- Last week, Marvel teased about a project involving writer Brian Wood and artist Oliver Coipel which was dubbed "XX". The rumor was that Wood would be spearheading an all female cast of X-Men. This week, Marvel have essentially confirmed this rumor as fact; X-MEN (a title Wood was already writing) being being relaunched with a fresh debut issue and a new cast of heroines. Storm, former team leader throughout the 80's and 90's, will return to that role alongside Psylocke, Shadowcat, Rachel Summers, Rogue, and Jubilee. Wood states that while he has been a longtime fan of the X-Men, he hasn't written the team for years like many writers have; however, most of his recent projects for Marvel have related to that franchise. As the USA Today article notes, an issue of spin off title GENERATION X in 2000 was Wood's first professional comic work. Wood feels that female characters mostly "kind of rule the franchise" and that is why he chose this cast for the book. Jubilee has certainly changed a bit since 2000; she's since lost her powers and then became a vampire. The only character Wood wanted but didn't get was Emma Frost, who is busy in Brian Bendis' ALL-NEW X-MEN and UNCANNY X-MEN. One taboo he seeks to tackle head on is the double standard revolving women and relationships in comics and most media; Wolverine and Hawkeye can sleep around and are studs, but female characters who dare have more than one boyfriend per decade can be labeled nasty things. X-MEN will join FEARLESS DEFENDERS as the second all-female superhero team at Marvel. The series relaunches in April.
- ABC has confirmed that the "SHIELD" TV show as produced by Joss Whedon is not a prequel to last summer's blockbuster "THE AVENGERS". In fact, it takes place after the massive battle within NYC with Loki and his alien horde, and it may very likely explain how Clark Gregg's agent Phil Coulson survived. While the series is set in the Marvel Studios cinematic universe and will involve a lot of super powers and fancy special effects, it will also be a show about the agents and their foibles. This will be the third TV show Joss Whedon has developed since "ANGEL" and his first which isn't on Fox; hopefully it meets a better fate than "FIREFLY" and "DOLLHOUSE" did.
- Artist Frazer Irving will join Brian Bendis' UNCANNY X-MEN as of April's 5th issue. He replaced Chris Bachalo, who is announced as returning and thus this will be a fill-in run. Having rotating artists every few issues is a fine strategy to ensure timely issues. The series will continue to follow Cyclops, Magik, Magneto, and Emma Frost's own band of underground X-Men. Irving's work has included SILENT WAR and IRON MAN: THE INEVITABLE for Marvel, along with XOMBI and THE SHADE for DC Comics.
Read last week's Marvel Comics is here!