The weekly dose of marvelous Marvel Comics news for Sept. 21st - 23rd, 2013!
Has an "Infinity" plot point been ruined by "Marvel: Avengers Alliance"?
As Marvel Comics' second crossover event of the year "Infinity" lurches forward into a complicated and convoluted mess with tie-ins galore, naturally the sources of the Internet are searching for any advance clues for future plot points. To this end, the latest update to Marvel's Facebook game, "Marvel: Avengers Alliance" has caught fire with the addition of a new character in Thane.
Described by the game as "mystery ally of the Inhumans", the game has involved him in the war between Thanos and Black Bolt in the hunt for a MacGuffin. The game further states that Thane was once a healer who gained new powers once Thanos arrived, and clues to this were laid in "New Avengers #10". The AR tag for the issue also described Thane in no uncertain terms as "son of Thanos". Considering how long it takes these stories to come down the pipe, it is fully possible that this online game could have given readers a peek of Thane weeks before the comics do. For the record, "Marvel: Avengers Alliance" often has updates which mirror current crossover events, and their version is often written in a more succinct and thus superior manner. The game debuted last year and has quickly become one of Facebook's most successful and critically acclaimed games.
The real question may be who is Thane's mother, and why he seems to be with the Inhumans (or why Black Bolt knows where he is). One could argue that having Thanos' son have a name that is only two letters different from his is very "on the nose", and his heritage may remind longer term fans of Maelstrom, child of an Inhuman and a Deviant from "Marvel Two-In-One #71", circa 1981. The Deviants are one of two races created by the space gods, the Celestials, with the others being the Eternals - Thanos is a deformed Eternal from Titan, one of the moons of Saturn. It might be fun if Thane's mother was Death herself, who is often the target of Thanos' desires, although that might remind people too much of Neil Gaiman's "Sandman". At any rate, the angle of a critical plot detail of a major crossover event being spoiled by an online game is certainly newsworthy.
Further details about "Inhumanity"! And more film theories!
Roughly a fortnight ago, Marvel announced the start of new ongoing series early next year; one of which was "Inhuman" by Matt Fraction and artist Joe Madureira (at least for three issues, then another artist will surely come in). This week, Marvel brass had a conference call with various comic book news websites to clarify this series as well as a line wide push called "Inhumanity". The push stems from the end of "Infinity #3", where the Inhuman city of Attilan was destroyed (again) by Black Bolt defending himself against Thanos. It officially kicks off in a one shot called "Inhumanity #1", which will also be written by Fraction to set up the new "Inhuman" series.
The gist for "Inhuman" is that not only have the Inhumans been forced out of their isolated city due to its (latest) destruction, but their enhancing Terrigen mists are exposed into the general population, revealing far more Inhumans than anyone previously suspected. This will introduce new characters (the theme of the last "Inhumans" series from 2004) as well as greatly effect the royal family of characters. Karnak is supposedly going to be the star of "Inhuman". Furthermore, other ongoing Marvel series will get involved as heroes will seek to protect these new Inhumans, and villains may seek to kill or exploit them. This has shades of how the Marvel Universe has long treated mutants, and similar themes will arise.
There is a larger factor at play. Marvel Studios, owned by Disney, does not have any cinematic access to the X-Men or mutant characters due to Fox Studios' long standing ownership of those licenses (which they've had since the very late 90's). However, Marvel Studios and Disney do have access to the Inhumans franchise, who not only tie into the space theme established by the "Thor" and "The Avengers" films, but also offer parallel themes about minority status that the mutants do. It has been a long standing rumor that Marvel Studios has had interest in the Inhumans, and with the Maximoff twins arriving in "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" in 2015, one theory remains that these versions may be Inhumans rather than mutants. Such a thing wouldn't be without precedent since Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver did marry an Inhuman and had a child with her in the comics.
Graviton to appear in "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."?
Joss Whedon's newest TV show, "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." debuts tomorrow on ABC, featuring a cast of original creations by Whedon and his team of writers and producers. However, fans have a hint of an official Marvel Comics character appearing in the third episode, "The Asset", when Dr. Franklin Hall (Ian Hart) is kidnapped and the team have to save him. In the comics, Dr. Hall ultimately became the villain Graviton; the cartoon "Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes" also kicked things off by introducing Hall as their first major villain. Graviton first appeared in 1977's "Avengers #158". This show will be Marvel's first foray into a prime time, live action TV show for a very long time, and thus expectations will be sure to be high.