The battle van sized batch of Marvel Comics related news items from August 17th - 19th, 2013!
Noted writer Garth Ennis, whose early works include "Preacher", "Hitman", and "Hellblazer" for DC Comics, has been associated with Marvel's Punisher for a long time. His first story about the famous vigilante was 1995's one-shot "Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe" but his more iconic run began in 2000 with "Welcome Back, Frank" (which was loosely adapted into the 2004 "Punisher" film by Lion's Gate). Between mini-series, maxi-series and ongoing series, Ennis wrote Punisher comics until roughly 2009. His flair for over the top violence with dark satire suited the character well. Attempts to have other writers handle the character have mostly failed both financially and/or critically (with the notable exception of a 15 issue run by Greg Rucka).
Earlier today, it was revealed on ComiXology's podcast "ComiXologist" that Ennis would return to writing "the Punisher". Ennis himself was on the show and noted that work on a new mini series for "sometime next year" was "at the very early stages". While working on properties for Dynamite Comics, Ennis has maintained a link with Marvel; his "Fury MAX" twelve issue series ended in June. The artist is unknown, but Ennis has frequently worked with Steve Dillon, who's currently been drawing Marvel's "Thunderbolts" relaunch.
Marvel Comics have released their official solicitations for November and with them bring some interesting developments for Marvel's "Ultimate" imprint. The imprint began in 2000 with the start of the Joe Quesada era as editor-in-chief with "Ultimate Spider-Man #1" by Brian Bendis and Mark Bagley. "Ultimate X-Men #1" came the next year by Mark Millar and Adam Kubert, and from that an entire line followed. The premise was to retell the Marvel Universe for a 21st century generation with new twists and without decades of continuity. The books sold well and energized the rest of the line, especially the careers of certain creators such as Bendis and Millar. However, time passed and the line's popularity and relevance waned, much as previous imprints such as "New Universe" or "2099" did in the 1980's and 1990's. The crossover event "Ultimatum" by Jeph Loeb and David Finch slaughtered many characters and marked the wane of the line as the premise became "doing what the normal comics couldn't", which usually involved deaths. To this end, Bendis relaunched "Ultimate Spider-Man" with a new character, Miles Morales, who made national headlines.
Sales on the "Ultimate" line have waned for years. While Bendis' "Ultimate Comics Spider-Man" sells within the Top 75 with over 33,000 copies solid, other "Ultimate" books sell at or below cancellation range. A mini series called "Cataclysm: The Ultimates Last Stand" debuts this fall which sees Galactus from the "traditional" Marvel Universe attacking the "Ultimate" universe as a consequence of the time-stream altering "Age of Ultron" series from the spring. The second issue is said to feature Miles Morales heading to the Marvel Universe, with "Mighty Avengers #3" then featuring a stranger named "Spider-Hero". While Bendis hasn't confirmed such things, the concept was teased in a "Spider-Men" crossover mini-series last year and it makes sense to transfer the line's most well known character into the traditional universe. He would join other additional Spider-people in current print such as "Scarlet Spider", "Venom", and "Spider-Girl" who had a series two years ago.
X-Men/Fantastic Four film crossover inevitable!?
Fox has moved full steam ahead on some of the Marvel film properties that they still have under license. "X-Men: Days of Future Past" has just finished principle photography for release next year, and the studio plans to make a rebooted "Fantastic Four" film in 2015 with "Chronicle" director Josh Trank. Tim Story directed two "Fantastic Four" films in 2005 and 2007 which saw diminishing returns and were critically panned. In an interview for SFX, Fox's Marvel movie consultant Mark Millar stated that a crossover film between the two film franchises would happen "without question". Considering the success of Marvel Studios' "The Avengers" and Warner Brothers announcing "Superman/Batman" this summer, apparently team-up films will be all the rage in coming years.
"Amazing Spider-Man 2" set picture teases "Sinister 6"
An interesting photo from the set of Marc Webb's "Amazing Spider-Man 2" revealed an interesting allusion to the character's iconic team of super-villains. First appearing in "Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1", the Sinister Six have repeatedly challenged Spider-Man and expanded their ranks to seven and even twelve. In this film alone, the roles of Electro (Jamie Foxx), Norman Osborn (Chris Cooper), Harry Osborn (Dane DeHann) and Rhino (Paul Giamatti) have been officially cast, with rumors of a cameo by Adrian Toomes/the Vulture arising a few months back. "Spider-Man 3" saw Sandman and Venom unite, so it isn't as if such a thing would run counter to Sony's desires. The sequel film, starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone hits theaters May 2nd, 2014.