Saturday, 29 June 2013

Betsy Braddock (Again) by Todd Nauck

Towards the end of May I posted a coloured head n' shoulders sketch by Todd Nauck of Betsy Braddock, in her armoured costume. He's posted an update of this art on his Tumblr site, this time there's even more to admire.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Pete Wisdom & MI13 to appear in X-Men Legacy #13

Released on Wednesday July 3rd is X-Men Legacy #13 which features Pete Wisdom facing off against Legion.

• Continuing his mission to proactively pave the way for the reignited mutant race, Legion travels to the United Kingdom to preemptively extinguish a threat to his people...

...but the head of Britain’s paranormal intelligence agency, PETE WISDOM, won’t stand for Legion committing any crimes in the name of mutantkind on his turf!

• So in this game of superhuman spy vs. spy, who will ultimately get the upper hand? I’ll tell you one thing: someone is certainly going to be a CASUALTY in this faceoff!

In the pages below you can see there's a group shot of the heroes in MI13, which features Captain Britain & Co, but it looks like the reference material used for Captain Britain was Paul Cornell's 'Captain Britain and MI13' run, which is a few years old now. Captain Britain is wearing the costume from that series, which was replaced by Rick Remender when he wrote the 'Otherworld' story in 'Uncanny X-Force', with the 80's Moore/Davis creation. This is a poor continuity error.

I won't be buying this one, even if it does feature our favourite Brit' heroes.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

More Death's Head in Iron Man

I spotted this cool, I presume, cover for Iron Man #14, featuring Death's Head crushing Iron Man's helmet, on Marvel's own web site in the 'Release Calendar' area of the site.

Published: August 07, 2013
Rating: Rated T+
Writer: Kieron Gillen 
Penciler: Greg Land 
Cover Artist: Greg Land 
MORE MIND-BLOWING REVELATIONS AS "THE SECRET ORIGIN OF TONY STARK" CONTINUES! Free at last, all IRON MAN has to do is fight a robot who can take over his armor at any time and avoid one of the universe's greatest bounty-hunters...DEATH'S HEAD.An impossible choice at the edge of space will decide the fate of two worlds. Who lives? Who dies?And can TONY STARK somehow find a way to avoid his destiny...

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Black Knight and The Knights of Pendragon Art by Liam Sharp

I found this wonderful promotional piece of black and white art by Liam Sharp on his deviantART page, of The Knights of Pendragon, with Black Knight, and Iron Man, from 1991.

He had this to say about this art.... "One of my all-time favourite pieces from Marvel UK days, a promotional piece for the Knights of Pendragon series featuring Ironman and The Black Knight, and created by Gary Erskine, Dan Abnet & John Tomlinson. I can't believe I did this in 1991. The printed version was coloured, but I much prefer it in black and white."

To see the image in it's full beauty and size follow this link...

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Meggan Steps Up and Joins The Hunt

The next big thing in the Marvel Universe is 'Infinity', which has Marvel's mainstream Avengers off in space facing off against something/someone called 'The Builders', plus Thanos features heavily. With the Avengers in Space, Earth lies undefended, um, there thousands of heroes in the Marvel U guys? Anyway Luke Cage will lead a team of heroes to fill The Avengers shoes whilst they are away.

Like most Marvel events there are plenty of spin-off titles which happen, one of them tied in to 'Infinity' called 'The Hunt'. Meggan, seen here on the cover to issue #1, and in the art below represents the Braddock Academy. So does this mean Avengers Arena is done and dusted by the time this starts?





• Hank Pym, Wolverine, and She-Hulk bring the students of the Marvel Universe together to announce a new CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS!

• This CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS pits the super students of schools all over the Marvel U (including some you’ve never seen before) against each other.

• However, the Contest is interrupted when Thanos’ forces descend on Earth. What do they have to do with the young heroes?

Axel Alonso, Editor-in-chief at Marvel had this to say about Septembers release of 'The Hunt' in an interview with CBR...

Alonso: "Infinity: The Hunt" bounces all around the Marvel Universe, featuring students from schools you know -- Avengers Academy, the Future Foundation, the Jean Grey School, the Braddock Academy -- and schools you’ve never seen before. So there are tons of characters you already know and a bunch you don’t. So, let’s see: You’ll see one of the Power Pack in "Infinity: The Hunt," Alex Powers in "FF," a few New Mutants in "Fearless Defenders" and another series we haven’t announced yet, some of the New X-Men in "Wolverine and the X-Men," X-23 in "Avengers Arena," and Prodigy in "Young Avengers."

For the full interview, follow this link...

Friday, 14 June 2013

Avengers Arena #12 Preview (Unlettered)

Released on Wednesday July 10th is Avengers Arena #12 which concludes the second arc of this story. Alas no Braddock Academy members in the following pictures.


• Apex squares off in bloody battle’ll have to see it to believe it!

