John Gholson is a life-long Avengers fanboy who has previously covered all manner of superhero news at AOL. After dabbling with comic book self-publishing in the '90s, John moved on to study sequential art at the Savannah College of Art & Design, and currently produces a regular web comic, ‘Appetite for Destruction,’ for Tapsauce.com. He’ll also buy any comic with Hawkeye on the cover. You can read his AvengersCountdownhere at Movies.com every other Monday.
New York Comic Con may not have the name-brand clout of San Diego, but that doesn’t mean it’s a rinky-dink also-ran. The convention, which draws over 75,000 fans to the Javits Center, is also a hotbed of comics news, especially where The Avengers is concerned. It is, after all, one of Marvel’s biggest movies, based on one of Marvel’s biggest properties. We’ve got the hottest Avengers announcements coming out of NYCC ‘12 right here.
Kevin Feige confirms Avengers 2 -- We guessed it was coming, but this is really the first time Marvel Studio head Kevin Feige has mentioned it in a somewhat official capacity. Yes, Marvel is planning an Avengers 2. Shock of shocks. Feige told attendees at NYCC that Iron Man 3 will kickstart the next phase of Marvel movies, leading up to Avengers 2. As early as it is, there was of course no word on plot nor who would or wouldn’t be back for the sequel. (Source: Hollywood Reporter)
Storm is joining The Avengers -- Over in the comics, longtime X-Men member (and frequent leader) Storm is making the leap to The Avengers. Avengers #19, which hits comic shelves in January of 2012, will mark her first issue as a full-time member of The Avengers’ roster. While X-Men fans will probably lament the decision (from writer Brian Michael Bendis), I think this is a great move for the character, and I’d love to see how she interacts as the “new girl” in an old group. (Source: Comics Alliance)
Marvel is launching an on-going, movie-friendly Avengers Assemble title -- Let’s say you’re interested in The Avengers movie, but you look at the comics, and you’re confused by characters like Spider-Woman and Marvel Boy. And who the heck is this Red Hulk anyway? Well, Marvel is gearing up a title just for you. Avengers Assemble will feature the team line-up as seen in the upcoming 2012 film. Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, and Black Widow are front and center in the new monthly, from the superstar team of Brian Michael Bendis and penciller Mark Bagley (the duo behind the best-selling years of Ultimate Spider-Man). The new title launches in March. (Source: Comic Book Resources)
Marvel celebrates Hulk’s history with Hulk Smash Avengers -- The Green Goliath has had a long-running love/hate relationship with The Avengers, and Marvel is looking to explore that in a new five-issue weekly mini-series from rotating writers and artist teams. Of course, Marvel hopes this will prime fans for Hulk’s appearance in the new movie. “With the characters starring together in The Avengers film, there would be quite a few movie-goers and comics fans who would be interested in seeing how the relationship between the Hulk and Earth's Mightiest Heroes -- which traditionally involves lots of punching and yelling -- has evolved over the eras,” noted editor Bill Roseman to Newsarama. (Source: Newsarama)
Captain America/Captain America II: Death Too Soon Arrives from Shout! Factory
Back in my day, we didn’t have your fancy-schmancy 3-D Captain America movie with special effects and Red Skull. NO! We had Reb Brown riding on a motorcycle for 45 minutes and we liked it! We loved it!
Okay, well, maybe we didn’t love it, but it was just about all you could get as a kid growing up in the late 70s. Sure, there was Wonder Woman and The Incredible Hulk, but if you were lucky, you just might catch a Spider-Man or Captain America TV movie.
Shout! Factory is making sure everyone gets to experience the “original” Captain America movies before Paramount’s recent big bad blockbuster version hits home video. It’s a one-two punch of Captain America and the sequel Captain America II: Death Too Soon in one solid DVD package (with no special features).
My suggestion? Skip the sluggish Captain America and jump right into Death Too Soon. Both films are 1970’s action-TV quality (think Six Million Dollar Man -- Cap even makes weird sound effects when he jumps in slow motion, just like Steve Austin), but Death Too Soon is faster-paced and features the legendary Christopher Lee as Miguel, an international terrorist determined to turn the population of Portland, Oregon into elderly people.
Captain America is a stiffer affair, with Reb Brown spending most of the film either riding the backroads in a custom van or riding the backroads on a custom bike. Death Too Soon has more Captain America (he appears five minutes in; in the first film, he doesn’t show up in costume until the 1 hour and 15 minute mark), in a more accurate costume, and a weirder, more comic book-y plot involving a gas that accelerates the aging process.
You can order the film here.
Avengers News Assembled!
-- Hasbro unveiled their hotly anticipated Avengers action figure line at NYCC. ComicBookMovie.com snapped some great pics, with a somewhat better look at the Hulk than we’ve been given so far. Make sure you check out Arnim Zola hanging out in the background -- no word on whether or not the Captain American villain is part of the first wave of figures.
-- Writer Rick Remender (Venom) is taking over monthly duties on the Avengers’ espionage book Secret Avengers (starting with issues 21.1 and 22). Remender told Newsarama that he’s putting Hawkeye in charge, but that the roster will remain fluid, “I like the idea that there's a core team. But I also like the idea that Hawkeye will put together squads as needed based on the mission, which keeps a core team but also keeps it fresh as new characters can come and go as we move forward.” Marvel has just released the following image of the Secret Avengers:
-- Red Eye Chicago got a chance to talk Avengers with Chris Evans, while he’s promoting the legal drama Puncture. “The comic book fans are pretty harsh and aggressive,” Evans noted, “and they know what they like and they know what they want, and trying to keep them happy is important. They’re the reason we’re making these movies.”
-- Meanwhile, over on HitFix, Tom Hiddleston chats about the differences between playing Loki in Thor and Loki in The Avengers. “Loki's definitively more menacing,” Hiddleston noted about his part in The Avengers. “In Thor, he was a lost prince and there was a degree of vulnerability and confusion about his identity. In The Avengers he knows exactly who he is and is fully self-possessed.” Hiddleston also talks at length about working with directors Kenneth Branagh and Joss Whedon.
-- Oh, and by the way, the first official trailer for The Avengers hit last week, setting an iTunes record (over 10 million downloads, according to HitFix). You can view it below. Oh, you’ve seen it? I meant to say you can view it again below.
-- Not enough Avengers for you? Okay, then. How about the trailer for Season Two of Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes?
There’s no “Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Episode Guide” this week, due to a flood of Avengers’ news, but I promise we’ll get all caught up in the next installment. See you then!
The Avengers, a Joss Whedon film, stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Chris Hemsworth. There are 200 days until release.