Batman. I get it, if a little boy asks you if you’re Batman you say yes because it’s cute and all but Trump really sullied the name of a good man and hero by keeping that kid’s dreams alive. Twitter

“Selma” Director Ava Duvernay Passes on Marvel’s “Black Panther”

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.

Source: CBR 

Official Hi-Res Deadpool Photos Released

If the leaked trailer wasn’t enough of a heart racer for you, more exciting Deadpool news has hit the web this week. This is the first real, hi-res, not-from-a-shaking-iPhone look we’ve been given of the exciting new movie. The photos show Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds), his girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), Angel Dust (Gina Carano), Weasel (T.J. Miller), Ajax (Ed Skrein), and the mutant Teenage Negasonic Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand). Reynolds says the official trailer is coming soon, but until then we have these amazing photos to keep us occupied.

Check them out below!

DEADPOOL Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) pounces on an adversary. Photo Credit: Joe Lederer TM & © 2015 Marvel & Subs.  TM and © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.  All rights reserved.  Not for sale or duplication.
Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) kicks ass.
Photo Credit: Joe Lederer
Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) gets some reading done between crime fighting. Photo Credit: David Dolsen TM & © 2015 Marvel & Subs.  TM and © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.  All rights reserved.  Not for sale or duplication.
Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) gets some reading in between crime fighting.
Photo Credit: David Dolsen
Wade Wilson (Ryan Reyonlds) and girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) Photo Credit: Joe Lederer TM & © 2015 Marvel & Subs.  TM and © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.  All rights reserved.  Not for sale or duplication.
Wade Wilson (Ryan Reyonlds) and girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin)
Photo Credit: Joe Lederer
Teenage Negasonic Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) Photo Credit: Joe Lederer TM & © 2015 Marvel & Subs.  TM and © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.  All rights reserved.  Not for sale or duplication.
Teenage Negasonic Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand)
Photo Credit: Joe Lederer
Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) Photo Credit: Joe Lederer TM & © 2015 Marvel & Subs.  TM and © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.  All rights reserved.  Not for sale or duplication.
Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds)
Photo Credit: Joe Lederer
DEADPOOL Angel Dust (Gina Carano) and Weasel (T.J. Miller) Photo Credit: Joe Lederer TM & © 2015 Marvel & Subs.  TM and © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.  All rights reserved.  Not for sale or duplication.
Angel Dust (Gina Carano) and Weasel (T.J. Miller)
Photo Credit: Joe Lederer 

DEADPOOL Ed Skrein is the sadistic Ajax, in DEADPOOL. Photo Credit: Joe Lederer TM & © 2015 Marvel & Subs.  TM and © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.  All rights reserved.  Not for sale or duplication.
Ajax (Ed Skrien) broods in the rain. 
Photo Credit: Joe Lederer

All photos TM & © 2015 Marvel & Subs.  TM and © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.  All rights reserved. Not for sale or duplication.

Source: Wired

SDCC 2015 – ‘Star Wars’ Comics to Have Crossover Event with ‘Vader Down’

Vader Down

We’ve all been reading the unbelievable good Darth Vader and Star Wars comics that Disney/Marvel rebooted to promote The Force Awakens because they’re awesome. Now Kieron Gillen’s Darth Vader and Jason Aaron’s Star Wars are going to collide in a major way. You know you’re excited.

Spoiler Alert: if you haven’t been reading Darth Vader, do not continue.

So Vader has been operating outside of the Emperor’s circle and definitely without his approval. Now he’s going to face off with more rebels than he can really handle, but he can’t exactly call for Imperial backup. Vader’s on the outside and now he has to handle things from there.

Aaron and Gillen describe Vader Down as their Avengers movie. “Let’s put in Marvel Cinematic Universe terms. [Laughs] We’ve been doing Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor and this is The Avengers. Everything that we’ve been doing goes on the screen at the same time and you get watch all of those characters interact for the first time. It’s a mammoth story,” says Jason Aaron. We’ll get to see C-3PO and R2-D2 come face to face with their evil counter parts, I can’t wait for that. This encounter is going to affect the story lines of both series in major ways.

Jason and Kieron will be working together on Vader Down which is a good thing for all of us. Vader Down will be a six-issue miniseries with art by Salvador Larroca & Mike Deodato.

Look for this series in November.

Source: CBR

SDCC 2015 – Joe Quesada Praises New Spider-Man Suit

In an interview with IGN, Marvel Entertainment’s Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada spilled that he has seen the new Spider-Man suit for the upcoming movie and that he loves it. “It looks awesome!” he said. “I think there are elements of it that are really going to blow people away, where they go, ‘Uh, that’s Marvel doing Spider-Man.” While he didn’t go into details about the suit, he is excited for fans to see it.

He also talked a little bit about how happy he is to see the race and gender changes Marvel has made to the characters in its comics. “I love when we do stuff like that, especially when the stories are great. I love when we twist things around and show the flexibility of our characters and how wonderful these icons are… gender switches, ethnicity changes… It’s all the beauty of the Marvel universe. To me as long as the stories are great, I’m along for the ride.” While he can’t confirm or deny any of the newer, more diverse characters getting their own movie, he says that anything is possible moving forward. If only that sentiment had followed into the upcoming Spider-Man movie, with Miles Morales in his own film.

Video and featured image by IGN.

BREAKING – Tom Holland Cast as Spider-Man

He'll have to lose that suit.
He’ll have to lose that suit.

After more than a few months of speculation, rumors, bullshit, and disappointment, it was confirmed today that Tom Holland, best known for Billy Elliot the Musical, will be putting on the spandex and playing Spider-Man.

This will be the third incarnation of Peter Parker/Spider-Man to appear on the big screen in 10 years. Tobey McGuire played the masked hero in the original trilogy from the early 2000’s and most recently Andrew Garfield has been bringing the character to life in the Amazing Spider-Man movies.

However, this will be the first time that the character will play a part in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It has already been confirmed that Holland’s Spider-Man will debut in Captain America: Civil War and after that we can all expect to see yet another stand alone Spider-Man movie. This one will be directed by Jon Watts and will hit theaters July 28, 2017.

What do you think about the newest version of Spidey? Are you happy to see Holland in the role or were you pining for an on screen Miles Morales? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Comicbook.co