Fantastic Forum

Marvel Announces "Death of X" Variants

Marvel’s Mutants Meet Their Maker in July’s DEATH OF X VARIANTS!

New York, NY—May 9th, 2016— Marvel is pleased to unveil the first of 20 special Death of X Variant Covers, coming to some of Marvel’s biggest titles this July. From Jean Grey to Nightcrawler to the All-New Wolverine – no Mutant is safe from the Death of X. As the highly classified DEATH OF X storyline approaches, be there for the end of the dream!

Rendered by some of the top artists and brightest rising stars in the industry, look for these can’t miss Death of X Variant Covers coming to 20 of your favorite Marvel titles this July:

  • ·All-New X-Men #11
  • ·All-New, All-Different Avengers #12
  • ·Amazing Spider-Man #15
  • ·Black Panther #4
  • ·Captain America: Steve Rogers #3
  • ·Daredevil #9
  • ·Deadpool #15
  • ·Doctor Strange #10
  • ·Extraordinary X-Men #12
  • ·Guardians of the Galaxy #10
  • ·Invincible Iron Man #11
  • ·Mighty Thor #9
  • ·New Avengers #13
  • ·Old Man Logan #8
  • ·Power Man and Iron Fist #6
  • ·Spider-Man #6
  • ·The Astonishing Ant-Man #10
  • ·Uncanny Avengers #11
  • ·Uncanny Inhumans #12
  • ·Uncanny X-Men #10

The end is near. There won’t be a dry eye in the house. Get a front row seat to the demise of the X-Men this July with these twenty Death of X Variants, available only at your local comic shop!

Ironfist: A Review Within A Review

There has been a lot of discussion about the latest Marvel/Netflix collaboration “Iron Fist”. I was very worried when every review I read about the show said almost the exact same horrible things. While I normally prefer to read a review of the entire series, I also believe that 6 episodes (almost half the series) is more than enough time to establish your characters and hook in the viewer. When time finally arrived for me to watch it for myself, I cracked open a bottle of whiskey to help me get through the difficult chore ahead of me. Five episodes in, I was still sober.

To be clear, this is not an award winning masterpiece of a show, but I wouldn’t call it the worst of the Marvel Netflix-a-verse. It follows the now familiar formula of the others. The hero fights the big bad alongside someone with similar talents in the first half, gets hurt by another bigger-bad, Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson) patches them up, then a final battle where the hero pushes his abilities farther than ever before. If this was among the complaints of other review sites I might have taken their articles more seriously.

The common thread among other reviews is a lack of action. The show does spend a lot more time in the drama aspect of the show but it by no means ignore the action. The earlier fights do suffer from what seems to be a lack of stunt work experience from the actors. The moves are slow and it’s difficult to believe there was any real power in some of the hits. But this doesn’t last long as other, better trained, actors take over the action. This show has what I consider to be one of the best fight sequences among all the Marvel shows (Describing it would be a spoiler). I truly believe that all those reviewers expected a stereotypical Kung-Fu action grindhouse movie every episode. My biggest dilemma now is, do I classify them as clickbait or fake news?

For a full rundown of the show from a group of real experts check out the March 22 episode of Fantastic Forum “The One About Ironfist”.

Warning: spoilers

MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS "BLACK PANTHER: A NATION UNDER OUR FEET – PART ONE"

Today Marvel released part one of a video series called Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet introducing the world  to the Black Panther of  the Marvel Universe.  The commentary is provided by current Black Panther scribe, Ta-Nehisi Coates, as he gives some background into the motivations of the pivitol characters of issue one.  The video also features a slick track from ctitically accliamed Hip Hop group Run The Jewels.  It's comics, it's Hip Hop, it's commentary on what makes a man, a hero and a monarch all in one bite sized video.  So check out Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet - Part One below and let us know if it has you thinking about picking up Black Panther #2 available tomorrow(May 11th) at your local comic vendor.

Watch “Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet – Part One” now!

Uncanny Inhumans Assault Stark Tower

So here is a preview of Uncanny Inhuman #11 which is a tie-in to Civil War II which has officially kicked off.  Uncanny Inhumans has been an amazing series with Charles Soule crafting the tales of Attilan's royal family.  Pair that with a veteran like Paco Medina's art and you have a must read book.  Check out both stunning covers and a preview page along with the official press release below.

