Dazzler to get all new and dark in July!
After almost a decade crafting the flow of the major Avengers comics, A-list writer Brian M. Bendis has since moved on to the major X-Men comics. In particular, that has meant "All-New X-Men" and "Uncanny X-Men". As revealed via tumblr and solicitations, July's "Uncanny X-Men #24" will reveal a bold new look for the longtime heroine as designed by Kris Anka. She will have tattered spandex, short and spiky black hair, and an angry demeanor.
It has been a long and strange trip for Alison Blaire. Created in 1980's "Uncanny X-Men #130" by Roger Stern, Tom DeFalco, Louise Simonson and John Romita Jr., she was originally conceived as a light powered disco queen merely a year after the unofficial "death" of disco in popular culture - proving that mainstream comic book creators being totally out of touch with hip trends is nothing new. She proved so popular, however, that she earned her own ongoing series from 1981-1985 which was the first Marvel Comics sold under the newly created "direct market" system made for specialty comic book shops (as opposed to merely on newsstands). Her popularity waned as the 80's wore on, with her being attached to Longshot a lot in the 90's and her shifting into being a C-list member who appeared in spin offs like "Exiles" and "Excalibur" in the 21st century. Bendis and artist David Finch actually both had a hand in recreating the heroine for their run on the alternate reality "Ultimate X-Men" series in 2004; this time she was a black haired punk rock singer. This move could be seen as Bendis repeating himself, which is something so rare that the writer merely does it once or twice a year.
During Bendis' current run, Dazzler spent the past year kidnapped by Mystique, who impersonated her to infiltrate SHIELD. She was finally liberated by Magneto and now seems set to join Cyclops' more "aggressive" X-Men team. One could argue that the last thing the X-Men need is one of their few upbeat heroines becoming "dark" and "angry", but such an argument could have been made fruitlessly for over a decade.
Marvel Entertainment continues to make major casting announcements for the first of their TV shows set to debut on Netflix in 2015, which is officially called "Marvel's Daredevil". Charlie Cox was officially cast as Matt Murdock/Daredevil, and soon after Vincent D'Onofrio was announced to be playing Wilson Fisk/Kingpin. Over the weekend, Marvel officially stated that fan favorite actress Rosario Dawson had also joined the main cast in an unknown, but meaty, role. The star of "Sin City", "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For", and "Clerks 2" is said to "play a dedicated young woman whose quest to heal the wounds of Hell’s Kitchen brings Matt Murdock unexpectedly crashing into her life, while her own journey forever alters the course of his battle against the injustices of this broken city".
Naturally, speculation as to her role has practically included nearly every woman in Matt Murdock's supporting cast, even those who are not traditionally seen as women of color. Top guesses include Elektra (last played by Jennifer Garner in Fox's films "Daredevil" and "Elektra"), Angela Del Toro/White Tiger, Maya Lopez/Echo, or even the blind civilian Milla Donovan. The 13 episode series is being produced by both Marvel TV and ABC for Netflix, and will be produced by Steven S. DeKnight, Drew Goddard, and Jeph Loeb. Being known for film roles more so than TV, the addition of Dawson adds more legitimacy to a project which Marvel hopes will erase memories of Fox's 2003 effort, as well as must prove profitable enough to springboard more TV shows from it.
Publicity for a "Doctor Strange" film is summoned!
Although no official release date has been confirmed by Marvel Studios, the march towards a film treatment of the "sorcerer supreme" became inevitable with the announcement of director Scott Derrickson being attached to the project at the start of the month. This week, both Derrickson and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige have begun making the media rounds to chat up the project, which likely wouldn't happen until 2016.
Derrickson, director of "Sinister" and the 2008 remake of "The Day the Earth Stood Still" noted that due to his tastes, Dr. Strange was his favorite comic book superhero. Meanwhile, Feige sees the good doctor as a crucial cog in exploring the mystical element of the Marvel Universe after having seen success with straightforward superheroes as well as dabbling in space opera territory with "Guardians of the Galaxy". Thus far, only Sony's "Ghost Rider" films have dipped a toe into that corner of Marvel, with little success. Created in 1963 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, the character often headlined his own series from the 1960's through the 1990's as well as a key role as founder and leader of the original "Defenders", but who has struggled to sell his own comics in the 2000's.
To date, his only adaptation to an alternate media which was not a guest appearance on someone else's animated series was in a TV movie for CBS in 1978 starring Peter Hooten as the titular Doctor Strange. Despite this questionable track record, Disney likely imagines him as a possible alternative to Warner Brothers' "Harry Potter" magic series, which is why they will likely throw over $150 million at the sorcerer supreme before they even consider a standalone film for the more proven Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow.