An "X-Force" To Be Reckoned With - Marvel's Mutant Militia Turns 25
06. X-MEN DAYS OF FUTURE PAST
I’m bummed about Rogue’s absence in the forthcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past film. Really bummed actually, and in fact, kinda frustrated that she was in few enough scenes that it was even possible for her to be entirely cut from the movie just by cutting one scene, but that’s a whole other rant about why Bryan Singer is so in love with Eric/Xavier/Logan that nobody else can get a damn sliver of screen time. Ahem. ANYWAY. This movie releases at the end of May and I’m very excited. The trailer was intensely impressive, even with its flaws and the film is potentially packed to the gills with so much awesome content and incredible guest stars that players like Rogue/Paquin are getting left on the cutting room floor…so what didn’t get cut better be good!
Perhaps more importantly it has been MORE THAN TEN YEARS since I have been able to be excited about an X-Men movie…so I’m just going to enjoy it goddammit.
Seriously, I may have been waiting ten years to be excited about an X-Men movie but I’ve been waiting EIGHT for the nightmare that was X-Men: The Last Stand to be ERASED FROM THE UNIVERSE. Here’s hoping that if DOFP does anything, it at least does that.
Also worthy of mention since we’re talking Marvel-related movies, I am pretty damn excited for Captain America: Winter Soldier. I like Cap just fine, but you all know I’m really just aching for some more big screen Black Widow, right? Release date on that one is April 4, 2014 and it just can’t come soon enough.
I’m hard pressed to think of a character in comics I’m more interested in reading than Monica Rambeau. So it was with incredible sadness that I realized that Greg Land (an artist I won’t plunk down money to read) was the artist on Mighty Avengers, the new team book where Monica Rambeau would be hanging her hat. When it was announced in November that Valerio Schiti would be the new artist on the title starting in February of 2014 the book became an insta-buy. Not just because Land was off the book and I could now embrace Monica Rambeau (and her pals)but because after reading Schiti’s stunningly beautiful Journey Into Mystery (with writer Kathryn Immonen) I would follow Schiti just about anywhere. Another win for 2014!
08. MARVEL AGENTS OF SHIELD
I know some people are really not vibing this show, but it’s still one of the best things I’m watching on network television. The issue for me is more of that “unreasonable expectations” stuff I mentioned earlier, and maybe the same is true for some of you. For me, you put Joss Whedon’s name on a show and I expect nothing but brilliance. And brilliance is a pretty high bar to shoot for, especially in the first half a season of a network television show – few reach that mark.
AoS has highs and lows and has so far been a relatively slow burn. The shows that feel decidedly “monster of the week” are not particularly interesting in that they just don’t stay with you long after watching and that’s a problem. Similarly, until recently the characters felt pretty cookie cutter, some of them stumbling into super annoying Mary Jane territory.
But the writers have a TON of hurdles — most notably characters that are supposed to be perfect brilliantly trained badasses (which leaves little room for error and failure and character development, etc.) as well as characters who are supposed to somehow be both our underdog heroes and who also basically work for “the man.” Add to that too much leaning on the crunch of “invented technology” that can do anything and it’s a tough show to make work even before you add super high expectations.
Despite all this however, I can see this show developing into something very interesting and some of the characters have a ton of potential and are breaking free of their molds. Especially as it was left before the holiday break, this show is not far off from the sweet spot and if it can just get there, we’ll be golden.
Some of the recent plot developments as well as interviews I’ve read suggest that the people in charge get this and have us pointed in the right direction (again, proof is in that last episode). So here’s to a 2014 in which they do in fact get there…because really, take a step back and process the wonder that is us living in a time in which AGENTS OF SHIELD is a major network hour long show with a huge budget, and not just some special effects cheesy nightmare show relegated to the dregs of unknown cable networks, like so many comic-based/sci-fi/fantasy shows before it. It’s kinda huge.
09. IMAGE COMICS DOMINATION
One of the weird things I find myself most excited about? The announcements I expect to see coming out of Image Expo this week. By Image’s own Eric Stephenson they “want to be number one.” Their books are certainly showing that they can be. The publisher that has brought us Lazarus, Velvet, Sex Criminals, Pretty Deadly, East of West, Rocket Girl, Umbral, and Alex & Ada (among others) in the last year alone, and all in addition to their already impressive lineup that includes ongoings like The Walking Dead, Saga, Revival, Fatale, and Manhattan Projects…well…it’s a damn good time to be a comic book fan. How much better can they possibly get?!
What will they announce this weekend?!?!! I am literally on the edge of my seat.
10. FROM TOE-DIPPING TO FULL IMMERSION (aka shameless self promotion, but related shameless self promotion)
As a writer/creator I have previously only toe-dipped into the comics world. First in 2012 I published The Girl Who Would Be King, which, though a prose novel, was about superheroes and had comic book and cover artist Stephanie Hans doing both the cover and the interior illustrations. So not quite comics, but “comics adjacent” as we love to say in LA (where I no longer live. So sad). In 2012 I also published an essay in Chicks Dig Comics, talking about my experiences with comics. Again, close but not quite.
However in 2012, I also had a short story “Superless Hero” (illustrated by the exceptional Stephanie Hans) published in Renae De Liz’s Womanthology (we’re the first story in the whole book!)…so finally…OFFICIAL COMICS!
But still, only a short story.
2014 will bring my first graphic novel from Dark Horse and with artist Meredith McClaren illustrating. We’re still keeping hush hush on the details, and it’s possible given the time these things take that it will get pushed to 2015, but I’m still hoping really hard for a late 2014 publishing date.
Also of note is that on 1/20/14 (T-minus two weeks!) I will be launching the Kickstarter for my next novel, Storykiller. While this is prose, not comics, it again has a stunning Stephanie Hans cover and I cannot even begin to tell you how many amazing comic book illustrators I have on board contributing to the illustrated section of the book. It’s a who’s who of established and up and coming comic book artists and I am one damn lucky girl.
So, with that shameless bit of self-promotion out of the way, those are the ten comics-related things I am most looking forward to in 2014. What about you? What makes your list?
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