Category Archives: ultimates

Why "Avengers Earth’s Mightiest Heroes" Was Canceled

I have written at length elsewhere about why and how much I love the latest animated incarnation of Marvel Comics’ the Avengers on Disney 😄 – “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.”

Much like the comics they were based on, Disney took great care to create and build a continuity and a universe around the characters. They even started before the show even got on the air officially with mini-episodes, detailing the solo pre-Avengers careers of the Avengers, and giving viewers new to the Marvel Universe a taste of how things started and fit together. It was actually a quick short-form, but orchestrated, version of how Paul Dini and Bruce Timm slowly built the DC Animated Universe from its beginnings in “Batman The Animated Series” until it blossomed in the last version seen in “Justice League Unlimited.”

In Marvel and Disney’s case, we had small vignettes that introduced us to Ant-Man, Captain America, Thor, the Hulk, and Iron Man (and their various villains as well). The last one there was based solidly on Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, and the others more comic book versions shoehorned into that world. This was a good thing, making the show accessible, as many new viewers felt like they were coming in on the ground floor. And while the events seemed a bit out of order in places, most things were pretty accurate to the comics, more so than any other comics-to-TV project previous to this.

I loved this series, and now it’s over. The word is it was shut down because it did not fit in with the continuity Jeph Loeb had set up with his later “Ultimate Spider-Man” cartoon. He had a mad Hulk, a teenage Power Man and Iron Fist, and other bits like that. Have I mentioned how much I hate the “Ultimate Spider-Man” cartoon? It has its merits, don’t get me wrong, but it has more wrong with it than right with it. And maybe I’m just old, but the anime and videogame references annoy me.

So a silly teenaged version of the characters, or one based on the movies and the comics – guess which one gets jettisoned? Bingo, goodbye, “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.” Mainly because one old man wants all the animated series under his hat to match? Yep, that’s why. Do “Mike and Molly” and “The Big Bang Theory” exist in the same universe, and have to adhere to the same continuity rules? No, but if Loeb was in charge, they’d have to.

This is probably a good time to mention while Loeb has done some good work, like “Hush” and “The Long Halloween,” he is also responsible for ruining “Heroes,” The Ultimates, Superman, and the Challengers of the Unknown. And while he wrote Teen Wolf, any good will there was erased by Teen Wolf Too, which he also penned.

The new replacement series, “Avengers Assemble,” might be a continuation of the “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes,” and then again, it might not. The voice cast is different, and it features new member, the Falcon, joining a team composed of the heroes from the 2012 hit movie, Marvel’s The Avengers. Who wants to take bets that Hawkeye will be in his drab, unexciting, movie uniform? You’d win.

“Avengers Assemble” gets a sneak preview on Disney 😄 on May 26th, and then premieres in its regular time slot on July 7th. I will withhold my opinion until it airs, but I’m betting there’s no way it can be as good, as one of the best superhero cartoons ever made – “Avengers Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.” It certainly can’t be worse than “Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.” Don’t even ask…

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for the Week of 5-9-2012

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live every week at All Things Fun! – the South Jersey/Philadelphia area’s best comics and gaming store, located in West Berlin, NJ.

Co-hosts Ultimate Ed Evans, Allison (OCD Girl) Eckel, and Grumpy Glenn Walker discuss the new comics out this week in two fun video segments, in wicked high definition, and available on the YouTube. See it here!

Discussion featured in this brand new extended episode includes: Free Comic Book Day 2012 aftermath, Night of the Owls, The Culling, Demon Knights #9, Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #9, Suicide Squad vs. Resurrection Man, Night Force #3, Rob Liefield’s Deathstroke #9, Mark Poulton instore appearance, Green Lantern #9, Fables and Fairest, the Avengers titles of the week, Allison goes OCD over AvsX, Avenging Spider-Man #7, the X-Men titles of the week, Captain America’s tricky numbering, Ultimate Comics The Ultimates #10, Ultimate Comics X-Men #11, Fanboys Vs. Zombies #2 and grout dogs, The Walking Dead #97, Invincible, Ed’s indies, Frankenstein Alive Alive #1 by Steve Niles and Bernie Wrightson, Takio #1 by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming, Allison’s kids comics, and Ed’s trades and toys.

Be sure to check out the fantastic new All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, and ATF! on YouTube.

Special thanks go to Dina Evans who keeps us all in line, and on the straight and narrow, and runs the show from behind the scenes. And be back here every Wednesday (or Tuesdays at midnight) to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for 6-22-2011

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live in a real comics and gaming store in West Berlin, NJ – All Things Fun! – co-hosts Ed (Schism) Evans, Allison (Grounded) Eckel and Glenn (Flashpoint) Walker discuss the new comics out this week in two fun video segments, now in high definition, and also available on YouTube. See it here!

The first segment includes discussion of the following topics: The Death of Spider-Man (with the Ultimate Avengers and the New Ultimates), the week in Flashpoint (with Lois Lane, Kid Flash, the Outsider, and the Reverse-Flash), Paul Cornell’s Action Comics #902, solicitations that don’t match the real books, no fingers, and “re-jigger” is Trademark 2011 Allison Eckel.

The discussion continues in segment two including: More mismatched solicitations, Batman and the Outsiders #40, James Robinson pulls a Grounded, Ed’s leftovers, “Schism,” Green Arrow #13, Batman: Gates of Gotham #2, Ed’s indies, Glenn’s quick comic rundown, Allison’s kids comics, Young Justice #5, Ed’s trades, be careful with your Light Saber Torches, the Used Game Auction, and will Glenn ever stop twiddling his thumbs?

Be sure to check out the All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, and ATF! on YouTube.

And be back here every Wednesday morning at 11:30 AM EST to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

And Happy Dead Spidey Day, everyone!

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Nick Fury Is Back


For all the hardcore comic book fans and those movie viewers who stayed past the credits of last summer’s Marvel Comics superhero blockbuster Iron Man, Samuel L. Jackson stole the show with his minute and half as SHIELD Director Nick Fury. It was a dream role for Jackson as the Ultimate version of the character was in fact designed after his own image.

Fans panicked a month or so back when rumors indicated that Jackson would not be returning to this role, especially with the character’s integral status regarding current and future Marvel movie characters like Iron Man, the Hulk, Captain America and especially the Avengers, the last one being the subject of the above-mentioned film appearance of Fury.

The good news is that Variety reported yesterday that Jackson will officially be playing the Marvel Comics super spy in a total of nine films, including Iron Man 2 and The Avengers. Of course the inclusion of something called “The Shield” among those films seems to indicate that either the folks at Variety have a hearing problem or they’re using TV Guide‘s research people…

NYCC 2009 Day Two


Let’s talk a bit about NYC cabbies. They are insane. NASCAR, demolition derby, even stunt drivers have nothing on these guys. Even have a bus an inch away from you in the back seat of a cab, on either side? I have, and while speeding. Insane I say!

The trip back to Javitz this morning wasn’t as exciting as the previous day’s but I did see three Starbucks each on the corner of three consecutive blocks, on the same side. Not quite Lewis Black’s end of the world paradox, but still, scary.

We had a bit of an emergency when The Bride arrived late last night. She realized had forgotten her con ticket way back in south Jersey. Props to the staff of NYCC for handling the situation in a quick and friendly manner. So far the staff here has been pretty amazing, a vast difference from some other cons I’ve attended.

First stop was to say hi to Fat Momma, the runner-up in the first season of Stan Lee’s “Who Wants to Be a Superhero?” The Bride had met her at previous cons but I had not. She’s a very nice lady and we chatted about the Broadway shows she had seen since in town – “Wicked” was good, “Shrek” bad. We also got a signed pic and a copy of her new book from Esteem Comics.

Next stop on the autograph parade was Colin Baker, the sixth Doctor. He was overheard to say he quite enjoyed the new series of “Doctor Who” and loved that they had thousands of Daleks. Very friendly. Said hello to actor Robert Culp, hell of a nice guy. He was selling scripts of some of the episodes of “I Spy” that he had written, some of the better ones I might add. Next to him was his partner in “The Greatest American Hero,” William Katt. I told him how much I enjoyed seeing him recently in The Man from Earth and he signed a copy of the GAH comic for me. And don’t forget to check out the motion comic for iPhone as well.

After a lunch of a wonderful Javitz ratdog cooked in the smoky essence of chicken kabobs, it was off the to the packed-to-the-walls Cup O’ Joe panel. In attendance, besides Joe Quesada of course, were Brian Michael Bendis, C.B. Cebulski, Jim McCann and publisher Dan Buckley. Dan Slott was also seen sitting in the audience off to the side with the rest of us.

There was Ultimate announcements. The line is being canceled and restarted as “Ultimate Comics.” Same characters, same continuity, so I’m really unsure of what the real difference is. There will be four monthlies in the line. Ultimate Spider-Man will have a new #1 written by Bendis and drawn by new regular artist David LaFuente. After a time jump in the continuity it will feature new characters, a new status quo and maybe someone new in the costume. That old gag again. Ultimate Avengers will be by Mark Millar and Carlos Pacheco.

Then the room was open for questions. Bendis said that Jessica Jones will remain a supporting cast member of New Avengers but not a member of the New Avengers. An Alias mini with Miichael Gaydos is coming maybe next year and “asses will be bitten.” Ahem, it was also announced that current Ultimate Spidey artist Stuart Immonen will moving on to be regular artist on NA after issue #55. Wiccan will also be appearing and the line-up will stay as it is for a while, even though it seemed to take Bendis a minute to count down everyone on the current team.

Dan Slott was called up out of the audience at one point, and he sarcastically mentioned being thrilled seeing himself unshaved on the mini-jumbotron in the room. Interesting that the question he was brought up to answer was one of continuity – Norman Osborn knowing (or not knowing) who Spider-Man was. Slott seems to be the go-to guy for fixing continuity. Witness his current handling of the Scarlet Witch in Mighty Avengers. Oh, and the Normie/Spidey thing will be coming up soon by Slott in Amazing Spider-Man.

Publisher Dan Buckley took on the question of the price increase at Marvel and actually gave a pretty logical and honest answer in easy to understand terms. They are raising the prices on the popular titles so they won’t have to raise them across the board, and holding off as long as they can. I don’t like it, but I appreciate the honest answer.

Joe Quesada and Brian Bendis tackled a question concerning a problem I have voiced in my reviews at Avengers Forever on more than one occasion – why covers don’t always reflect what’s on the inside of the book. The fan asking felt cheated by a recent Avengers issue that was a Secret Invasion tie-in with Hawkeye on the cover but not inside. The answer was that the covers were homages to classic covers and specifically were not meant to depict what was inside. They just laughed it off saying Hawkeye was not a draw for a cover anyway. Hmmm, I’d buy a comic with Hawkeye on the cover. Anyone else out there?

Other than a few more hints from Bendis that the Spider-Woman series was going to be digital, and that Echo would be appearing in it, that was about it for this Cup O’ Joe. I went searching for HeroClix after that, only to find one vendor with any sort of selection. On my travails through the con floor I came across Anthony Tollin, comics colorist and probably the world’s foremost authority on The Shadow, and from him I bought my prize purchase of the con. The Shadow: Partners in Peril, love it , love it.

Never underestimate the drawing power of even a partial Pixar film. The showing of the first fifty minutes of Up filled the IGN Theatre to capacity and turned away many folks, my Bride and me included. And the line to get in started well over an hour beforehand.

At that point we were pretty beat and decided to call it a night. Steering this back around to NYC cabbies again, it took almost an hour to flag down a real cab. There were dozens of gypsy cabs but we turned all of them away. How is this legal? It’s like some guy has a car and decides to pick strangers up and name his price. What got me is the amount of con folk who got into these gypsy cabs. I hope none of them end up in ditches come tomorrow morning.

Today’s quotes both come from Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Joe Quesada: “Squirrel Girl stores my nuts for the winter” and “Let’s hear it for whoring.”

