– Marvel’s “Point One Initiative” this year was intended to sell a “jumping on” one shot issue that would encourage new fans to try out an ongoing series while providing long term readers a tale that “counted”. In practice, it was merely a new way to sell annuals. However, it sold well enough (compared to how annuals often sell) that now Marvel is allowing POINT ONE to become it’s own one-shot in itself – used to sell promotional themed stories. Thus, in November, POINT ONE #1 hits the shelves as a 64 page one-shot which will feature tales from a slew of Marvel’s top writers to promote upcoming stories or events for next. Two teaser images have been released thus far (http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=34609). The first will be via Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness, the AVENGERS: X-SANCTION/CABLE REBORN creative team (http://knotmove.com/comic-books-in-new-york/marvel-comics-news-9-13-11-cable-returns-again-x-23-joins-academy-more), which tease about the return of Nova. The former NEW WARRIORS founder and star of several years of space comics from Keith Giffen, Dan Abnett and Andy Lannning has been dead since January, when THANOS IMPERATIVE #6 shipped. However, as he was in another universe and no body was shown – and Black Bolt returned from that very same place in FF recently – it’s inevitable that Nova could return. In fairness, the Nova on the cover has a different outfit than the one Richard Rider wore as “Nova Prime”, so for all we know, it could be someone new in the mantle – such as his brother, Robbie. The second teaser notes a segment by Brian Bendis and Bryan Hitch, promising the return of Ultron to the Marvel Universe – a subplot Bendis has worked on his two Avengers books. More teasers are expected to be released in the coming days. The price of the one shot isn’t known, but considering Marvel is willing to sell 20 page comics at $3.99 without batting an eye, don’t expect to see this below $4.99, even for a promotional issue Marvel would be wise to make sure gets into as many hands as possible. Other creative teams confirmed for the one-shot are writers Matt Fraction, Ed Brubaker, Fred Van Lente, Chris Yost, and David Lapham, along with artists such as Terry Dodson, Salvadore Larrocca, Ryan Stegman, Javier Pulido, and Roberto De La Torre. To guess by the creative teams, this may mean that future teasers may concern INVINCIBLE IRON MAN, CAPTAIN AMERICA, X-FORCE, and even HERCULES material.
– Newsarama has some first look of covers for THE FEARLESS that legendary artist Art Adams has penciled (http://www.newsarama.com/php/multimedia/album.php?aid=44336).
– In X-Men comics news, Newsarama has a first look at UNCANNY X-MEN #544, which is the “final” issue of the long running series; at least until the relaunched #1 issue a month later (http://www.newsarama.com/php/multimedia/album.php?aid=44332). The covers for the first two issues of aforementioned UNCANNY X-MEN #1-2 relaunch has also been posted; drawn by Carlos Pacheco (http://www.newsarama.com/php/multimedia/album.php?aid=44350). Marjorie Liu – the writer of X-23 – confirms in an interview that X-23 will join the cast of AVENGERS ACADEMY for long enough that she plans to address it in the heroine’s solo series (http://www.newsarama.com/comics/x-23-marjorie-liu-avengers-academy-110926.html); this suggests it may not be a simple one-off guest appearance in AVENGERS ACADEMY. X-23’s clone father Wolverine will headline his own team book – as if he doesn’t have enough comic appearances – in WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN, whose first two covers by Chris Bachelo have also been released (http://www.newsarama.com/php/multimedia/album.php?aid=44362).
– Marvel released two teaser images for Jonathan Hickman’s run on THE ULTIMATES and ULTIMATE HAWKEYE, which suggests that Tony Stark will upgrade Thor’s armor, and that Hulk will run into Hawkeye (http://www.newsarama.com/comics/marvel-ultimate-comics-teasers-110923.html). This is an interesting time for teaser images for any Ultimate book that isn’t ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN, which is still the only title with any buzz.
– Hugh Jackman – the star and producer of the upcoming “THE WOLVERINE” film – has confirmed that filming for the film won’t begin until at least next year because he is filming a remake of LES MISERABLES (http://spinoff.comicbookresources.com/2011/09/20/wolverine-delayed-until-next-year-hugh-jackman-finally-confirms/). However, Jackman heaps large praise upon the direction for the film. The script has been written by Chris McQuarrie, but it was rewritten a bit to share Darren Aronofsky’s vision back when he was supposed to direct it. Now that James Mangold is set to direct, he wants the script to share his vision, and to that end, Mark Bomback (“TOTAL RECALL”) is rewriting it. Jackman insists the script is good and that it will deviate a bit from the comics (http://spinoff.comicbookresources.com/2011/09/27/hugh-jackman-explains-wolverine-rewrite-darker-take-on-comics/). Given that “X-MEN: FIRST CLASS” likely performed better than Fox expected – who knew it would have out-grossed “GREEN LANTERN” – there is probably some leeway from the studio to get this film right. Given that Jackman is the producer and has played Wolverine in what will be five films now, making him happy with the project is likely a priority.
– There have been a slew of Marvel Studios announcements in regards to the future of several film franchises. “IRON MAN 3” will apparently begin filming in North Carolina in June 2012, for a May 3rd, 2013 release (http://www.latinoreview.com/news/-iron-man-3-heading-to-north-carolina-14833); it’s budget will be $200 million. Chris Evans has told THE PLAYLIST that “CAPTAIN AMERICA 2” is unlikely to arrive until 2014, and his character of Steve Rogers is unlikely to appear in any other cameo roles besides “THE AVENGERS” because Marvel would not want to breach the six film contract Evans signed last year (http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/archives/exclusive_chirs_evans_says_captain_america_wont_pop_up_in_non-cap_marvel_mo/#). In “THOR 2” news, Marvel Studios are mulling Patty Jenkins (“MONSTER”) to direct it (http://www.deadline.com/2011/09/marvel-mulls-monster-helmer-patty-jenkins-for-thor-2/), while Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige stated that the plot of the film would revolve around Thor and Jane Foster visiting other worlds. While star Chris Hemsworth is the only confirmed actor under contract to return, this means it is likely that Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins would return (http://insidemovies.ew.com/2011/09/22/monster-director-patty-jenkins-considered-for-thor-2-breaking/); assuming Marvel Studios is willing to pay enough – they’ve chosen to sacrifice supporting actors for special effects budgets before (see: War Machine). “THOR 2” is set to be released as July 26th, 2013. Meanwhile, not only was “THOR” the top comic book film of the summer, but it ruled the DVD and blu-ray rental and sales charts upon it’s release (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/thor-storms-no-1-dvd-238708). For perspective, that means it outsold “STAR WARS: THE COMPLETE SAGA”. Finally, new footage for “THE AVENGERS” for next summer may debut at the New York Comic Convention next month (http://www.superherohype.com/news/articles/168438-new-avengers-footage-to-debut-at-the-new-york-comic-con) – which is appropriate since the movie filmed several scenes in NYC. Expect it to be leaked online seven minutes later by someone with a shaky cell phone video camera.
Last Week’s Marvel Comics News – http://knotmove.com/comic-books-in-new-york/marvel-comics-news-9-20-11-usm-relaunch-breaks-digital-records-the-fearless
This Week’s Indie Comics News – http://knotmove.com/comic-books-in-new-york/indie-comic-news-9-26-11-voltron-tarzan-sabrina-the-teenage-witch-more
This Week’s DC Comics News – http://knotmove.com/comic-books-in-new-york/dc-comics-news-9-26-11-dc-vs-women-again-justice-league-doom-catwoman