The New Ms. Marvel

Carol Danvers may have changed superhero identities, but the world still needs a Ms. Marvel.

On Tuesday, Marvel Comics announced a new Ms. Marvel title, launching in 2014, starring a new character, New Jersey resident Kamala Khan.

The New Ms. MarvelAny comics fan with a Tumblr account knows that Captain Marvel (Danvers) has a huge internet following known as the Carol Corps, due to her current book written by Kelly Sue DeConnick. The new book however, will feature the creative team of G. Willow Wilson (Cairo, Air) and Adrian Alphona (Runaways, Uncanny X-Force). Khan will be part of the Corps, with Cap being her role model, her “ideal,” according to Wilson. Eagle-eyed fans have even spotted Kamala in awe of Carol in July’s Captain Marvel #14.

In an interview with Newsarama, Willow stated that the book will be “about the universal experience of all American teenagers, feeling kind of isolated and finding what they are.” That certainly is a universal experience, for some more than others. And as a Muslim living in America, especially the New York City area, Khan will have plenty of that to deal with. Her namesake may have the standard super powers of speed, strength, and flight, but as Stephen Colbert joked, “[Muslims] are on the no-fly list.” Instead, the new Ms. Marvel is a shapeshifter. Time and again through the series, I’m sure she’ll be faced with the question: If you could change the way you look to avoid persecution, would you?

Speaking of appearances, Ms. Marvel’s costume was designed by Jamie McKelvie, who recently created new looks for Captain Marvel and Loki.Ms. Marvel's Costume Designed by Jamie McKelvie Those little scarfy/capelets in the back will be a problem in a fight, but overall a nice, clean costume. Reverent to the old lightning bolt bathing suit, but modern and, presumably, a reflection of Kamala herself.

Ms. Marvel joins the already announced Black Widow, She-Hulk and Elektra as Marvel attempts to add more female-driven titles in the new year. Ms. Marvel will, however, be one of only two books at Marvel starring a person of color, the other being Ultimate Spider-Man. (No, She-Hulk does not count.)

And in what I must assume is a special twist just for me, the new character makes her home in Jersey City, New Jersey. That’s right. The first Ms. Marvel is from Boston, where I grew up. Last year DeConnick and Terry Dodson even set a Captain Marvel/Spider-Man team-up there, which I’ve written about. And the new one is from Jersey City, where I live now. Kamala lives in Bells’ Kitchen! I think I may decide to become her #1 fan.

Kamala Khan - Fighting a Hulked PorcupineWilson also spoke of “[The] particular culture in New Jersey. It’s defiant against being seen as where you live when it gets too expensive to live in New York City. I really tried to do homage to New Jersey through references to Kevin Smith films I grew up with, as well as all sorts of cultural references of Jersey worked in. Ms. Marvel is a love letter to an overlooked state.” As someone who moved here because New York City is too expensive (and because NJ has grocery stores, and a Target, and less noise, and fewer urine puddles), I can’t wait.

Ms. Marvel #1 will be released in February.

Brian K. Vaughan & Marcos Martin’s The Private Eye

After some brief teasers yesterday, Brian K. Vaughan & Marcos Martin’s new comic The Private Eye is already available. DM-free, pay what you want.

The Private Eye

Don’t ask what it’s about. If you love Y: The Last Man, or Saga, or Batgirl: Year One, or the new Daredevil, or especially Dr. Strange: The Oath, just do it.

Be a good, smart person. Pony up your three bucks at their new site http://www.panelsyndicate.com/.

Bells’ Kitchen Now on Tumblr

Hey ya’ll.

Just a quick update to let you know that Bells’ Kitchen is spreading over more of the internet  – with a Tumblr page! It’s like Manifest Destiny, but instead of thinking it’s God’s will for the United States to expand to the Pacific Ocean, it’s quick posts like photos and videos.

So yeah, if you want to see some fun videos and some great comic art, come on down to bellskitchen.tumblr.com.

Thanks.

My (non)thoughts on Marvel Now! and Before Watchmen

So, the comics internet is all abuzz with this Marvel Now! stuff. I get it. It’s a big story. The Marvel publishing schedule and most readers pull lists will look very different when this is over.

Do I have opinions? Sure. But knee-jerk reactions aren’t good writing. They aren’t interesting to read. All I can say is “I’m excited to see where this goes.” No one cares if I have think it’s a good idea.

One of the reasons I don’t watch the news, one of the reasons I hate the news is because of how often I ask the question, “How does this affect my life?” San Diego fucks up their fireworks display? This does not affect me. Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise break up? Unless she starts answering my phone calls, this does not affect me. Supreme Court makes a decision on health care? That affects me.

Today, no one cares if I think that All-New X-Men is a good idea. Or Uncanny Avengers. With that in mind, once the books actually start coming out, I’ll have something real to say. I can actually make recommendations on what to buy and what to burn. It may even be interesting to make a small post each week, when each new #1 comes out. I’m certainly not going to buy them all, but I can at least say why I didn’t buy them and my thoughts on the book if I did. Maybe you’ll care if I think it’s a good book. You know, when I’ve read it.

If you want to read about why it’s happening and what Marvel hopes to get from it, there’s plenty of press all over the regular sites. But I don’t have access to Alonso or Quesada or Brevoort. I can get you firsthand info. All I can bring are my opinions and I’d rather read the books before I offer those.

