New Mutants Movie.

So they’ve now confirmed that Michael Fassbender will not be in the upcoming New Mutants movie … and James McAvoy won’t be in the movie either… so if it won’t be Professor Xavier or Magneto leading (or bringing) the team together… one wonders, what will bring this rather oddball team of young, new mutants together?

We know that Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones) and Anya Taylor-Joy (Split – where, ironically she shared the screen with James McAvoy) will be playing Wolfsbane and Magik, respectively. Along for the ride is Moonstar, Cannonball, Sunspot and Warlock. Aside from the fact these characters are coming from different areas (Wolfsbane – Scotland, Magik – Russia, Moonstar – Native American, Cannonball – Kentucky, Sunspot – Brazil and the most unusual of them all is Warlock who comes from… well, outer space!)

I seriously doubt we will be seeing Patrick Stewart or Ian McKellen will be returning as Professor Xavier and/or Magneto for this. So, while I don’t want to begin worrying… I am already beginning to worry… I am not seeing how this team can come together without a leader. Could it be that we will be seeing Josh Brolin (who will be playing Cable in Deadpool 2) as the one who is pulling this team together? A variation of when Cable lead the New Mutants, before forming the X-Force team that he was most widely known for leading? If that’s the route they go, I would certainly be okay with Cable being the leader; and with Cable’s time jumping, an advanced weapons and equipment (that we can assume is somehow going to work smoothly in Deadpool 2) would certainly allow for him having, or at least, making some connection to Warlock.

  • Tawmis

 

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Comic Relief Podcast – Issue #26 – Free Comic Book Day 2017!

We’re back! We – wait, no – I – was back at Southern California Comics for Free Comic Book Day! #FCBD Unfortunately, my partner in crime, Mighty Maico Moreno was off traveling the world. So I recruited my amazing wife, Astonishing Amiee Logue, to come co-host the podcast with me! We discuss Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and our thoughts, some Iron Fist, talk to Ryan, Adrian, Christina, and Dexter about everything from comics, TV shows, movie, and Dexter breaks down some Robotech news.

It’s a lengthy podcast – standing at an hour and a half! Because the co-host being Amiee Logue, there’s a bit of silliness in there (I mean, who here wants to know about Southern Charmed or The Challenge – because, guess what, that gets mentioned to!) This is what happens when you’re married to the special co-host for 20 years. The plus side is, we can disagree – and we do – about things about Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and Iron Fist. But let me shut up, and let you download the podcast! Enjoy the witty banter between my wife and I – while you listen to the podcast – stuck in traffic or where ever it is that you subject yourself to this dose of awesome!

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

If you love us so much, that you want to put it on your favorite audio player on repeat, you can download the MP3 also.

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The Generations and the Legacy.

Awhile ago, Marvel teased that it was working on something called Generations. Now, the details have been released. Marvel announced that it was essentially going to be 10 issue series featuring 10 different “generation team ups” between original Marvel Universe characters and their Legacy counterparts. Some of it seems unusual – because, one of them is Captain Marvel (as in Mar-Vell) teaming up with Captain Marvel (Carol). Mar-Vell is still currently dead. Same goes for Bruce Banner (Hulk) and Totally Awesome Hulk, as Bruce Banner (Hulk) is also currently dead. I doubt this means that we have some resurrections on the horizon. I suspect that it’s going to be more how these characters related; so we will see a story with Captain (Mar-Vell), and how it may have impacted Cpatain Marvel (Carol), or how some villains or something are crossing from original to their Legacy counterparts.

Naturally, Marvel is hyping the Generations book quite a bit. For example, Marvel Editor in Chief, Aexl Alonso said: “Marvel’s greatest icons return to the page this August, paired with the next generation of the Marvel Universe! However, do all our heroes emerge from Generations as they entered, or become something greater? If you want to know where Marvel is headed in the future, you don’t want to miss Generations.”

So naturally there’s the pitch of – if you want to be in the know – you’ve got to pick up these books and see what it’s all about. Time and time and time and time again, Marvel always talks about “This event is going to rock the Marvel world – so brace yourself for the future of Marvel Comics!” Only to find said event isn’t as big as they made it out to be, or said event is eventually undone within a year or so.

Here are some of the books and creative teams behind these Generations book:

  • Generations: The Best
    • Starring Wolverine and All-New Wolverine
      • Written by Tom Taylor
      • Art by Ramon Rosanas
  • Generations: The Americas
    • Starring Steve Rogers: Captain America and Sam Wilson: Captain America
      • Written by Nick Spencer
      • Art by Paul Renaud
  • Generations: The Bravest
    • Starring Captain Mar-Vell and Captain Marvel
      • Written by Margie Stohl
      • Art by Brent Schoonover
  • Generations: The Thunder
    • Starring The Mighty Thor and The Unworthy Thor
      • Written by Jason Aaron
      • Art by Mahmud Asrar
  • Generations: The Strongest
    • Starring Bruce Banner and Amadeus Cho, the Totally Awesome Hulk
      • Written by Greg Pak
  • Generations: The Archers
    • Starring Hawkeyes, Clint Barton and Kate Bishop
      • Written by Kelly Thompson
  • Generations: The Iron
    • Starring Iron Man and Ironheart
      • Written by Brian Michael Bendis
      • Art by Marco Rudy
  • Generations: The Marvels
    • Starring Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel
      • Written by G. Willow Wilson
  • Generations: The Spiders
    • Starring Peter Parker: Spider-Man and Miles Morales: Spider-Man
      • Written by Brian Michael Bendis
      • Art by Ramon Perez
  • Generations: The Phoenix
    • Starring The Phoenix and Jean Grey
      • Written by Cullen Bunn

So on top of this – Marvel is also releasing something called Legacy.