Wizard World Philly – Saturday


WIZARD WORLD PHILLY

SATURDAY

After a bit of a late start I met up with Comic Widows co-horts Anthony and Ray. We began with a strategy meeting regarding some interviews planned for the day. And trust me, it was nowhere near as cool as it sounds, but we were taking it pretty seriously.

In the midst of our war council we also interviewed the young lady we were sharing the pressroom with at the time, Nicole Boose. We also learned she was with Marvel editorial and reviewing art portfolios at the con. Very cool lady, and pleasant informative interview.

As the pressroom overlooked the con floor we also did some costume spotting. From our vantage point we got to see quite a few good ones, and of course some bad ones as well. Among the former were several Marvel Girls in the Neal Adams green mini-skirt, a bright-green Riddler, a foam rubber Galactus, what might have been Nightwind from the Legion of Super-Heroes, Dr. Strange, the prerequisite dozen Stormtroopers that show up at every con, and a bald Robin. Also throughout the day there were many others spotted – a pair of Tomb Raiders, Zatanna, the cast of the new Indiana Jones flick, a baby Batgirl, a flat-chested Power Girl, and, ahem, a tranny Power Girl. And then there was also The Blob. Oh wait, that wasn’t a costume.

Then we hit the con floor and did a kinda noisy interview with Jared Barel of Loaded Barrel Studios. They do a startling and unique melding of photography and comic art that needs to be seen to be believed. They call it making ‘live-action graphic novels’ and it looks great. Check them out, it’s terrific stuff. I really did like their work, and really, it’s not just because they were giving out Twizzlers and Tootsie Rolls at their booth, but let’s be honest, that never hurts. Lessons to learned for other folks with booths at these cons.

After exploring the floor for a bit I ducked into the Crisis Now panel in the midst of questions and answers. Dan DiDio was in the house and mocking and ridiculing the characters we all love as if that was his job. Oh wait.

Several different things were addressed while I was there. When questioned on “Batman RIP,” DiDio repeatedly said in staccato fashion, “Batman dies!” then rescinded, “Batman doesn’t die, but he’s gonna wish he was dead.” Other items – the Milestone characters are not available for DC to use, but never say never. We will see Christopher Kent again. Apparently there is an unannounced Zatanna series coming at some point.

DiDio admitted that 2007 was not a year where everything was clicking as well as possible. And he added that it’s his job to make this year as great as possible. He also confessed that Steve Wacker leaving for Marvel was a huge loss for DC.

The Devil also said that Death of the New Gods was a celebration of Jack Kirby’s work on the New Gods. Wtf? Kill them to celebrate them? In answer to the next question, DiDio stated that Final Crisis will involve all Flashes. A fan asked “Even Bart?” and DiDio answered “All Flashes.” Just don’t kill Jay Garrick like you killed the Martian Manhunter, okay? Bastards. And during the lightning round he answered “Yes.” to the question of whether barry Allen was coming back.

Same room, a bit later, Cup O’ Joe with Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada, standing room only, much like the DC panel before it. In attendance – (duh) Joey Q, Fred Van Lente, C.B. Cebulski, Tom Brevoort and another person whose name I didn’t catch – he didn’t talk much and ran the slide show though. The slide show announced Marvel Zombies 3 where the fan fave monsters invade the Marvel Universe proper, due in September.

Old news came with slides depicting the new Devil-Slayer series by horror novelist Brian Keene and Stephen King’s The Stand also starting in September. Mystery pics of Lady Bullseye followed (and of course quickly leaked to the internet) who Ed Brubaker is introducing in Daredevil. Nice art, but seemingly just a female version of Bullseye. Yawn.

Um, who brought the baby to a panel? Who brought a baby to a convention? Please just make it stop crying. Great parenting there, folks. Although he/she stopped crying, I wondered if the wonder-parents were still in the room when J.Q. dropped an F-bomb later on in the hour.

Then came, predictably, questions and answers. There will be more Squadron Supreme, written by Howard Chaykin, with a demented twist, and Greg Land on covers. And no, Land on covers is not the twist. Speaking of twisted, there’s been a big secret in the undercurrent of the Ultimate Universe, to be revealed in Ultimate Origins. Something major in their lives is a huge falsehood. Maybe the secret of why Ultimates 3 is so late will be revealed.

