Monthly Archives: July 2009

Check. This. Art.

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Those are one-of-a-kind sketch cards that were included in the Marvel Masterpieces 3 packs at random. The artist is Meghan Hetrick, and she is our new hero.

Click here for more. Spectacular stuff.

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Wrecking Crews, Taking Names.

TheWrecker

While talking about the upcoming Marvel Superstars game with the worldwide flock of friends on CBR, we received a strange request for a large image of the Wrecker masterpiece by Arthur Suydam. Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together? Mission accomplished.

I can’t wait to see the art for the new game.  Vs. System was one of the most glorious galleries that mankind has ever known.

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It Is Called “Marvel Superstars”.

UpperDeck

It is the news we have all been waiting for, and it is official. Upper Deck will continue to produce the highest quality trading card games in the world using the most spectacular characters in the universe. The first new product will be called Marvel Superstars, and it will debut at GenCon Indianapolis on August 13th, 2009.

“We are extremely excited about the possibilities that this newest partnership opens up for us,” said Scott Gaeta, director of new business development at Upper Deck. “Gamers and trading card enthusiasts alike will benefit greatly as a result of the collaborative efforts by both companies.”

Paul Gitter, president of consumer products, North America at Marvel, added: “The Marvel Universe and Marvel Studios’ upcoming slate of feature films are ideally suited for trading cards and trading card games that will appeal to a wide audience.”

At this particular moment in time, on Sunday July 26th, 2009, at 2:12 pm Eastern, the googling of “Marvel Superstars” only turns up only one specific match. It is a gorgeous fan-based painting by Deputee on deviantart.com. Feast your eyes.

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That is just a taste of what we have in store. Spider-Man, Captain America, and Nightcrawler against Magneto and Juggernaut, captured on cardboard. Here is another quote from Scott Gaeta to help us frame the future.

Vs. System was a great game but the general consensus in our discussions both internally and with Marvel is that we want to broaden the accessibility. Our target is still core gamers but the real growth potential is reaching the tens of millions of fans who have been exposed to all the great Marvel characters in recent years. Our goal is to bring new players in to our category and to do that we feel we need a new game. As we get closer to launch we’ll share more details but I can say that we are going to do something very fresh with our new Marvel TCG.

Very fresh indeed. Starting with the name. Marvel Superstars, here we go!

Stay tuned to this station for more, and bookmark our new blog which will be dedicated totally to the new game.

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Filed under Comic Books, Vs. System, Weekend in Heaven

Joe Quesada Wants Squirrel Girl To End Dark Reign.

DarkReign   squirrelgirl

Comic-Con 2009 has just gone transcendent. It happened during the Marvel Comics panel discussing their massive ongoing inter-title event known as Dark Reign.

Dark Reign is one of those messy affairs that threatens to destroy the very fabric of the Marvel Universe. Norman Osborn, that guy who throws little pumpkin bombs, is the main mastermind threatening world destruction. No one knows who, when, or how he will be stopped.

If Joe Quesada has his way, Dark Reign will end with a bushy red tail.

During the panel discussion, the conversation turned to Squirrel Girl:

Fan in the audience: “Does she kick Norman’s ass?

Joe Quesada: “You read my mind, I want her to be the end of this!”

Dear Joe, we want that too. We realize that you were probably joking, and that you don’t have the power to make it happen on your own. Please consider it anyway.

Thank you.

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Comic-Con 2009: Cosplay Costumed Caption Contest and Character Identification Treasure Hunt.

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Here’s the deal. We have selected our 12 favorite cosplay costumed characters from Comic-Con 2009. Now it’s up to you. Identify all twelve. Tell us what they are thinking. Win prizes. In exactly 14 days we will choose a winner, and that lucky fool will recieve a custom hand-painted tee shirt glorifying their brilliance. That’s right. The champion gets to wear their winning entry.

You can leave your guesses and captions in the comments, or send them email.  Ready, set, put on the costume, go!

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Mad love to greatwhitesnark for the photographs, now get crackin’!

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Loeb Confirms Red She-Hulk.