So there’s not a lot of details about Legacy just yet – but the one thing we have learned that the creative team from Thor: God of Thunder (Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic) will be behing a single, one shot, 50 page comic. Jason Aaron spoke about it saying, “We get a peek into the very distant past here, so we go back to the prehistoric days of the Marvel Universe!  That adventure will have major ramifications for the Marvel Universe going forward.”

Notice that? Once again – not only are they talking about Generations having an impact (like every other event) – but now Aaron is saying it’s going to have major ramifications for the Marvel Universe.

Why does everything have to have major ramifications – why can’t we just get normal, issue to issue, month to month, stories?

Anyway – Legacy will see long running titles revert to their original numbering (so that means, books like Uncanny X-Men and Avengers, will probably resume their numbers, since these are the only two “long running” books I can even think of that have their same title). And from what I have read, apparently it will feature story lines with “easy access” or “jump on” points.

And… wasn’t the logo of “The world outside your window” the logo for the New Universe pitch back in the day… just saying…

Gruenwald elaborated (back in 1998) –

There was a big misunderstanding among all of the creators, myself included, that we should keep the New Universe the world outside your window — that it should never change too much, or else we’d lose reader identification or something. We missed the point of having a virgin universe, uncluttered by known super-beings, aliens, other dimensions, hidden civilizations, and all that. The point is enabling the reader to experience the first time the weird stuff starts happening — and, more importantly, letting the weird stuff actually affect the status quo of the world

  • Tawmis

 

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The Dark Phoenix Movie.

Let me forewarn you – the read ahead is pretty long, and it’s mostly because I am extremely passionate about my classic X-Men comics – and one of my all time favorite stories is the Dark Phoenix saga… and with news once again, that Fox’s next X-Men movie is called “Dark Phoenix”… I figured I’d take some time to share some thoughts…

THE DARK PHOENIX IN X-MEN MOVIES

Listen. We’ve seen it before. And we’re about to see it again. Jean Grey – unleashing the Phoenix Force… and Jean Grey losing control of the Phoenix Force. You might thing I am talking about the second X-Men movie where we see Jean Grey, played by Famke Janssen… and then how she loses control of the Phoenix Force in the third X-Men movie… that’s what you might be thinking right?

Well, how about the time, where the X-Men movie “rebooted” and then it was Jean Grey, portrayed by Sophie Turner, and during the battle against Apocalypse, we see a much more obvious release of the Phoenix Force (rather than the hint in Famke’s eyes, in the other X-Men movie). You might be saying, “But Tawmis, we don’t know that she loses control of the Phoenix Force!” And, I am here to say – but we do. Fox has officially named the next X-Men movie “Dark Phoenix.” So that should be a clear indication that it will revolve (once again) around Jean losing control of the Phoenix Force.

WHAT IS THE PHOENIX FORCE AND STORY OF JEAN GREY (IN COMICS?)

Is it that I hate the Dark Phoenix story? That’s actually the furthest from the truth. As a matter of fact, the entire build up to the story that leads to the shocking conclusion of the Dark Phoenix story is perhaps one of my all time favorite comic book stories ever.

So then, what’s my problem? Shouldn’t I be happy to see the Dark Phoenix – you know, again – on the big screen? You’re right. I should be happy. Should being the key word. So why am I not happy? Because both movies have gotten one very core thing wrong. (And maybe someone might say I am being too much of a “Comic Book Nerd” – but the one thing they got wrong would be like if they had changed the Ring in the Lord of the Rings movie into a necklace and called it Lord of the Necklace or something). Small, trivial changes, I don’t mind. They made tons of them in Lord of the Rings (and I loved the movie, and those books are sacred to me – don’t get me started on what they did with The Hobbit though… that is another story entirely…)

So what is that one nagging thing that has bothered me about both of these “Phoenix” stories that we’ve seen so far? It’s the fact, that for whatever reason, both times they have had Jean Grey being born with the Phoenix Force, and just explaining it away as some part of her mutant power rather than going into it being a cosmic being that entered Jean’s body (as originally written; many, many, many years later, they’d decide Phoenix took her place and put Jean in a cocoon at the bottom of the ocean in suspended animation – hey, it’s comics!) So originally – for those that don’t know – the story takes place where the X-Men are returning from space and their plane is falling apart; Jean is the only one who can hold it together with her telekinetic powers; after much fighting, the rest go back in the secure area. Jean successfully lands the plane into the bay, and while the rest of the X-Men surface, Jean seems to be missing, and finally surfaces.

This would result in Jean Grey leaving the X-Men (as a team member, but still in the book occasionally) for awhile until making her dramatic return in Uncanny X-Men #125. There isn’t too much here, other than the X-Men begin to notice a change in her.

It’s actually not until a little later when the X-Men begin to encounter a new group of villains that have dubbed themselves The Hellfire Club, with the Inner Circle being composed of mutants who sought to influence the world and dressed in 18th Century period clothing. One such member, who had the name of Jason Wyngarde, was an old X-Men villain named Mastermind who had used his own mutant powers of illusion control, to manipulate his own appearance. Jason Wyngarde took an interest in taking over and manipulating Jean Grey to turn on the X-Men, and ideally become his lover, and improve his ranking among the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club. Unfortunately, what Jason Wyngarde did not know is that it wasn’t just Jean Grey’s mind; it was that of the Phoenix Force which had bonded with Jean Grey.

This led to a battle with the X-Men fighting the Inner Circle and being soundly beaten; with only Wolverine managing to “escape” (and that’s only because Leland used his gravity manipulating to increase Wolverine’s density, crashing him through the floor and down into the sewers, where the Hellfire Club assumed that Wolverine had perished from being crushed to death).

Wolverine would, as noted, survive the encounter and immediately come back after the Hellfire Club with a vengeance, and in the process recusing his fellow X-Men members; but not before Mastermind had successfully manipulated Jean Grey enough to seize control of her mind.

The Phoenix Force seized control of Jean Grey, now twisted by Mastermind’s evil intentions and became the legendary Dark Phoenix in Uncanny X-Men #135. Now the X-Men found themselves fighting one of their own members; one of the original X-Men. One of the sweetest, kindest X-Men to have ever existed – Jean Grey. Storm referred to her as “Sister”, Wolverine had feelings for Jean Grey, Cyclops had been Jean’s main love interest from the very start, Nightcrawler was a devote Catholic, and Colossus had the gentle heart of a writer/painter. Going after Jean Grey, and trying to stop her by any means possible was something the X-Men were simply not equipped to do because their own feelings for the teammate superseded the consequences of letting the Dark Phoenix lose control.

The X-Men would call on their former member, Beast, to help them try and stop Dark Phoenix/Jean Grey. Beast had created a headband that should have nullified the Phoenix power; but not understanding the source of the power or the infinite power that the Phoenix contained; Jean Grey easily destroyed the device. We see Jean’s human side pop up from time to time, when she leaves and visits the home of her parents, and sees photos of them (and her sister). It’s Cyclops who comes to her – no longer attacking, but tries to appeal to Jean’s human side; and just as it seems like she is about to regain control, Professor Xavier arrives and attacks her mentally, which makes Jean lose control again. Professor Xavier and Jean lock into mental combat, and Professor Xavier is able to subdue and lock away the Phoenix Persona deep into Jean Grey’s mind. Though the X-Men are happy to see Jean back, it’s not long before they’re teleported away by the Shi’ar Empire and abducted.

The Shi’ar that the Phoenix Force is a massive power that can’t be contained, it’s destructive, etc – and in the end, it boils down to “Jean Grey must die.” Professor Xavier and the X-Men challenge the Shi’ar to a battle for Jean Grey’s life. So the X-Men are paired off against various members of the Shi’ar powerful force known as the Shi’ar Imperial Guard. While the X-Men fight valiantly for Jean Grey’s life, in the end, Jean Grey realizes that the Phoenix Force is still inside her, and that at any time, it could potentially break free and release the Dark Phoenix once again. Jean Grey sacrifices herself and dies, so that the Dark Phoenix will never be a problem again. (Well, that was a good plan, but many years later, Jean Grey, and the Phoenix Force would return countless times, to the point it’s nearly become a parody of the whole ‘The Phoenix will rise again!’ – but hey, it’s comics!)

HOW WOULD I DO THE DARK PHOENIX MOVIE?

All of that said – just how would I do the Dark Phoenix movie? I’d treat it as “the big movie” event. Similar to how the Disney/Marvel movies are building up to The Infinity War, I would begin building up The Dark Phoenix as the big movie that several movies lead up to.

First, if I had my way – and I was going to do this from scratch, I would introduce the first movie as The Starjammers. And you’re probably thinking, “Who the Hell are the Starjammers?” or if you know who they are, you might be thinking, “Who the Hell would watch a movie about the Starjammers?”

And those are very reasonable questions and concerns. But my counter argument to that is – before the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie came out, how many people were screaming, “Finally! A Guardians of the Galaxy movie!” As a matter of fact, most people – including many comic book readers were either saying, “Who the heck are the Guardians of the Galaxy?” and older fans might have been saying, “Those aren’t my versions of the Guardians of the Galaxy!