More “One More Day” backlash reared its ugly head and Joe explained that all of Spider-Man’s history is intact, save that he and Mary Jane didn’t get married on their wedding day. Something happened and that story just hasn’t been told yet. Joe says he’s seen it and it’s great. In response to another question, Tom B said that Peter and his Aunt May did in fact live at Avengers Tower. Some racy humor about May and Skrull Jarvis followed unfortunately. Either way, Joe and Tom certainly seem tired of doing OMD damage control; it’s in their faces.

My friend Ray hit Joe Q with a good one. He referenced the difference between two Jack Kirby reprint volumes, one from DC and one from Marvel – the difference is that DC paid the Kirby estate royalties and Marvel did not. Joe kinda dodged the question, saying that he doesn’t discuss Marvel policy in public. He added that Marvel is currently working with the Kirby estate and that should speak for itself.

Other items included that Baron Zemo was coming back, and a new Thunderbolts writer has been chosen but unannounced – could these be related and Fabian Nicieza is coming back? There is a Runaways film in development with Brian K. Vaughn involved. There are possible plans for the female Bucky from the Onslaught universe. The sequel to Marvels is coming in October. Whoever is left at the end of The Twelve will remain part of the present MU.

Quesada coined the term “Marvel lifestyle” for the fact that now Marvel does their own comics, movies and videogames – in response to a question about digital comics. I like it. Joe also claimed that he thought Spider-Man 3 was a pretty good movie. “Maybe one villain too many.” Wow, you said a mouthful, Joe.

At the close of the panel, the 18 carat gold Iron Man cellphone was given away. Over $1500 was raised for the Hero Initiative on the raffle for it. Great job, folks!

At this point, I was toast and had to go home, home to my super-cool Avengers glass that the Bride had gotten for me earlier in the day, and home to the Bride too, of course. But I’ll leave you with another quote, this one a bit dated, but it was shouted by a guy in a Nightwing t-shirt exiting the men’s room earlier this afternoon. “Hey, I found Ray Palmer!”

Ultimates 3 #3 Reviewed at Avengers Forever

“Oh Cho!” – my comic book review of the Ultimates 3 #3, by Jeph Loeb and Joe Madureira, is now online at Avengers Forever.

I learned this from watching “Bambi”… If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. In that spirit, let me just say that Frank Cho draws an amazing Scarlet Witch on alternate covers of Ultimates 3 #3 – check out my review here:

http://www.avengersforever.org/reviews/default.asp?RID=556

Enjoy!

If you want to discuss this review, this issue or anything Avengers, please check out the Avengers Forever Forum.

And if you’d like to make a donation to help keep the Avengers Forever website as mighty as ever, click here.

Thanks!

Ultimates 3 #2 Reviewed

“Second Chances” – my comic book review of the Ultimates 3 #2, by Jeph Loeb and Joe Madureira, is now online at Avengers Forever.

I’m always willing to admit when I’m wrong… Ultimates 3 is not a very good comic book series – check out my review here:

http://www.avengersforever.org/reviews/default.asp?RID=584

Enjoy!

If you want to discuss this review, this issue or anything Avengers, please check out the Avengers Forever Forum.

And if you’d like to make a donation to help keep the Avengers Forever website as mighty as ever, click here.

Thanks!

Ultimates 3 #1 Reviewed

“Fanboy Free-For-All” – my comic book review of Ultimates 3 #1, by Jeph Loeb and Joe Madureira, is now online at Avengers Forever.

Venom attacks the Ultimates, Hawkeye acts reckless, Captain America thinks old, the Wasp barks orders, Tony Stark drinks, and Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch go for a walk in New York City, all this and Thor and Valkyrie lock lips too – check out my review here: http://www.avengersforever.org/reviews/default.asp?RID=556.

Enjoy!

And if you’d like to make a donation to help keep the Avengers Forever website as mighty as ever, click here. Thanks!