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Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness are the madmen at Marvel Comics responsible for the consciousness-altering reality of the Red Hulk. Today at Comic-Con 2009 they admitted that the redness is spreading.

It seems that Domino and X-Force will soon be involved in unraveling the secret of the Red Hulk.  Jennifer Walters goes lobster in the process.

Loeb said this about the new hotness:

Ed did the design, but Ian Churchhill certainly made it his own. The two of them sent stuff back and forth until everyone was happy. Ed’s big contribution to it was that he wanted this big, long, flowing mane of hair that was black and had a red streak in it – sort of like the Bride of Frankenstein. It makes her look super cool. We worked a long time on what it is that she wears because we didn’t want her to be wearing what Jen wears, and we didn’t want her to be wearing a white torn shirt. What she has on is very specific. 

Her personality is unique and somewhat new to the Hulk mythos. We’re having an enormous amount of fun with her.

 The images that were released along with the announcement provide an enormous amount of fun for the rest of us as well, and we cannot wait to see the Red She-Hulk in person.

Enjoy.

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One more tease: Marvel is starting plans for a Hulk family crossover called “World War Hulks”. Large times ahead.

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Exclusive Harry Potter Prop Cards.

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If you have never seen cards like this, you are in for a treat. They each contain actual pieces of material from costumes and props that were used in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. These particular cards are tough to acquire, since they are only available by getting lucky in the goodie bags at the Artbox booth at San Diego Comic-Con 2009. Here is the full set:

SDCC09-CP1 Just Like That Hat & Boxing Telescope Boxes
SDCC09-CP2 Slughorn’s Office Cushions & Armchair
SDCC09-CP3 Slughorn’s Christmas Party Guest Costume & Lantern Prop
SDCC09-CP4 Death Eater & Dumbledore Dual Costume

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Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2: New Screenshots from Comic-Con.

ironfist

Wow. On the day that Activision announced the inclusion of Jean Grey and Gambit in the upcoming Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 video game, they also released screenshots of the most amazing looking Iron Fist and Deadpool that a joystick has ever controlled.

Simply gorgeous.

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SDCC 2009 Is On, Comic-Con Craziness Ensues.

twilight

There was a major scuffle at the front of the line. The middle-aged women who had been waiting all night to demand that Edward produce a REAL birth certificate and prove that he was an American citizen… wait. Wrong wackos.

Seriously, get this. As security guards were trying to keep order amongst the faithful who had given a whole day of their life to see Twilight’s New Moon flashed first, some of the younger, smarter fans computed the error of their ways. The rule: You can save a space for three other people in line. The girls: “So, like, if one of those three people saves three more spaces, and, like, one of those saves three more…”

Security guard, pwnd.

Wanna see the coolest thing we have seen so far? You know the graphic novel called The Red Star? The one with Maya Antares, that hot Russian witch? The one they made into a video game? Check out the convention-exclusive shoes.

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Believe me, those will get broken in rather quickly this weekend.

Finally, a strange coincidence. Our beloved local heroes, the Florida Marlins baseball club, will actually be in the house. It seems their schedule smiled, and they have a day off just in time for Comiccon, while they are in town to play the Padres. Forget James Cameron, skip Tim Burton. Get me a Hanley Ramirez autograph if you get a chance. Thanks.

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Source Material: X-Babies Attack.

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I was surfing around to see if anyone had leaked the zombie variant cover of X-Babies #1 this morning, and I found a treasure. That is the full Adam Kubert art from the variant cover of Uncanny X-Men #461. Why so special? Let me explain.

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I had been working for Upper Deck nearly three years before I tiptoed the tikes into the arena. No one had ever mixed X-Babies and Vs. System before, and the new mutant power that had been given to the smaller characters with the X-Men team affiliation seemed fairly fertile. I named my deck “X-Babies Attack” and I wrote a full article about its strategy. The rest is history.

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One year later, my efforts bore the ultimate in cardboard fruit. The progeny of my presence was rewarded by the highest honor possible in a trading card gaming community. Upper Deck named a card after my creation, and printed it in the Marvel Evolution set. It’s a beautiful thing.

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X-Babies Go Zombie, Wolverine Appreciates Art, and Maybe More Squirrel Girl.