WHY THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY MOVIE MATTERS…

That’s right – the Guardians of the Galaxy you see in the movie aren’t even close to the (previously) traditional Guardians of the Galaxy. That’s right – that over there, to the left – that was the Guardians of the Galaxy. Over the years from their first appearance, they would modernize their looks and add a few members to the roster – but even still, none of those characters that they added were members in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie – not a single one. The comic book version of the Guardians of the Galaxy came into existence in 1969. This version of the Guardians of the Galaxy entered the “regular Earth” though they were from a future/alternate reality. This version of the team would eventually go on to get their own series which ran for 62 issues.

The series brought about a lot of change and updates to the roster, with members coming and going; and still, not a single one of those members was from the Guardians of the Galaxy movie. In 2008, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (pretty much one of the greatest teams to work together), reworked the Guardians of the Galaxy concept – creating a team of misfits, that would go on to be the core of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie that we all know and love, with members such as Star-Lord, Rocket Racoon, Drax, Gamora, and of course, Groot. Yondu would appear in the movie (though as a “villain” … “anti-hero”…?), and he was the only character from the original Guardians of the Galaxy book (though not a member; though the second movie seems to have changed that from the looks of things).

Originally, Star-Lord was not the charming “space pirate” that we all know and love when he first appeared in 1976. Nor did he have the snazzy, red leather, trench coat that we all know and love to see him dance in. Nor did he have his cool mask that has become the iconic symbol that represents Star-Lord (as much, I dare say, as Captain America’s shield represents Cap, or that Mjölnir represents Thor!). Once again, this was through the creative process when Dan & Andy were doing the 2008 Guardians of the Galaxy – thoughupdated Star-Lord’s look, it wasn’t that what we see in the movie. And Rocket Racoon? Yeah, he shot guns; but he certainly wasn’t the fun, charming, hilarious, bomb-making Racoon we all know and love when he first appeared in 1976. As a matter of fact, when he first appeared his name was “Rocky.”

One of the most surprising and drastic changes came in the form of Groot. Groot – when he first appeared was this… giant… plant thing… from a place called “Planet X”… and he could actually talk (not just limited to “I am Groot” or “We are Groot”)… and he didn’t look anywhere near as cute and fun as we all know him from the movie. This was, once again, the creative works of Dan & Andy working on revamping the Guardians of the Galaxy and taking all of these misfit – and for the most part – very, very, very obscure characters from everywhere – and making them into what they are now.

 

LET’S MEET THE STARJAMMERS…

The Starjammers are, essentially, what the Guardians of the Galaxy comic became when Dan & Andy recreated the Guardians of the Galaxy book. You have Corsair, who is literally, the human space pirate, with his wit and charm  – and was abducted and enslaved b the Shi’ar (much like Star-Lord was abducted in the movie). Then you have Hepzibah, who is the female bad ass (much like Gamora). You have Ch’od, the big green, hulking mass of muscle (much like Drax). You have Cr+eee (the white creature on Ch’od’s shoulder) who speaks in a squeaky language only Ch’od seems to understand (similar to the Groot/Rocket thing) and then there’s Raza (with the patch and long flowing hair), who is wise, speaks with using “Old English” (thee and thy), and reminds me of what they are going to make Mantis out to be in the second Guardians of the Galaxy movie. So the Starjammers are literally what the Guardians of the Galaxy became. And with a good writer for a script (I’m available Marvel, if you’re reading this!), Fox Studios could potentially land a successful movie that’s up there with Guardians of the Galaxy. (Now, more than ever would be the best time to try and pull this off; because with the recent success of Guardians of the Galaxy and the resurgence of Star Wars movies; space dramas are shoe in for success, if done right!)

LET’S BEGIN MAKING THE DARK PHOENIX TRILOGY…

So, after explaining all that (I am extremely passionate about my X-Men, especially when it comes to the Dark Phoenix!) – I would begin the movie with the Starjammers as the first movie. This is the movie that sets everything up. I’d possibly start it with the Starjammers have stolen something from the Shi’ar Empire. (I could get really long winded about how great the Shi’ar Empire is – but to sum it up, they’re one of the most powerful space fairing races out there, with a massive empire, ruling over a great majority of planets out there!) So the Shi’ar Empire is chasing down the Starjammers to recover this “relic” that the Starjammers have acquired. Do a few scenes where the Starjammers are trying to pawn off the relic, but the Shi’ar keep arriving (possibly showing off some of the members of the Imperial Guard – who are the Shi’ar’s version of ‘super heroes’ loyal to the throne of the Shi’ar Empire). The Shi’ar keep applying too much pressure, so by the end of the Starjammers movie Corsair says he knows the perfect, backwards planet to hide the relic on; Earth (his home planet).