• What does Death Locket see on the very last page that will freak you out?

• Plus: Arcade makes popcorn to eat while watching the big fight! Oh, what a jerk!

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Death's Head Digital Art

There's been a lack of British Marvel activity of late, it seems the Brit's are no longer favoured, especially in light of Rick Remender's run on Secret Avengers coming to an end, which mean's it's time to search the internet for bit's of possible unseen art featuring British Marvel characters.

I found this interesting piece of digital art of Death's Head II, slightly disturbing, but very good all the same.

I found this on a web-site caled, with the art done by mattjames3d.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Avengers Arena Volume 1 Graphic Novel

Avengers Arena Volume 1 graphic novel, Kill Or Die. Collecting Avengers Arena issues #1-6, written by Dennis Hopeless, and illustrated by Kev Walker and Alessandro Vitti.

I've featured Avengers Arena on this Blog several times, showcasing a new character called Kid Briton. Kid Briton is a young Brian Braddock, from an alternative reality, but he's different from Captain Britain not just in the age difference, but his attitude, which the bits I've seen so far have shown him to be a tad bit cocky, much to the annoyance on Brian Braddock.

Also in a previous post I vented my ire in the direction of this comic run, with it's obvious rip off of 'Battle Royale', and it's use of characters that are fan favourites, or new characters which I felt have been created just to use as cannon fodder. Then there was the death of Kid Briton, pretty early on, which caused me to become quite angry.

My view of this series, and my opinion of Kid Briton has now changed, now that I've read the first volume of Avengers Arena.

Arcade has decided to turn up the volume on his Murder World idea, and to be honest, Murder World has been a bit of a joke with no murders ever actually happening. This time he's decided to kidnap 16 young heroes, mainly from the Avengers Academy, and the Braddock Academy, along with a few other heroes stolen from under the noses of organisations such as S.W.O.R.D, and pit them against each other in an only one can win scenario, and the winner, or survivor walks free. Uh? Yep! Battle Royale indeed!
The Braddock Academy students are Anachronism, Apex, Bloodstone, Kid Briton, and Nara.

We all know Arcade from the past, especially memorable for his attempt at killing Captain Britain and Spider-Man in Marvel Team-Up #65 & #66 in 1978, and not forgetting Excalibur issues #4 & #5 in 1989, but he's always been a mad, comedic fool in a white suit, who owns a fairground (Murder World), and that's him, but not this time. This time Murder World is a whole Island, and Arcade himself seems to have God-like powers.

Where these powers come from is anyone's guess, but I do have a theory. Arcades powers, the island, in fact everything is in fact all part of some virtual reality show, game type thing. Now the big question is, if this is indeed a virtual reality thing, and if you die in this game, do you die for real in the real world? Tad Williams wrote a book called 'Otherland' which was based slightly in the future, where gamers would immerse themselves in the game, and take on attributes of characters they'd created themselves, but there was a clandestine organisation that was killing gamers in the VR world, which would in turn kill them in their suspended real life game state, which is what leads me to think this, plus there's a few other things that happen, that seem to be very game connected.

Speaking of deaths, they happen pretty early on, and 16 become 14 before the second issue has even got going, in a gruesome, and bone-crunching type of way.

I approached this graphic novel with quite a bit of apprehension, expecting my anger to increase with each death, but still interested in a whole new collection of British heroes. This is a really good book! The art is very good by Kev Walker, but it's not the art that makes it, it's the way Dennis Hopeless has written the characters, he's made them interesting, each and every one of them. This book explores their fears, their dark sides, and how they interact with each other to survive.

It was Kid Briton that drew me to this book, and he does play quite a big part in this story, but the rest of the Braddock Academy are also very good. The interaction between them all is great, even if it is rather volatile.

A clever part to this tale is the use of flashbacks, which give you an insight in to the personalities, and happenings before they were all kidnapped, and with Kid Briton, he is a bully, a plain and simple bully.

I grew to dislike him quite a bit as the tale unfolded, especially with his antics at the Braddock Academy. He is so far removed from the Brian Braddock that we know, and when his death actually happened, I wasn't pleased, or even annoyed, but it didn't anger me as much as it would have if I had grown to like him.

If this story is all a virtual reality game created by Arcade, and the young heroes aren't actually croaking ,their mental state at the end of it will be in a somewhat traumatic condition, and I can see some of them becoming quite damaged, especially Apex, who has the ability to convince anyone to do what she wants them to do, all for her own gain, she wants to be last man standing. The favourite to win has got to be X-23, but one thing I've learned by reading this, is that nothing is going to be predictable. My personal favourite now is Cullen Bloodstone... 'of the Monster Hunter Bloodstones', who has yet to show his potential.

I wasn't sure if I would buy the second volume, because of Kid Briton's death, but now I'm quite excited about the second volume, and I will buy it when it's released.