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Marvel Comics news: Spider-Man Year One, Greg Rucka on Cyclops, and "Guardians"

A new retcon Spidey series? Let's party like it's 1999!
A new retcon Spidey series? Let's party like it's 1999!Newsarama

Spider-Man gets the "Year One" treatment!

Never let it be said that Marvel Comics lets the grass grow under their editorial heels if something is working with their "distinguished competition". To this end, seeing the success that DC Comics have had with "Batman: Year One" as well as their "zero year" crossover motif, Marvel seems set to do the same with "Amazing Spider-Man", which will relaunch with a fresh number one issue in April. Starting in May and running for five issues until September, the mini series will be called "Amazing Spider-Man Year One: Learning to Crawl" and will be sold as ".1" issues of "Amazing Spider-Man #1" (i.e. the first issue will be "Amazing Spider-Man #1.1, the second will be "Amazing Spider-Man #1.2", etc.). Besides Marvel's new fetish for decimal points in their numbering schemes, it will also be written by longtime regular Amazing/Superior Spider-Man writer Dan Slott and drawn by Ramon Perez, with covers by Alex Ross.

Dan Slott revealed more details in a follow up interview with Newsarama on Valentine's Day. He insisted that this is not a "retelling" of Spider-Man's origin, which was a stunt attempted in 1998-1999 by John Bryne in "Spider-Man: Chapter One". Rather, it is a yet untold story (inserted via retroactive continuity) which takes place between 1962's "Amazing Fantasy #15" through 1963's "Amazing Spider-Man #1-3". This means a tale set in Spider-Man's rookie period when he was still a teenager and just getting used to being a superhero, where his first rogues included Chameleon, Vulture, Tinkerer, and (naturally) Doctor Octopus. In addition, Slott and Perez will introduce a new villain in this series with a design style which will supposedly fit in with co-creator Steve Ditko's 60's style, although he claims it's not as "earth shattering" a figure as Mr. Sinister wound up becoming to Cyclops. This is naturally timed to be hitting shelves in time for Sony's "Amazing Spider-Man 2" to hit theaters.

Despite how long Slott says that he has envisioned a project such as this, this is hardly Marvel Comics' first retroactive story set in the early days of Spider-Man. The year 1995 in fact saw two projects which dug into the past of the web-slinger even more than the actual stories from the 1960's did. "Amazing Fantasy #16-18", intended to take place between Spidey's origin and the start of "Amazing", were published from 1995-1996 and written by Kurt Busiek with art by Paul Lee. This run saw the debut of a new villain named "Supercharger", who has only made a handful of stock villain appearances since. Kurt Busiek also teamed with artist Pat Olliffe to produce "Untold Tales of Spider-Man", which ran for 26 issues from 1995-1997 and was priced at under a dollar an issue. This series was an attempt to reach out to younger readers with stories also set in the early 1960's high school years of Spider-Man. Some new villains were also created here, although Scorcher was the only one who made the leap into numerous future appearances. It will be under the shadows of these previous "retcon" Spider-Man series which Slott and Perez will be working under, and hopefully their end result will be more successful.

Greg Rucka to write "Cyclops" ongoing series!

After fleeing longtime employer DC Comics and having a brief run on "Punisher" at Marvel, writer Greg Rucka has been away from the "big two" for some time. He's since launched creator owned series, such as "Lazarus" with Image Comics. Now, he returns to Marvel to write a "Cyclops" ongoing series alongside artist Russell Dauterman ("Grace Randolph's Supurbia") which is a spin-off to "All-New X-Men". In fact, "All-New X-Men"'s writer Brian Bendis was credited with convincing Rucka to write the series.

This series won't star the traditional Cyclops (who stars in "Uncanny X-Men", also currently written by Bendis), but the younger version who has been pulled forward from the past in "All-New X-Men". The series will feature this time-flung teenage Cyclops teaming up with the alien pirates, the Starjammers, who are once again led by Corsair. Having been killed off during Ed Brubaker's run on "Uncanny X-Men" in 2007, Corsair is back and will be taking this time traveling version of his son under his wing for adventure. Unknown is the fate of Starjammer member Hepzibah, Corsair's former mate who has been present on earth mourning his death for some time and was last seen on the X-Men's isle of Utopia in "S.W.O.R.D. #3", circa 2010. At any rate, this additional X-Men series debuts in May.

Cool screen shots from "Guardians of the Galaxy" emerge!

Marvel Studios productions are once again in full swing. Filming for summer 2015's "Avengers: Age of Ultron" has begun and "Captain America: the Winter Soldier" hits theaters April 4th. Yet also coming out on August 1st will be James Gunn's "Guardians of the Galaxy", the biggest gamble undertaken by the studio since 2008's launch. Unlike previous "Thor" films which tease about space exploits with their unique mythology, this will be a full on space opera starring the characters from the 2008 reorganization of the iconic space team.

USA Today has revealed some exclusive photos from the film, which reveals most of the main cast in action. This includes Chris Pratt as Star-Lord/Peter Quill as well as a group shot of the rest of his squad: Gamora (Zoe Saldana, complete in green paint), Drax (Dave "Batista" Bautista), Groot (Vin Diesel) and Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper). There is also a shot of their space ship, the "Milano". It is unknown if it was named after actress Alyssa Milano. It is also unknown how successful a franchise space film without the word "star" in its title will fare with audiences.