The second movie would be called something like X-Men: Rise of the Phoenix. It would essentially deal with the X-Men going to investigate the unusual UFO sighting (which is actually the Starjammers). The Starjammers and X-Men would fight it out initially (the Starjammers possibly mistaking the powered X-Men as members of the Imperial Guard, since when Corsair was abducted from Earth, there were no known mutants to exist; while Professor Xavier and Magneto were both mutants with powers by this time; this was not widely known to the general public). The X-Men and Starjammers would continue the fight until the arrival of the Shi’ar and their Imperial Guard; when the Starjammers realize the X-Men are not members of the Imperial Guard. Teaming up against the massive force of the Imperial Guard; Jean Grey scans the mind of one of the Imperial Guard or even perhaps D’Ken, leader of the Shi’ar Empire at the time), and learns that the relic that the Starjammers stole holds incredible power. Jean locates the relic, and realizing that they have no hope of defeating the Imperial Guard opens the relic, unleashing the Phoenix Force which bonds with her and gives the X-Men the upper hand. The movie ends with the defeat of the Imperial Guard, due to Jean Grey merging with the Phoenix!

The third movie would be called X-Men: Birth of the Dark Phoenix or simply X-Men: Dark Phoenix. This is where things hit the fan. The Shi’ar call down on the rest of the Imperial Guard, including Gladiator. The Starjammers and X-Men try to fight them, but they’re hopelessly out numbered, out gunned, and over powered. The X-Men and Starjammers must admit defeat. D’Ken claims that Jean Grey must die, because the Phoenix Force can not be contained in a mortal without eventually corrupting them; having proof before and showing the X-Men what happened the last time the Phoenix Force took on a mortal’s form and all the trouble they had capturing it into the relic. The X-Men challenge the Shi’ar Imperial Guard to a challenge (similar to what we see in Uncanny X-Men #137) in order to save Jean Grey’s life. The Starjammers also agree to join in the fight; and so – they do the individual fights, and despite the heroes looking like they’re going to win, in the end, Jean Grey sacrifices herself – seemingly destroying herself which allows the Shi’ar to recapture the Phoenix Force back into the relic. Movie ends with the X-Men burying Jean Grey on Earth.

So while, not even my version of the Dark Phoenix saga is completely true to what happens in the comic; I realize there’s a lot of comic book history that that simply can’t be shoved into a movie; so I would truncate it down to the parts I thought were important; and that is, simply acknowledging and explaining that the Phoenix Force is a cosmic being – not simply Jean Grey’s “mutant ability” as it has been portrayed in the previous versions of the X-Men movies. I think starting the movie with the Starjammers is a very reasonable idea. I think the introduction of the Shi’ar Empire is also reasonable. Fox Studios seems to have a problem with just wanting to go straight for the payload, rather than giving us some foreplay to build up to the story that most X-Men fans love and adore and hail, one of the best X-Men story arcs – if not one of the best comic book story arcs.

And naturally, with Jean having bonded with the Phoenix Force, they could even go on to make other movies, that deal with Jean being resurrected by the residue of the Phoenix Force (the Phoenix always rises from the ashes) – and then, maybe at that point, explain that Jean’s powers are now enhanced; her mind opened by the cosmic being to the true potential of her telepathy and telekinesis.

So there you have it. How, if given the chance, I would have done the Dark Phoenix Saga.

  • Tawmis

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Podcasters Apprehended!

Our last issue we did (Issue #25, in February 2017) was more than a month ago, and we’re aware! Unfortunately, real life has been stepping in front of us time and time again. We’ve had several things we’ve wanted to cover (Iron Fist on NetFlix, the X-Men ResurreXion line, the Legion television series, the New Warriors and the Cloak & Dagger TV series, both coming to Freeform TV). We’ve also got a few folks we have wanted to bring onto our podcast to talk about their comics, but because of Life – we’ve not had that chance. I will be doing a podcast during Free Comic Book Day at Southern California Comics (like we’ve done the last few years now!), but it will just be me. Maico will not be available. We would try for one sooner, but I have a 20th Anniversary coming up (yes, somehow, some reason, my wife has put up with me and all the Dazzler love I give her for the last 20 years!), then I am off to Ordain my best friend’s daughter’s wedding. Then Maico is off to a business trip that takes him out of the states. And literally, the day he comes back, I take off for two weeks for the same business trip he just got back from. So look for Issue #26 to cover Free Comic Book Day, but since Maico is typically the interview guy; I am going to try to fill those shoes since he will be absent – so I can’t promise anything good! Then, when life calms down (ideally), we will probably resume the podcast in June of 2017. Until then, Maico and I will be running from the Sentinels of Busy Life, until we can safely podcast again! But hang in there – I promise we will be back (and we will have much more to talk about Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and Thor: Ragnorok!)

  • Tawmis

 

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Carrie Fisher Memorial Video.

(Bring A Tissue! You’re Going To Need It! Or Yell “Who Is Cutting Onions!” Before Viewing)…

Shawn Richter posted this – and Colleen, of Wyng’d Lyon Creations, was sitting with me when I decided to watch this. To prove Carrie Fisher still had an impacted – both Colleen and I had shed some tears, by the time we reached the end of this video. I remember posting the Happy Birthday, Carrie Fisher post – and rambling about how, as a young kid, she had impacted me. Then, with The Force Awakens which continued the Star Wars Saga, Carrie Fisher was in the movie – and it was wonderful to see her. But life – fate – can be cruel. In a tragic turn, we would lose Carrie Fisher, and so many of us had to say farewell. But this video proves that she may be gone – but her impact and her memory – carries on in our hearts. Whoever did this memorial video did an amazing job at capturing Carrie in such wonderful moments.