Assault On Stark Tower – Your First Look at UNCANNY INHUMANS #11!
Plus the Debut of MOSAIC!

New York, NY—June 3rd, 2016 — With one of their own at the center of the conflict, Medusa leads her people into battle this June in UNCANNY INHUMANS #11 – a Civil War II tie-in! Superstar creators Charles Soule and Carlos Pacheco bring the fireworks as the Inhumans wage war against…Tony Stark? Fueled by the can’t miss events of Civil War II #2 – Medusa cannot stay neutral any longer. And she’s bringing her armies to the Stark’s doorstep…literally! Plus – this issue features the dazzling debut of the much-anticipated Mosaic? But who is this new Inhuman? And are they friend or foe? Find out as the drums of war beat in New Attilan this June in UNCANNY INHUMANS #11!

UNCANNY INHUMANS #11 (APR160889)
Written by CHARLES SOULE
Art & Cover by CARLOS PACHECO
Variant Cover by YASMINE PUTRI (
APR160890)
Civil War Reenactment Variant by KHOI PHAM (
APR160891)
FOC – 06/06/16 On-Sale – 06/29/16

Uncanny Inhumans 11 Preview 11

Uncanny Inhumans 11 Putri Variant1

Watchmen Co Creator Dave Gibbons On How BvS Got it Wrong

Dave Gibbons was recently at MCM London Comic Con where he was asked to comment on the revalations of DC's new comic book Rebirth.  After giving a prompt "no comment" Gibbons did go on to speak towards ZackSnyder's work on the Watchmen film and his current work on the DC cinematic universe films and how it compare to what they are doing at Marvel Studios.  You can check out Flicks In The City's videos at the the link below.  Let us know  if you agree with Dave Gibbons assesment of Batman v Superman or if you think he's the one that has it wrong in the comments below.

DAVE GIBBONS ON BvS VS CIVIL WAR

Marvel Universe Live: A Review

If you would like to see some of your favorite Marvel superheroes in full costume and as always fighting criminal elements, including monsters with lizard tails and others -- then Marvel Universe Live is the show for you.  At Marvel Universe Live you will see a full cast of some of your favorite Marvel characters, some with the added power to perform acrobats and dare-devil riding and stunts while at the same time fighting for justice and the American way.

Norfolk ScopeNorfolk Scope

Marvel Universe Live is a stage show where there are lots of explosions, fireworks, fighting matches and the like to keep your interest.  Some of the fighting can become intense, which can be attributed to the excellent acting chops of the actors and actresses; however, for the very young in attendance, some of the fighting may be a little disconcerting or disturbing -- even if they are accustomed to watching violent cartoons on TV.  My advice during some of the more graphic type fighting scenes is to remind the younger children that no one really gets hurt during the show, and the quick and lightening fighting blows that are levied, never land on the opponents.

In addition to fighting crimes with various theatrical weapons, Marvel superheroes performed knock-down, drag-out fights.  You will see a lot of these types fights in the show. In fact, during some scenes it looked as if nothing but fighting was going on -- so much so that it may be difficult to focus your attention on one fighting area.  This is a plus, in my opinion, because it cemented the professionalism of the actors in doing the fighting, while it heighted the excitement of the audience when so many actions were going on all at once.

Aldrich Killian battles Iron ManAldrich Killian battles Iron Man

Your impression of the show's magnitude would probably depend on what you are used to seeing in a production of this type.  Personally, the last similar show I attended was at the Convention Center in Washington D.C., where the actions took place on a large, round stage surrounded by what looked liked thousands of spectators.  For the show that was held at the Scope in Norfolk, Virginia, there was a seemingly noticeable lack of arena area for the acrobats and stunt driving to take place. The pro of the smaller stage was the audience got a closer view of the superheroes and villains in action while the con was the smaller arena probably gave the show a scaled down type of appearance at first glance. Some of the actions, including the stunt driving probably would have been more spectacular if there were more driving and stunt spaces available at the arena. After a while, one may become used to the arena size.  Also, the actors and actresses seemed to adjust well to the venue's size and structure when acting to the dialogue and performing stunts.  It appeared to have helped that the theatrical props seemed to be adaptable to the size of the arena as well.

