In today’s Comics Relief, we’ve got news on Marvel’s expansion of the Inhumans franchise (they’re really pushing these guys, aren’t they?), controversy surrounding the sexuality of yet another Marvel superhero, and a reflection on the sad passing of TV’s first female comic book superhero, Batgirl Yvonne Craig. But first, the Fantastic Four suffer yet another blow, as if their recent box office beating wasn’t bad enough. Read on for more details …
Fantastic Four Suffer Final Indignity as Spider-Man Takes Over Their Home
Man, it’s been a rough time for the Fantastic Four. First, their long running comic was cancelled—with no new volume to take its place for the All-New, All- Different Marvel relaunch coming this fall, making it the first time Marvel hasn’t had a regular ongoing FF book since 1961. Then, there was the disaster of a movie reboot that opened to scathing reviews and a dismal box office. And now, it seems Spider-Man is moving into their longtime home and headquarters, the Baxter Building. In the solicitations for November’s Amazing Spider-Man #3, it mentions that Parker Industries will be moving in to the Fantastic Four’s old stomping grounds, making Johnny Storm none too happy. Way to kick a team when they’re down Marvel. You’ve know your life sucks when Peter Parker’s is better than yours. What’s next, Clark Kent moving into the Batcave?? [Newsarama]
Deadpool’s “Omnisexuality” Causes a Bit of an Online Stir
Marvel’s EIC Axel Alonso get himself into a bit of a controversy lately when asked whether the character Hercules’ hinted-at bisexuality would be addressed in his new upcoming series. Instead of addressing the evidence to the contrary from Hercules’ years of circulation, Alonso denied that character was bi at all, saying he was totally hetero. Now Marvel writer Fabian Nicieza has gotten into similar hot water with LGBT fans on Twitter, this time over Deadpool, a character he co-created with Rob Liefeld back in 1991, and who has gone on to become a Marvel icon.
Although previous Deadpool writers like Gail Simone and Gerry Dugan have gone on the record saying that Wade Wilson is “pansexual” or “omnisexual” (evidence of which can be in many comics, and was collected in this article right here) Nicieza tweeted to a disgrunted fan asking about Deadpool’s pansexuality, respondign with the statement, “they (nor you) understand DP brain cells in CONSTANT FLUX so he is hetero one minute, gay the next, etc. ALL ARE VALID.” Wait, did he just say he’s only occassionally queer because he’s crazy, and therefore not really queer?? Ugh. The whole Twitter exchange can be found at the following link. [Bleeding Cool]
Archie Comics Announces Two Artists to Follow Up Fiona Staples on Riverdale’s Reboot Series
When Saga’s Fiona Staples was announced as the artist on the newly rebooted Archie series, fans were ecstatic to see her updated rendition of the Riverdale gang. Sadly, her commitments to other projects made the trip to Riverdale High short lived, as it was announced that Staples will be exiting the book after the third issue.
Luckily, Archie Comics president Mike Pellerito has announced the follow up artists for Archie, and they’re pretty good ones, too. Annie Wu (Hawkeye, Black Canary) will be coming in for issue #4; Veronica Fish—also the the artist behind the promo image for the upcoming CW series Riverdale—will take over through the sixth issue. Writer Mark Waid is staying on, and Mike Pellerito says the first twelve issues of the series are mapped out, the publisher reportedly committed to a series of rotating artists in order to keep the book coming out on schedule. But the best part is that—so far—all these artists have been women, to which I say, way to go Archie Comics! [Comics Alliance]
Small Press Expo Announces Nominees for Igntaz Awards
The Small Press Expo (SPX) announced their nominees for the 2015 Igntaz Awards. Among the nominess are Emily Carroll for Through The Woods, Ed Luce for Wuvable Oaf, Beauty, by Kerascoët and Hubert, The Oven, by Sophie Goldstein, and many, many others. You can read the full list of nominees here: [SPX]
Lucasfilm Cancels Adi Granov’s Star Wars: Shattered Empire Cover
Artist Adi Granov, who helped define the look of the modern iteration of Iron Man, recently posted a variant cover for Star Wars: Shattered Empire that he did for Legacy Comics featuring the Skywalker twins Luke and Leia in their classic Return of the Jedi looks. Apparently, Legacy Comics posted the cover pic a tad prematurely, as Lucasfilm, for unknown reasons, didn’t approve the image for licensing and had it pulled. I’m not sure what was wrong with the cover, though—it looks like a pretty cool image of Luke and Leia if you ask me. For now, it looks like the image below is the only way you’re ever going to see this one, at least for the foreseeable future. [Bleeding Cool]
Marvel Announces All-New Inhumans Series for December
With guest appearances on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.—not to mention a big-budget movie coming in 2019—Marvel has really been pushing the Inhumans property. Not only is Uncanny Inhumans part of the All-New, All-Different Marvel, but so is Karnak, a solo series based on one the members of the Royal Family.
Now we can add one more Inhumans book to the bunch this December, as Marvel Comics will launch a new series titled All-New Inhumans from writers Charles Soule and James Asmus and artist Stefano Caselli. In this new series, Crystal (Queen Medusa’s sister) will lead a team that includes Gorgon, Flint, Naja and Grid as they travel around the world to investigate mysterious objects called “Skyspears,” which enhance Inhuman powers. Crystal will finally take a leadership role on the team, putting her years as an Avenger to good use, and also rid herself of the signature locks she’s had since 1966. About time girl! [CBR]
R.I.P. Yvonne Craig, TV’s First Comic Book Superheroine
We close today’s column by reflicting on the passing of Batgirl actress Yvonne Craig, who brought the character to life and was TV first live-action female superhero ever. Although Batgirl debuted in the comics in March of 1967, she was actually indirectly created by a bunch of TV producers. It was they who asked the comic book creators to include her, as they had hopes to make her a potential new character for season three of the Batman series (the other character was Poison Ivy, who ended up not being used.)
The producers wanted Batgirl to be Commissioner Gordon’s daughter Barbara, who had already been named dropped on the show, and left the costume design to DC artist Carmine Infantino. The producers took the basic design, made it purple instead of black, and actress Yvonne Craig infused so much personality and spunk into the character that even after the Batman TV show fad ended—and the Batman comics returned to their darker roots as a way of going against all the camp elements of the show—Yvonne Craig’s version of Batgirl remained popular. So much so, in fact, she even persisted in the comics and is now arguably DC’s most famous female hero outside of Wonder Woman. And a lot of that is due to Yvonne Craig’s performance. While she accomplished many other things in her career, she will always be remembered first and foremost as the “Dominoed Daredoll.” RIP Yvonne Craig.