The customers seem to have gotten through.
Tom Knighton writes: For a lot of comics fans, Marvel just isn’t what it used to be. While the comic line that gave us Thor, Captain America, The Hulk, and the X-Men has often been tinged with a bit of politics — for example, discrimination against mutants is common in the Marvel universe — recent comics from the company have been overwhelmingly political, and always politically left.
Many fans have been less than appreciative. Luckily, it now seems those days are over:
Of late this kind of storytelling has become more pronounced, probably kicked off with the likes of The Authority, Ultimates and Civil War, with more recent stories in comics such a s Captain America, The Champions and Ms. Marvel wearing their politics firmly on their spandex sleeves.There has also been reaction from some fan communities and retailers to these kind of stories as having no place in superhero comics, despite all the many examples that have preceded it. Maybe it’s a little more obvious now? Maybe everyone is interpreting everything politically? Maybe fans wish for a time when they didn’t realise their superhero comics had political elements? Read the rest of this entry »
Tony Stark‘s support of government oversight for the Avengers Team can be traced to the grieving mother, Miriam. After a speech at M.I.T., Stark met Miriam who lost her son in the Sokovia. Miriam puts a face to collateral damage the Avengers leave in their wake. She indicated that her son was planning to help the world but was killed in an Avengers mission gone wrong.
Miriam suggests that Stark has innocent blood on his hands. Following the encounter, Stark works with General Thaddeus Ross to develop and sign a bill, the Sokovia Accords. Read the rest of this entry »
The revenue from the world’s second-largest movie market accounted for 13 percent of the $13.5 billion generated by the top 20 movies from U.S. studios.
The revenue from the world’s second-largest movie market accounted for 13 percent of the $13.5 billion generated by the top 20 movies from U.S. studios, according to a Reuters analysis of data from tracking firm Box Office Mojo. That was triple the 4 percent level five years ago.
The numbers illustrate China’s growing importance to U.S. studios such as Walt Disney Co’s (DIS.N) Disney Studios, Time Warner Inc‘s (TWX.N) Warner Bros. and Comcast Corp’s (CMCSA.O) Universal Pictures.
While China’s booming box office growth stalled this year in single digits, the country remains vital for Hollywood studios, box office analysts said. In 2016, China overtook the United States as the country with the largest number of movie screens.
Most of the top Hollywood movies would have reached the top of the film charts without China. But the additional revenue is significant, especially for blockbuster films that can cost $200 million or more to make.
“You can grab an extra hundred million (dollars) of revenue from the Chinese market,” said Jonathan Papish, film industry analyst for China Film Insider. “You can’t do that anywhere else in the world.”
Walt Disney Co’s (DIS.N) animated “Zootopia,” known in China as “Crazy Animal City,” was Hollywood’s biggest hit there, with $236 million in ticket sales, and ranked as the third-highest-grossing movie worldwide. China’s film authorities extended the movie’s theatrical run by two weeks beyond the typical 30 days for foreign films. Read the rest of this entry »
By Alex Schomburg. [The Comic Book Catacombs] (via greystokedpodcast)
Source: Not Pulp Covers
It looks like the team-up of Spider-Man and Iron Man seen in Captain America: Civil War won’t be the duo’s last.
Robert Downey Jr., who plays the red and gold-armored Marvel character, has closed a deal to join the cast of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Marvel and Sony’s reboot of the web-crawling superhero, sources tell THR.
Tom Holland will star as Peter Parker/Spider-Man and is making his debut as the character in Civil War (and already garnering praise for his take on the role).
The movie establishes a key relationship between Tony Stark/Iron Man and Parker and Homecoming will continue that thread.
Homecoming has been casting up ahead of its June start of production. Marisa Tomei will play Aunt May, while Zendaya is one of the female leads. Tony Revolori, who starred opposite Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Laura Harrier, who appeared in the soap opera One Life to Live, are also boarding the production, which is being produced by Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal. Read the rest of this entry »
The city’s biggest animation convention draws thousands of comic lovers each year. Fictional characters too make an appearance. We speak to superheroes Spiderman and Captain America, and Minions. Photo/Video: Joyu Wang/The Wall Street Journal
Dave McNary reports: Marvel has unveiled a dozen of the licensees for next year’s “Captain America: Civil War” in the wake of Marvel-Disney’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” grossing $1.35 billion at the worldwide box office.
Marvel gave retailers a first look Wednesday at Licensing Expo 2015 in Las Vegas with categories including apparel, accessories, footwear, core toys, sporting goods, consumer electronics, seasonal, costumes, party goods, stationery, food, home furnishings and collectibles.
“The Avengers team is both aspirational and hugely merchandisable, made up of multiple, unique heroes coming together with amazing skills, cool vehicles and a high tech headquarters. Captain America: Civil War’ not only gives us new storytelling for our favorite superheroes, but also introduces new ones allowing us to expand product lines for kids and fans.”
–Paul Gitter, senior VP of licensing for Marvel at Disney Consumer Products
Hasbro, Lego, Funko, Hot Wheels, Rubies, Mad Engine, C-Life, Jay Franco, Global Brand Group, Kellogg’s, Hallmark and American Greetings have signed on. The show will exhibit finished art and initial renditions of products, which will began landing on store shelves about eight weeks prior to the May 6 opening.