To follow up on a post from a couple months ago, yes, I’ve been buying everything Before Watchmen. My local shop put a little flyer in each subscription box with little checkboxes next to each title/creative team, to see what they should reserve. I didn’t even bother checking anything. I grabbed a Sharpie and wrote “ALL” over the info. Some books have been great (looking at you Darwyn). Some have been bad (looking at you Straczynski). I do want to write something about it all, but I’m waiting for the first issue of each book. Once Rorschach and Dr. Manhattan #1s come out, keep your eyes on this space.

TL;DR – I’m not dead. More news when it’s worth telling.

Phonogram – The Immaterial Girl

YAY!

Forgive me. I may be (am) a few whiskey and gingers deep at this point of the night. But I couldn’t resist posting this as soon as possible.

So on Wednesday, I was excited at the possibility of a new series of Phonogram. Well, it’s been officially announced.

November 2012 – Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl.

Phonogram - The Immaterial GirlBased on existing information and conversations I’ve had with Kieron Gillen, it’s based on Emily Aster (der) and the idea of identity. To anyone who sees the above teaser or has read Phonogram 2: The Singles Club #3: “We Share our Mother’s Health”, this comes as no big surprise. It’ll revolve around Emily (above, left) and her previous identity, Claire (above, right). Also, Emily loves Lady Gaga.

I couldn’t be more excited.

Get excited!

One More Time

I’m not one to just repost news around the industry. If you’re not breaking a story, then why bother? (Some background on me: I’m a slave to my Google Reader. Newsarama or Comic Book Resources usually post news around the same time, with Comics Alliance in third by a lot. I prefer Newsarama’s coverage, so I read theirs and ignore whatever follows.)

BUT ANYWAY.

iFanboy just posted this teaser.

Phonogram 3?

Kieron Glllen who you may know from Journey into Mystery and Phonogram. Jamie McKelvie, who you may know from X-Men: Season One or Phonogram. And Matt Wilson, who you may know from Wonder Woman or PHONOGRAM.

If Daft Punk isn’t already playing in your head, we have nothing in common.

More to follow. I assure you.

Before Watchmen

Real Clever BellsDon’t act surprised. You saw this coming.

Yeah, you love Watchmen. You have the collection on your shelf, maybe even some big deluxe edition. You lived with those characters for 12 issues, plus the backup features. You’ve seen the movie, regardless of what you thought of it.

You think about the story all the time. You wonder how Eddie and Sally ended up in bed together. You’ve thought about the days of the Minutemen. (Dollar Bill!) You’ve explained to non-comics readers about the intricacies of the story.

There have been rumors.

There have been concept sketches.

So, admit it. You saw this coming.

In case you forgot what was coming (or willingly blocked it from your mind) here it is again.

  • THE COMEDIAN (6 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: J.G. Jones
  • DR. MANHATTAN (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artist: Adam Hughes
  • THE MINUTEMEN (6 issues) – Writer/Artist: Darwyn Cooke
  • NITE OWL (4 issues) – Writer: J. Michael Straczynski. Artists: Andy and Joe Kubert
  • OZYMANDIAS (6 issues) – Writer: Len Wein. Artist: Jae Lee
  • RORSCHACH (4 issues) – Writer: Brian Azzarello. Artist: Lee Bermejo
  • SILK SPECTRE (4 issues) – Writer: Darwyn Cooke. Artist: Amanda Conner
  • BEFORE WATCHMEN: EPILOGUE (One-shot) – Writer/Artist:Various

 

And now, you want to be upset. You want to fill the internet with Alan Moore levels of indignation.

And yet, those creative teams are intriguing. Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo have a great partnership. And Darwyn Cooke is the best writer/artist in mainstream comics today. And then you’ve got Amanda Conner, Jae Lee, Adam Hughes, and J.G. Jones all doing interiors.

There have been complaints that these characters had their stories told and there is no more to say. But that’s bullshit. That’s like saying if you met someone tomorrow, there would only be a few stories in their past worth hearing about. Everything else is superfluous. Or in this case, sacrilege. It’s not as if someone ever felt the need to tell the story of Wendy Darling’s life years after Wonderland. Oh, wait.

But you don’t know much about the actual crimefighting careers of the first Night Owl or Silk Spectre. Based on solicits and cover images, the Darwyn Cooke series (though not the JMS) seems in that time period. If DC wants to fill in these secondary characters (and yes, cash in), let them.

And you know what? That book from 1986? That book that you love? It’s still on your bookshelf. Untarnished by the roleplaying game. By the action figures. By the movie. And now by these new comics. So shut up. You have no right to complain.

After all, you saw this coming.

Young Allies – Cancelled

NO! from Young Allies #2

Art by David Baldeon

Well, I guess I just found another $3 for my comics budget each month.

Albert Ching, over at Blog@Newsarama noticed something unfortunate on Previews’ Product Changes. Young Allies, my favorite book of Marvel’s Heroic Age is being canceled after issue 6. Writer Sean McKeever and penciler David Baldeon have been turning in some great work, but the book has barely sold 15,000 copies of each issue.

Another one bites the dust.

Comic Theft in Worcester, MA

This just in from Bleeding Cool:

Copies of Incredible Hulk #180-182 (Wolverine’s first appearances) have been stolen from a local comic collector here in Worcester, MA. Apparently, the idiot then tried to sell the comics at my local store That’s Entertainment! In a fun twist, the guy they were stolen from works at That’sE. This means I’ve probably talked to this guy weekly for a few years.

The thief has been identified as a latino male in his thirties. The original owner will reimburse anyone who buys the issues back cheaply. I know it’s a long shot, but if anyone in the Worcester area knows anything, please help out.