It is the last Mighty Marvel Monday of March, Easter Monday, and also two days before my little sister’s birthday (Happy Birthday Vic!), so let’s get to it.
This past weekend was Wondercon, which is basically the dry run for SDCC. We saw the new RFID badges that SDCC will be using this year, and previews of booths, merch, and all things Comic-Con. The Marvel booth was conspicuous with its absence, as was the handful of panels and absence of any social media presence. Clearly, Marvel has bigger cons to con, although the smallness of this con does seem to have lent itself towards the panelists being more honest about things than we’re used to seeing from Marvel, or at least, a little less politic. This Newsarama post details the salient points.
Even though the Captain America: Civil War press bus did not stop by Los Angeles, Marvel did bring out the main cast for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., sans Iain De Caestecker, although if you watch our videos from the press room below, you’ll see that Jeph Loeb does a very good Iain impression. Also, you’ll learn that Brett Dalton wants to be the Silver Surfer, and Chloe Bennet sometimes forgets that she doesn’t actually have Quake’s powers. The cast are all veterans of press junkets by this point, and they impressed me by still having new answers to old questions. This press room also happened to be the same week as an emotional episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. aired, and the actors were frank about their very emotional personal reactions to Adrianne Palicki and Nick Blood’s departure from the series.
It’s been over a week since the second season of Daredevil aired, but I am still not finding many articles responding to it. Den of Geek has a nuanced and spoiler filled analysis of this particular Punisher. Since this is the first time I’ve ever cared about the Punisher, I’d appreciate more of this. The Mary Sue, however, had less than positive feelings towards Elektra, which shocked the hell out of me, since I find this Elektra to be utterly fascinating. Still waiting for the good stuff, though.
The most surprising Marvel TV development of the week was not the addition of two new cast members for the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spinoff Marvel’s Most Wanted pilot, including the incredibly gorgeous Oded Fehr who I fell in love with nearly two decades ago in The Mummy and who will always be the Doctor Strange of my heart.
But the seemingly out of nowhere declaration that Captain Britain would be getting his own TV show sometime soon. This Screencrush article goes through the whole rumor and concludes that it’s not true, but who knows, honestly, at this point.
Turning now to comics, I want to talk briefly about my All-New, All-Different continuity analysis, and say nice things about Jonathan Hickman which I probably should have said while Secret Wars was actually being published.
Whenever I mention Hickman these days it’s with the epithet as “the only comics writer who loves the Fantastic Four more than I do,” which is important context when you realize (as I have had to realize multiple times) that there is no more Fantastic Four. When I started reading Marvel comics titles other than Runaways and Young Avengers, the Fantastic Four were my team, and the Fantastic Four movies starring Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis, and the yet-to-be-famous Chris Evans were one of the main reasons why.
They weren’t the best movies, and they didn’t have the best wigs, but they were joyful, and playful, even as they heavy handedly stressed the importance of found families, and the power of teamwork. A less successful Guardians of the Galaxy. So really, it’s no surprise that Ben is with the Guardians now. Johnny is with the Uncanny Inhumans and Medusa’s new lover, which is…odd. But Johnny needs a family as much as he needs a team, and the Inhumans provide that. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if they re-origin the Fantastic Four as Inhumans at some point.
So, I have to say a special thank you to Hickman for treating my team with so much respect for the First Family of comics with Secret Wars, and giving them an ending and new beginning that makes sense for them.
Lately, things have been ending with far less fanfare than usual. With the latest solicitations, it became apparent that more series in the All-New, All-Different Marvel are being quietly canceled, with the most shocking being the GLAAD nominated Angela: Queen of Hel. Writer Marguerite Bennett took to twitter with the following message after the non-announcement broke:
Yes, we are ending at issue #7. I've known since last November, I had time to plan, and I knew exactly how I wanted us to go out.
— Marguerite Bennett (@EvilMarguerite) March 24, 2016
We made *17 issues* of smooching Shakespearean space angels. Surely that's a miracle.
— Marguerite Bennett (@EvilMarguerite) March 24, 2016
As the article points out, Marvel’s strategy when cancelling titles seems to be to just stop talking about them. I’d thought it was strange that there was never anything official from Marvel talking about Angela: Queen of Hel’s GLAAD nomination, but if Bennett has known about the cancellation since November, that may be why. It’s a little disingenuous to promote a title you already cancelled, but it is also suspicious that the title was canceled at all.
Marvel’s LGBT “support” has been described as superficial and not substantive, though they are standing with Disney in threatening to boycott their favorite filming location if Georgia passes HB 757, which would, among other things, allow Christian corporations like Hobby Lobby and Chick-Fil-A to deny services and leave out anti-LGBT discrimination protections for employees. That’s no idle threat, and it certainly raises more questions than it answers when it comes to why Marvel’s queer numbers continue to dwindle.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 is currently filming, and Chris Pratt’s Omaze fundraiser video is the cutest. Make sure to watch through to the end.