This smile will forever be one of my favorites…

  • Love,
    Tawmis
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Final Day for X-Men: The Animated Series Fan Questions.

Today will be the last day for the submission of X-Men: The Animated Series fan questions. Want to get in some questions today before the weekend gets here? Don’t worry! Officially Saturday morning is going to be the last of the questions I will be submitting to get answered by Eric & Julia sometime in the near future. If you want to grab all the details, be sure to check out our previous post how you can submit questions for Eric & Julia to answer. They promise to make an effort to get everything answered; but in some cases, they may not know, or even remember the answer to your questions (so don’t be offended, after it has been 25 years since the show aired, and if you don’t hear your question asked; it probably means it got cut from the podcast because of that reason!) Both Maico and I have business travel coming up, that’s going to keep us extremely busy, so there might be a delay on when this episode will get done.

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Marvel sees decrease in sales – blames fans who don’t want to see diversity.

I admit, when I saw the title of an article that my partner in crime, Maico, shared with me; I was grinning: “Marvel executive says emphasis on diversity may have alienated readers.

But almost instantly, I was furious. They had said: Comics studio’s vice president of sales tells summit that some stores say people ‘have had enough’ of new female and ethnic minority characters. Marvel’s vice president of sales has blamed declining comic-book sales on the studio’s efforts to increase diversity and female characters, saying that readers “were turning their noses up” at diversity and “didn’t want female characters out there.”

Wrong. My “problem” with Marvel’s recent push for diversity is more along the lines of getting rid of original characters to “validate” these new diverse characters. The biggest one is Iron Heart. Tony Stark “dies” (nearly dies, whatever the case may be; because no one stays dead in Marvel, just ask Jean Grey) – and the intelligence of Tony Stark is made into a digital print and put into the mind of Riri Williams. (Note: Jenna Tomlin corrected me – and let me know that the AI Tony is not in fact, embedded into Riri’s mind – he is a separate, independent Artificial Intelligence that helps her monitor and control the suit!) So they got rid of Iron Man to make Iron Heart your only choice if you want an Iron Man type comic. (They also killed Moon Boy in order to make room for Moon Girl; but I think I am one of the few – if not, only – Moon Boy fan – and that was all because of the Fallen Angels limited series way back in the day). I admit, I do question why they would put the kind of intelligence (knowledge, and security clearance knowledge that Tony Stark into with a young person‘s mind – male, female, black, or white – and why they wouldn’t put it into the mind of an already established character with intelligence – because it just seems like a security breach to put into into the mind of someone who isn’t an Avenger, Fantastic Four, or a member of SHIELD). But it’s comics – and it’s just the way it is!

Where Marvel has gotten this push for diversity right in my opinion; is Thor. We have a woman who has taken up the mantle of Thor, Goddess of Thunder. But for those invested in hundreds of comics deep of Thor Odinson – we have a title Unworthy Thor. Also, when they made Kamala Khan, a Muslim character as Ms. Marvel; they didn’t get rid of Carol Danvers; instead, they made her Captain Marvel (and have done such a great job promoting her; which I love, because I was an avid fan of her as Ms. Marvel, and even more so when she became Binary! I had collected the original Ms. Marvel and the following series that she was in for her own title – I, admit, however, due to financial cut backs, I did not collect her current run of Captain Marvel books – but that has nothing to do with lack of diversity support, and more with financial reasons!) This is how you do diversity.

I actually applaud Marvel’s attempt to diversify their books and reach a larger audience to feel represented in the Marvel Universe.

But to blame their lack of sales on Diversity? I call bull#$%^. Marvel needs to look inwards to find where the true blame is. I was at WonderCon just this weekend, explaining to my best friend’s son, Matt (who is 21 and an avid fan of DC Comics; but also loves Unworthy Thor) my dislike of Marvel’s current state (and trust me, I was a Marvel Zombie for 35 years of my comic book collecting life, so far!). One of the biggest issues with Marvel, that I have is that literally every 6 months is a major event. And that crossovers cross into every single title, forcing you to either pick up an entire cross over – or be utterly confused.

I can speak from experience reading Spider-Man 2099, when the Spider-Verse happened; it was two or three issues, where I was so utterly confused, because I had no interest and no money to collect this massive cross over to understand what was going on. So for those two or three months, the issues were just money thrown into Marvel’s pockets, because I certainly got no enjoyment out of the books (no offense to Peter David’s incredible writing, either!)

I think crossover events are the bane of just every comic book collector. Why these events aren’t self contained within a limited series, rather than running through several different books, is far beyond me. Remember the original Secret Wars? The one that ran 12 issues? Was completely self contained? Yes, there were consequences after it – like Thing staying on Battleworld. But if you were reading X-Men or Fantastic Four or Avengers or whatever – you weren’t forced to collect books that may you didn’t normally read, for 12 months, to figure out what the heck was going on. Nothing is more confusing, when an issue ends at one point – but because of a cross over, the next issue you pick up – it’s at a completely different place, with all these new things happening – because you have essentially missed 3 to 5 issues by not collecting all the things that these books cross over into.

