A web-swinging gaggle of Marvel related news for April 28th -30th, 2013!
Spider-Man 2099 gets “Superior”!
At the recent “C2E2” convention in Chicago, writer Dan Slott stated that “Superior Spider-Man #17” in September will have a very special guest star – the future incarnation of the webbed hero, “Spider-Man 2099”. To a degree this is a confirmation of a rumor which arose back in October when a Twitter message mentioning the character’s alter ego to artist Ryan Stegman. It was then speculated that the brand new Spider-Man to arise at the end of “Amazing Spider-Man #700” in December would be him – instead, Dr. Octopus wound up possessing the web-head’s body. Slott stated that the clues for this appearance were laid in from the start of his “Big Time” run on “Amazing Spider-Man” since it started in November 2011. Stegman, the first artist “Superior Spider-Man” had at the start of the year, will return for this fall arc.
“Spider-Man 2099” was created by Peter David and Rick Leonardi in 1992 and launched the debut of Marvel’s line of comics set in the future during the early to mid 90’s. The launch remains Peter David’s best selling issue and the series ran for 46 issues – although the final two were without David’s involvement. The 2099 line in general operated much like many imprints; its popularity led to overexposure and then deterioration – a pattern Marvel (and comics in general) repeat with everything. The line faded away by 1997-1998, although Spidey 2099 (or Miguel O’Hara) would appear in more recent comics such as “Exiles”. His design remains very distinctive and often appears in video game installments (including “Shattered Dimensions”, which Slott wrote), and he was also the first person of color to do the Spider-Man guise at Marvel, years before Miles Morales or Arana. Both the traditional and future Spider-Men met in a 1995 one shot, also written by David.
The storyline will also involve a new threat and the return of “an important member of the Osborn family”, hinting at the return of the Green Goblin in some form. Marvel’s experiment with “Superior Spider-Man” has paid off with superior sales than for many arcs of “Amazing Spider-Man”, and one hopes that appearances such as this are an organic form of Slott’s long run on the franchise and is not a stunt to drag it along.
The end of “X-Factor”!
In further “C2E2” and Peter David related announcements, Marvel revealed that September’s “X-Factor #262” would be the final issue of the series – or at the least, the last issue with David’s involvement. While David did write the series in the 90’s, his recent run on the property began in the 2004 mini series “Madrox”, and thus would end a run nearly a decade long. A prolific writer who has worked in both the comic book and TV industry, he is perhaps best known for a 12 year run on “Incredible Hulk” which introduced many of the “split personality” elements of modern interpretations. While he suffered a stroke last year, the decision to end his run on “X-Factor” was made prior to that ailment. The final arc is titled, simply, “The End of X-Factor” and will see the return of artist Neil Edwards to book alongside newcomer Carmen Carnero, and will follow the more action packed “Hell on Earth” arc.
“X-Factor” under Peter David has become a mainstay among the various X-Men titles. It has endured with steady and consistent sales (although perhaps not large ones) for nearly a decade and while it has participated in the frequent crossover events which the X-Men endure, it has remained its own entity. Perhaps one of his most lasting contributions was embellishing the character of James Madrox – the Multiple Man – into a layered being besides simply using his ability to create endless minions. He also has done notable work on Shatterstar and Longshot, among other characters such as Wolfsbane, Strong Guy, M, and Quicksilver. In the endless cycle of relaunches and reboots, titles which endure such as this under the stewardship of one writer have become more and more rare, and the comics shelf becomes a bit more empty when they are gone. Regardless, it does seem to be on David’s terms, and a natural ending to a story isn’t in itself bad.
“Iron Man 3” already an international hit!
While Shane Black’s “Iron Man 3” doesn’t hit theaters in North America until this weekend, it has already made a splash in international markets – which has become a common practice. The movie has already grossed over $195 million in 42 countries, which is actually $10 million more than “The Avengers” grossed last year. The film reunites the series’ central cast and pits them against the Mandarin, as played by Ben Kingsley. It will kick off the summer blockbuster season as well as “Phase 2” of Marvel Studios film slate.