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Marvel Comics news: Spider-Man musical ends, fire evacuations and Hulk relaunch

The end of a bone crunching era.
The end of a bone crunching era.
Comic Book Resources

The latest in death defying Marvel Comics news items from January 4th - 6th, 2014!

"Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark" turns off its Broadway run!

After three years and two months, the Broadway musical experiment known as "Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark" has called it a run. As reported by the New York Times, the affair ended as it began; with a performance stifled by some technical glitch. Thankfully, it was just a mechanical door failing to open instead of a performer falling from a rafter, as have occurred in previous mishaps. Producers for the beleaguered musical announced plans last year to take the show to the one place on earth absurd enough to hope to become profitable - Las Vegas, Nevada.

Despite a respectable three year Broadway run of 1,268 performances, "Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark" was essentially the "Waterworld" of musicals. The show featured music by Bono and the Edge of "U2", but costs for it quickly spiraled above $75 million and initial preview performances in November 2010 were marred by horrific actor mishaps with flying harnesses as well as an incoherent production of director and co-creator Julie Taymor. The entire production was overhauled in 2011 which resulted in Taymor being fired and former playwright turned comic writer Roberto Aquirre-Sacasa (now known for "Glee" and "Big Love") rewriting the musical. Taymor went on to attempt to sue her fellow co-creator Glen Berger over royalties; Berger has since planned to write a book about the entire spectacle. The bizarre superhero rock opera gained a following even if often for morbid reasons, but the show needed to have sell out performances for at least seven years to become profitable.

At the very least, it had a longer run, as well as more infamy, than Superman's faded musical. "It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman!" lasted only 129 performances on Broadway in 1966. However, it also saw an ABC TV version in 1975 as well as several brief revivals off Broadway.

Marvel offices evacuated in midday fire!

Around 2:10 p.m. this afternoon, smoke began billowing from a manhole cover on West 51st Street in Manhattan. This caused the evacuation of nearby buildings, which included the editorial offices of Marvel Comics on West 50th street. The fire was mostly extinguished according to Marvel staffers who Tweeted after leaving their office, but as of now it wasn't known how soon they would be allowed to return to their home base or whether this may have any effect on business as usual. There have been many Marvel Comics stories where their heroes have met with the office and staffers of the company that publishes their adventures in some borderline fourth wall humor, but this is one instance where some real adventure came to the Marvel editorial staff.

"Indestructible Hulk" ends, gets relaunches immediately as "Hulk"!

Were "All-New Hulk" or "Uncanny Hulk" or "Avenging Hulk" or "Hulktastic Hulk" all seen as too obvious for needless relaunch title changes? At any rate, Mark Waid's run on "Indestructible Hulk" (the "Marvel NOW" relaunch of the long running "Incredible Hulk") will technically end with March's 20th issue. It will promptly begin anew as "Hulk" in April, when Waid will be joined by iconic Marvel artist Mark Bagley ("Amazing Spider-Man", "Ultimate Spider-Man"). Details are scarce, but it seems as if Bruce Banner's status quo of working alongside SHIELD will be coming to an end as he may wind up being shot, leaving a separated Hulk to operate on his own. Banner and the Hulk have been separated many times in various stories over the years, but thanks in part to his Eisner winning run on "Daredevil", Waid's take on the jade giant has led to some of the best critical acclaim the series has seen since the Greg Pak era from years ago.

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