So for example, the entire Spider-Verse fiasco I had to deal with. Forget the “Edge of Spider-Verse” that is a prelude to all of these (apparently there was a: Edge of Spider-Verse: Superior Spider-Man, Edge of Spider-Verse: Miniseries, Edge of Spider-Verse: Spider-Man 2099 and an Edge of Spider-Verse: Amazing Spider-Man) – but just going into the main Spider-Verse cross over – it crossed through: Scarlet Spiders, Spider-Man 2099, Spider-Verse, Spider-Verse Team Up, and Spider-Woman. So essentially when it crossed over, I’d have to pick up four other books that I was not collecting, and had no interest (and aforementioned, money) to pick it up. So each time I picked up an issue of Spider-Man 2099 during that Spider-Verse nightmare, I was always essentially “missing” four issues (because of all the titles it crossed over). Now, let’s be clear – I may be picking on Spider-Verse, but I had this same exact issue with Avengers vs X-Men (the event/cross over, not the original limited series from the 80’s obviously), as well as The Black Vortex – which I was only getting The Legendary Starlord – in one issue the time displaced X-Men (don’t even get me started on that!) Angel has normal wings; then the next time I see him, he has energy wings, and I have no idea why… or how… and that’s just a few examples…

So, a lot of us “older” readers who are not opposed to diversity, but rather sick and tired of cross overs that we’re not interested in (nor can we afford, because – you know, real life, with real bills) – this is why we drop a lot of Marvel titles. Two years ago, I wrote an article on here, about how I was doing something I thought I’d never do – after 35 years of collecting Uncanny X-Men, I was finally dropping the title. And if you can’t tell how much I loved Uncanny X-Men from reading that and how much I hated dropping the title; then I truly failed as a writer. It wasn’t until news that Cullen Bunn would be writing Uncanny X-Men that I would come back and give it another try. My only regret with Cullen Bunn’s 20 issue run of Uncanny X-Men is that it wasn’t longer, and that he didn’t get to finish the stories I think he still had left.

But – I got side tracked. The simple matter is – fans do not like their heroes to be replaced. Remember when Sam Alexander, a brand new, young, character, took on the role as the new Nova after appearing on the Spider-Man cartoon? The Nova series (all of them) featuring the young, Sam Alexander, was met with a lot of resentment from fans who considered Rich Rider as the true Nova (especially after everyone else who died in the CancerVerse had come back to the living, except Rich Rider). While I still gave the Sam Alexander Nova series a chance, because he was a member of the New Warriors, which I am a huge fan of – the current series now features both Sam Alexander and a recently resurrected Rich Rider as both taking on the role of Nova. As as someone who runs NewWarriors.com as well, with a Twitter account & Facebook account all tied together – I have seen almost no complains about the current Nova series, because Rich Rider is a part of it once more. The anger towards “Diversity” is incorrect. It’s the replacement of characters, that many of us are extremely invested in. (Anyone remember when Marvel had the great idea to get rid of Thor and replace him – both in his own title and in the Avengers, with the human, Eric Masterson, as Thunderstrike? Also not very well received). They would eventually restore Thor, and Thunderstrike would go on to get his own, very short lived, series. So the Marvel CEO who blames the lacking sales because of fans not wanting diversity, is clearly not someone who has a good look at the whole picture, and is looking to deflect the blame upon the fans (which is always great for the company image), rather than looking inward and seeing that perhaps the blame is with them?

Lacking sales?

  • Relentless amount of “epic sized, ground breaking, world changing” cross overs that cross into several books, forcing readers to either spend money on books they don’t collect, or be utterly confused until the “epic sized, ground breaking, world changing” cross over event is over, and their books resume their normal story telling.
  • Replacing long standing characters, with brand new characters; diverse or otherwise. It has nothing to do with a character not being “white” for fans to rebel against this – both Sam Alexander (Nova) and Eric Masterson (Thunderstrike) were both white replacements for white characters, that there was a pretty big backlash and dislike for.

The potential answer?

  • Stop doing “epic sized, ground breaking, world changing” crossovers every 6 months. At the most do them once a year – but for the love of Odin’s Ravens – that doesn’t mean you have to do it every single year either. Consider doing these as a limited series and contain the entire event within that limited series, rather than spilling it into a bunch of books. This results in readers being forced to purchase these books, as I said, or be left in the dark, their own book that they collect making no sense during these cross overs. And due to the price of comics, readers like me, have been forced to cut back what they pick up – and simply can’t, or won’t, pick up these “epic sized” cross overs when they cross into other books – simply because we can’t afford it.
  • Stop replacing existing characters with new characters, that are virtually exactly the same. Why not have these characters co-exist? Replacing Thor with Thunderstrike and getting rid of Thor didn’t work. Replacing Nova (Sam) with Rich, had a few series’, but there was a lot of fan backlash. It’s going to happen no matter the skin color of the character you’re replacing or replacing them with.

Tawmis Logue
Podcaster with crazy thoughts.