Lady Liberty StageLady Liberty Stage

There are also limitations on the type stunts, fights and actions that could take place in the enclosed arena.  Marvel Universe Live took advantage of the space that was available.  For example, in one scene there is large round stage display showing the face of Lady Liberty.  Within this stage display was a winding stairway that provided space for several superheroes to fight against the villains.  Regarding ariel limitations, the air space was used adequately for a villain's airplane to fly high and ultimately get destroyed by explosions while it hovered several feet above the stage area.

Regarding the actors playing the superheroes themselves, some of the actors and actresses appeared sort of smaller in stature including Spiderman, Wolverine, Black Widow and others.  There were exceptions for some of the villains; however, for the most part the superheroes were not as tall as I expected.  Of course, some of the heroes are of the height as depicted in the comic books, and once the show started, which included dare-devil bike stunts and acrobatic moves, it was easy to understand why this was so.  Some of the actors and actresses appeared to be stunt riders first with the capability to maneuver themselves along on their bikes, and were actors and actresses depicting superheroes second.  

There were several crowd-pleasing moments in the show that caused the audience to applaud loudly.  Not to give anything away, these actions included lots of fire in one case and in the other case -- the entrance of one of the larger superheroes in the arena toward the end of the show.  In my opinion, this was the most size, girth and height appropriate superhero who appeared, even though it was obvious an actor was in a large, embellished costume which would probably not be adequate for doing anything more than walking in it much less performing acrobatic stunts. 

Marvel Live Universe is a lot more than stunts and acrobats being done.  There is a storyline that the actors follow during the show. The venue is set up where the audience hears dialogue from the characters who perform actions relative to the booming voices that fill the arena.   For the most part, actions were done in concert with the voice acting.  Once the second half of the show started or maybe even earlier, one may become accustomed to the voice acting and the fact they are watching stunts being done, along with the superheroes moving to the voice actiing -- sort of like "lip-synch acting." In other words, it did not appear as if the characters were actually saying their parts, unless their personal voice acting was recorded earlier.

Hats off to the pyrotechnic professionals who were expert in setting up and executing the firey displays while at the same time keeping the actors and the audience safe.  They managed to do an excellent job of providing just enouigh theatrical fire works to keep the audience happy as well as the actors and actresses unhurt.  

Black WidowBlack Widow

There were an  array of superhero actresses, which included the female Captain America, Black Widow, and a few others.  The female superheroes' presence was not as prevalent as the males in the show which is no fault of Marvel Universe Live but is a reflection of the comic book make-up in general. Their stunts were also not as "jaw-breaking" as some of the males.  For example, some of the stunts performed by the males were jumping using the motorcyles from high altitudes, driving over barrels surrounded by fire, running out on stage engulfed in flames, and other crowd-pleasing feats.  By comparison the most the female characters did including Black Widow was to drive around the stage on motorcycles, being lowered from the ceiling by wires and fighting on a high altitude platform. This mix could possibly change if more female stunt performers auditioned to become a part of Marvel Universe Live.

Marvel Universe Live provided an excellent correlation between the live performance and filmed portions of the story and the scenery.  One may get the impression visually  that the superheroes are actually climbing up the  high, avalance prone mountains as they traversed the ladders staged against the filmed images.

There were also laugh out loud moments in the show, sometimes based upon the dialogue between the superheroes  themselves and sometimes from the narrator to the audience.  Marvel Universe Live demonstrated that even though superheroes have been around for some time, they are able to keep up with the times, including the advent of social media such as Facebook, Twitter along with hashtags.  Some of the most humorous dialogue included the use of social media references in the show.

SpidermanSpiderman

Marvel Universe Live is a show that is entertainment that will delight all ages.  Whether your favorite superhero is Spiderman, Iron Man, Wolverine, or some of the other Marvel superheroes in the show, you are sure to find some moments that will cause you to applaud, laugh or just  leave you in an overall good mood.  It helps that the show is not overly short or long in duration.  The above being said --  The best way to see if you will truly enjoy the show is to of course  go to one in person and find out for yourself.

If Marvel Universe: Live has not been in your area recently, it should arrive soon.  Just check the Marvel Universe: Live website for schedule and site locations.

Listen to Ms.H's interview with Gilyon Brace Wessel who plays Dr. Aldrich Killian on the show.

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About C2E2

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