– With “CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER” gearing up to hit theaters in a few weeks, the marketing push is on. While Warner Brothers sank, according to some estimates, about $100 million dollars to promote the underwhelming “GREEN LANTERN” via no end of ads, Marvel Studios’ approach seems to be different. Besides trailers, they seem to be relying on promotional tie-ins with fast food giants. Last week brought on the Captain America Coolatta and donuts from DUNKIN’ DONUTS (http://joltleft.com/comic-books-in-new-york/marvel-comics-news-6-28-11-gene-colan-r-i-p-death-of-ultimate-spidey-more); this week beings Captain America themed ice cream from BASKIN ROBBINS (http://www.baskinrobbins.com/). This includes a Super-Soldier Swirl, a Super-Soldier Sundae and a Hydra Swirl for those who like chocolatey evil in their frozen treats. Given that Cap himself was frozen for some time, ice cream is an interesting thing for the character to promote. Meanwhile, in addition to more TV spots, one can find more stills from the film as well as some of the score on Super Hero Hype (http://www.superherohype.com/news/articles/167743-new-captain-america-stills-and-score-clips).
– Director Guillermo del Toro (the “HELLBOY” films, “PAN’S LABYRINTH”), who has been tapped by Jeph Loeb to direct a relaunch of “THE INCREDIBLE HULK” TV series for ABC, finally has some updates on the show’s progress. He tells FEAR Net that an outline for the show was submitted to ABC in June that was rewritten, and now scripting may begin (http://www.fearnet.com/news/b22990_exclusive_guillermo_del_toro_talks.html). Del Toro does note that he will “do this thing different” in regards to the Hulk on TV, and that the network accepted. Last year, the word was that it would feature a Dr. Banner in his 20’s and bring Hulk to life via a mix of CGI and practical effects, which del Toro seems to excel at – both of his “HELLBOY” films looked better than their modest budgets implied. Ironically, his work on a Hulk TV show will likely keep “HELLBOY 3” an unproduced film. For the past decade, DC characters have dominated the small screen with “SMALLVILLE” and “HUMAN TARGET”. However, both of those shows have ended, and a pilot for “WONDER WOMAN” was infamously dumped by NBC. Thus, now might be the best time for Marvel to jump back into the prime time TV arena for the first time since “MUTANT X” aired in syndication from 2001-2004. Or, going farther back, those ghastly TV movies for “GENERATION X” and “NICK FURY: AGENT OF SHIELD” aired on Fox in the late 90’s. The other two Marvel shows being prepped for ABC are “CLOAK AND DAGGER” and “A.K.A. JESSICA JONES” (based on Brian M. Bendis’ ALIAS), but little info is known about either at this stage.
– As Marvel Studios and Paramount’s “THOR” winds up it’s run in North America (with just shy of $178 million in 9 weeks), plans are already underway for a sequel. Marvel and Disney have announced a set date for “THOR 2” as July 26th, 2013. It will once again star Chris Hemsworth as Thor (and presumably the rest of his supporting cast), but Kenneth Branagh will not return to direct (http://www.deadline.com/2011/06/marvel-and-disney-sets-thor-2-for-summer-2013-kenneth-branagh-wont-return/). Don Payne has been set to write the script for “THOR 2”, and while he technically has experience writing super-hero films, it may not be the sort of experience many fans will rave about – he has written “FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER” as well as “MY SUPER EX-GIRLFRIEND” (http://www.deadline.com/2011/07/thor-2-to-be-scripted-by-don-payne/). While “THOR” was a “modest hit” in the U.S. akin to “X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE” in 2009, it has made over $260 million overseas for a worldwide haul of at least $437 million dollars. It remains the worldwide box office king of 2011 for comic book films.
– Fox’s “X-MEN: FIRST CLASS” slipped out of the Top 10 this Independence Day weekend with a haul of $2.9 million for it’s 5th week in release (http://www.boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/). It has earned $138.6 million domestically, and it would be hilarious if it wound up earning more at the box office than Warner Brothers’ “GREEN LANTERN”. Meanwhile, Hugh Jackman has stated in a radio interview that filming for “THE WOLVERINE” should start in October, and the film will “probably come out a year after that” (http://www.chfi.com/2011/06/27/hugh-jackman-interview/). James Mangold is expected to direct, but Fox has not officially confirmed this. Production for “THE WOLVERINE” entered turmoil when Darren Aronofsky (“BLACK SWAN”, “THE WRESTLER”) abruptly left the project after being nominated for an Oscar last year. The script was written by Christopher McQuarrie, and filming in Japan was also put on hold due to the nuclear reactor crisis of recent months. Fate seems to not want another Wolverine movie, but Fox and Jackman do.
– In the latest Comic Book Resources interview with Marvel Senior VP of Publishing Tom Brevoort, some exclusive artwork was laid out as well as a few modest comments (http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=33079). Brevoort denied that Marvel Comics shift gears to drastically emulate films (or “spams” comics based around movie characters) by deliberate design, but it is something that seems to happen. He notes that Marvel publishes many titles based around certain “big” characters and not others due to sales expectations and “the zeitgeist”. It is noted that SCHISM will effect the other X-Men titles such as UNCANNY X-FORCE and NEW MUTANTS, and that CAPTAIN AMERICA & BUCKY serves a purpose despite Bucky (James Barnes) being dead because the other men who have served as Bucky will likely appear in it. Brevoort mentions Formspring several times in the interview, and his own Formspring page revealed another tid-bit. The final four issues of THE TWELVE, a mini series from J. Michael Straczynski and Chris Weston that hasn’t seen an issue since #8 shipped in 2009, are “almost ready” (http://blog.newsarama.com/2011/06/29/good-news-for-fans-of-marvels-the-twelve/). Marvel seem to say this about every year since the series was put on hold; JMS went on to DC Comics, where he wrote two runs for ACTION COMICS and WONDER WOMAN that he also didn’t finish. DC was willing to have other writers wrap up those stories based on JMS’ notes, Marvel has allowed THE TWELVE to languish. Chris Weston wrote AND drew a random one shot of THE TWELVE, to remind readers it still existed, last year. Fans of Golden Age heroes are likely to be more gratified by MYSTERY MEN (from David Liss and Patrick Zircher: http://joltleft.com/comic-books-in-new-york/picks-of-comic-book-week-for-6-22-11-no-mystery-about-this-week-s-top-pick-review), which is shipping now. THE TWELVE is hardly the first mini series within the past decade from Marvel that has seen a delay between issues approach 24 months. Kevin Smith and Terry Dodson’s BLACK CAT: THE EVIL THAT MEN DO as well as Damon Lindelof and Lenil Yu’s ULTIMATE WOLVERINE VS. HULK saw similar lengthy delays. Kevin Smith’s DAREDEVIL: TARGET remains unfinished; DC has at least gotten Smith to finish a few Batman comics since then. So long as someone bought those first few issues, and the first hardcover, of THE TWELVE, Marvel are apparently satisfied.
Sprite Comic for 7/5/11 Here: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v71/TrenchcoatMask/Sprite%20Comics/CapMags.jpg
Last Week’s Marvel Comics News – http://joltleft.com/comic-books-in-new-york/marvel-comics-news-6-28-11-gene-colan-r-i-p-death-of-ultimate-spidey-more
This Week’s DC Comics News – http://joltleft.com/comic-books-in-new-york/dc-comics-news-7-4-11-the-new-52-and-you-dcnu-protest-gl-film-flops-harder
This Week’s Indie Comics News – http://joltleft.com/comic-books-in-new-york/indie-comics-news-7-4-11-kirkman-liefield-s-the-infinite-tmnt-more