Just A Side Note: One of my first comics was Uncanny X-Men #121, which featured an African woman (Storm), a German (Nightcrawler), a Canadian (Wolverine), an Irish Man (Banshee), and Cyclops (American). I would eventually get the back issues, early in my collecting career and saw that there were other great characters – a Native America (Thunderbird, who perished!) and a Japanese hero (Sunfire)! I have repeatedly said how Giant Size X-Men has become my “Bible” as to how comics should be done. One of my other favorite books? The original New Mutants book which contained a Scottish girl (Wolfsbane), a Native American girl (Mirage), a Latin male (Sunspot), a Vietnamese girl (Karma) and Cannonball (American). So, I’d say it’s pretty insane to think that I am not into diversity…

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ResurreXion: Astonishing X-Men

So I have already discussed the other titles coming out of this ResurreXion event, but now they just fully released another title called Astonishing X-Men.

Marvel had been releasing images of the team slowly, at first. So this is the final image of the team and the title of the book. So let’s take a look at the roster we have, because over all this looks like a pretty solid team.

  • Old Man Logan: By the looks of it, Old Man Logan will probably be the leader of this team (even though he’s busy in another ResurreXion book – so it looks like Logan still has the mutant ability to appear in multiple books at once. I admit, I am not a fan of Old Man Logan. But if you have listened to just about any of our podcasts, I dislike time displaced characters, where an existing version of them already exists. Granted, 616 Wolverine is “dead” but to me Old Man Logan is a knock off, and I’d much rather have my 616 Wolverine back.
  • Fantomex: I have yet to understand the appeal to this character. I mean, I dig all the little nods that make up Fantomex’s character (Fantomex resembles an Italian comic book Diabolik; his name Jean-Phillipe, is a reference to actor John Phillip Law, the star of Danger: Diabolik and that his Weapon X designation (Weapon XIII) is a reference to the protagonist of the Franco-Belgian comic XIII), but there’s been nothing about this character that has ever captured my attention and made me say, “I want to read more stories with this character!” And yet, somehow, he keeps popping up. So maybe I just have some skewed vision of why this character is so lame.
  • Psylocke: Now we’re talking! I have always enjoyed Psylocke, both as her British version and the revamped version that became extremely popular. My favorite era of her was when Claremont and Lee were doing the X-Men book back in the day. They really got a hold of what made her a really cool character to have in a book.
  • Mystique: I admit, I am surprised to see her on a team book. Her recent encounter within the pages of Uncanny X-Men and Psylocke, would make it seem like she would want nothing to do with the X-Men, and especially Psylocke. So she may be on there for that dynamic of the one who might betray them at any moment. I’ve always been a huge fan of Mystique, and while I enjoyed her back in the day on X-Factor, my favorite version of her has always been when she was leading the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
  • Bishop: Yes! Yes! Yes! So happy to see Bishop back in action. And to see that he’s returned to his classic costume, grown out his hair again. I would literally pick up the book, for no other reason, than just to read up on what Bishop is up to! Very happy to see Bishop back!
  • Archangel: When they were slowly doing the reveals, I was not the least bit surprised that Psylocke was on the team, with Archangel already revealed. Bunn has been doing some amazing things between Psylocke and Archangel in the pages of Uncanny X-Men, so I am hoping to see that quality carry on.
  • Rogue: It’s nice to see Rogue back in her costume, because the last I remember of Rogue, before giving up on all the X-Men books (until Bunn’s run on Uncanny X-Men), was that she had absorbed everyone’s power, and essentially her power was so completely out of control that she’d also absorb people’s life force completely (as in killing them). So I am not even sure where Rogue currently stands, but I am hoping we can get her restored back to her former glory.
  • Gambit: I am not the least bit surprised that Gambit is finally back on an X-Men team. And the fact that Rogue is in the book; I don’t know where their relationship status stands (since Gambit has appeared on such teams as X-Factor, without so much as a mention of Rogue). But Gambit has always been a character I really enjoyed (and I am sure my partner in crime, Maico, will be happy to know that Gambit is being used!)

 

  • Tawmis

 

 

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X-Men: The Animated Series – Fan Q&A – Submit YOUR Questions!

As you may have heard, from our over joyous posting about SD Comic Fest this year, we were fortunate enough to interview Julia & Eric of the X-Men Animated Series, which was an incredible opportunity and highlight for us!

I liked our interview with them on the CBR Forums in the X-Men: Animated Series Appreciation thread and one of the users on there, appropriately named ChildOfTheAtom had asked that if they’d be up for answering some fan Q&A stuff that we could put on our podcast. I reached out to them and they said they’d be up for it! So if you have an account on CBR, you can post it in the thread I created for the Q&A or go to the Contact Us portion of our page and shoot us an email. Or send us a message on our Facebook page or Direct Message us on Twitter.

So once again – ways to submit Questions to us for the X-Men: Animated Series from 1992 is:

One we have enough questions, we will schedule a time with Eric & Julia to see what we can get answered from the fans of the series!

So please share this far and wide! Let’s gather up as much as we can!

 

 

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