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That little bag of treats will be available from Marvel Comics in October. X-Babies in the flesh. And, in case that is not sweet enough for you, there will also be a Zombie Babies variant cover. Image not available, artist to be announced, thrill already engaged.

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Remember the Wolverine fine artist riffs? October sees them all in one place. Break out the wine and cheese. It’s a beautiful thing.

Deadpool #900 is a Giant-Sized tribute to the coolest walking hamburger patty of all time. As if he could try to hide it, some of the solicitation seems to say Squirrel Girl:

Wade bares his soul (and a lot more) to a shrink who’s got major squirrels in his own attic.

Could that mean more Doreen Green? Remains to be seen.

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Squirrel Girl Named “Coolest Character in the Marvel Universe” by Brian Michael Bendis.

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It’s true. Brian Michael Bendis has annointed Squirrel Girl to her rightful place. Doreen Green’s nutty alterego is “the coolest character in the Marvel Universe”.

But where did she come from? In all her appearances, Squirrel Girl has never shucked the shell of her origin story. We turn, therefore, to the magnificent dopes at TVtropes for a few theories. Some of them make perfect sense.

Squirrel Girl is the daughter of the Beyonder.

Her powers have not fully manifested themselves, but she unconsciously warps reality around herself. This allows the teenage girl to beat heavy hitters of the Marvel universe who should otherwise mop the floor with her.

These ideas are not official. They come from the Wild Mass Guess (WMG) page on TVtropes.org. That one hits home. Squirrel Girl doesn’t even know how powerful she is. She warps reality around herself naturally, without being conscious of what that means. Maybe she really is the daughter of the Beyonder.

Squirrel Girl is a student of Miaowara Tomokato, the Samurai Cat.

Tomokato was the original practitioner of the martial art based on the Dark Side of Absurdity, which allows the wielder to exercise effective omnipotence and beat any foe, however cosmic, but only if the audience is laughing. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Add in that Tomokato is himself a time-travelling and parallel-timeline-travelling anthropomorphic furry animal, and that his first candidate as his protege (his nephew Shiro) is a hideously unlikeable psychopathic brat, and its not unlikely that at sometime throughout his wanderings through all time and space, he met the utterly charming Doreen and decided that she was a more worthy successor to his school. (The character of Miaowara Tomokato is from the ‘Samurai Cat’ novels by Mark E. Rogers).Supporting this theory is the fact that among the very long list of fictional realities Samurai Cat has visited is Hyperborea, which as we all know is part of the ancient past of the Marvel Universe. So he is entirely capable of having travelled to Earth-616.

Wow, that one makes me smile. It would be a crossover like none we have ever seen, but it would be awful sweet; Squirrel Girl’s unlimited power comes from the ability to make the audience laugh. It includes the fourth wallery that she is known for, and it just might work.

Squirrel Girl’s using an infinite loop.

Obviously, she has Earthcraft, Squirrel’s Nest, and a Forest in play.

Oh my. Perhaps the most gut-busting Magic the Gathering reference of all time. Moments like this always make me glad to be alive. Disturbingly plausible, indeed.

Squirrel Girl’s secret is she’s a DC character trapped in the Marvel Universe.

She’s able to do everything she does witha happy-go-lucky outlook on life, is confident, well-adjusted and straightforward, and manages to do it all with no Angst. The excessive Angst typical of Marvel characters, such as Speedball becoming Penance, drives her crazy. If she was in the DC Universe, she’d be utterly unremarkable and typical.

This explains why she can’t die either. When Marvel and DC do a crossover, they aren’t allowed to kill each others characters. So, no matter how deep a hole Marvel puts Squirrel Girl in, she’s gonna get out because she’s a just a DC guest character.

Ummm, no. DC characters are happy-go-lucky? That better be snark, buddy. To quote Uncle Albert in Mary Poppins: “Don’t let’s get silly.”

Those are a  few of the theories surrounding Squirrel Girl’s origins. She has been officially named “the coolest character in the Marvel Universe” by Brian Michael Bendis. All we need now is that namesake miniseries mentioned by Joe Quesada and we will be set.

Make it so.

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