Paul Gitter, senior VP of licensing for Marvel at Disney Consumer Products, told Variety that the overall campaign will build of the success of licensed products for “Age of Ultron.” Read the rest of this entry »
Sequel ‘Age of Ultron’ pulls in $187.7 million domestically, but falls short of record set by the original film
“Avengers: Age of Ultron” opened to a phenomenal $187.7 million in the U.S. and Canada, according to studio estimates, the second-biggest debut of all time. But many in Hollywood were surprised it came in 9% lower than the record set three years ago by the original “Avengers,” which also opened the first weekend of May and kicked off summer moviegoing season.
Saturday night’s boxing match between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, along with the Kentucky Derby and NBA and NHL playoff games, undoubtedly depressed grosses a bit for “Age of Ultron,” from Walt Disney Co.’s consistently successful Marvel Studios. What’s not yet clear is whether the decrease in ticket sales indicate any audience weariness for Hollywood’s accelerating pace of big-budget “event” films.
The movie industry is expecting a blockbuster summer at the box office, thanks primarily to highly anticipated sequels such as “Jurassic World,” “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation,” “Ted 2” and “Minions,” as well as Pixar Animation Studios’ “Inside Out.” If even a portion of the population is growing tired of such films, that could be bad for major studios.
In good news, however, there are no signs of fatigue overseas. “Age of Ultron” has collected $439 million internationally after opening in many countries last week. Compared with the first “Avengers,” it has grossed 7% more in U.S. dollars and 31% more in local currencies in the same markets over the same period of time, said Dave Hollis, Disney’s executive vice president of distribution.
The most successful foreign country is South Korea, where the “Avengers”sequel has grossed $55.4 million. Part of the movie was shot and takes place in that country. This weekend, “Age of Ultron” set a record for the biggest opening of all time in Mexico, with $25.5 million. Read the rest of this entry »
“I can’t tell you exactly how this one turns out, but I think it’s safe to say that people will be blown away by this movie’s spectacular 10-figure revenue.”
LOS ANGELES—Promising that the sequel would continue to follow the impressive feats of an incredible group of revenue streams, executives at Marvel Studios confirmed Friday that Avengers: Age Of Ultron picks up right where the first film’s profits left off.
“Of course, this film is going to leave the door wide open for possible future Avengers movie profits, and we might even explore the option of earning income from each individual character.”
“The last Avengers movie triumphantly concluded with $1.5 billion at the international box office, and Age Of Ultron will jump right back in and continue earning from there,” said Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, Read the rest of this entry »
A guide to the 19 Marvel movies and TV shows coming out in the next four years
Eliana Dockterman and Heather Jones write: Whether you love or hate Avengers: Age of Ultron, there are plenty more Marvel superheroes to come. Disney and Marvel are releasing 19 movies and TV shows between now and 2019, and they are all interconnected. All these titles are building up to Avengers: Infinity Wars, Parts I and II, out in 2018 and 2019. These films will focus on the villain Thanos, who will try to gather six powerful gems called Infinity Stones to create an Infinity Gauntlet with the power to destroy the universe.
The Avengers (and probably some other heroes, like Captain Marvel and Doctor Strange) will have to stop him. See how the heroes and villains connect to one another, and plan out your viewing schedule…
— The Daily Dot (@dailydot) April 30, 2015
The success of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is a testament to the strength of the global market, which now accounts for 70% or more of a major film’s box office gross. Two decades ago, foreign ticket sales usually comprised less than half of a movie’s revenues.
“The bar was high, but this is a sign of unbelievable momentum in the marketplace. It all goes back to the strength of the brand and the incredible work the Marvel team does in telling stories in such a consistent way and creating these worlds.”
— Dave Hollis, Disney’s distribution chief
Disney and Marvel’s super team adventure was the highest-grossing film in everywhere it opened, and has now rolled out in 55% of the international marketplace, including such major locales as France, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia, Korea and Australia.
“We are living in rarefied air with ‘Avengers’ to be even talking about these kind of numbers. A weekend like this is why a lot of people think it could be even bigger than the first one.”
— Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak
Going into the weekend, Disney was projecting a foreign debut of between $160 million to $175 million.
“The bar was high, but this is a sign of unbelievable momentum in the marketplace,” said Dave Hollis, Disney’s distribution chief. “It all goes back to the strength of the brand and the incredible work the Marvel team does in telling stories in such a consistent way and creating these worlds.”
The hotly anticipated superhero sequel opens next week in the U.S., where it is expected to earn north of $200 million and could top the first “Avengers” film’s record-breaking $207.4 million bow. Bringing Thor, Iron Man, Captain America and other costumed heroes together isn’t cheap, and “Avengers: Age of Ultron” carries a $250 million pricetag. Read the rest of this entry »
Zach Epstein writes: It seems like Marvel can do no wrong these days. Every movie the company releases is a smash hit at the box office, and the upcoming film Avengers: Age of Ultron should end up being one of the studio’s biggest blockbusters of all time. Now, with the new Avengers movie inching ever closer to its premiere less than three weeks from today, Marvel has once again teased fans with a brand new clip from the film.
We’ve seen several Avengers: Age of Ultron trailers at this point, and Marvel has released a number of clips as well. We even have some great behind-the-scenes footage to enjoy from the upcoming superhero flick. And now, we can toss yet another tantalizing clip onto the pile….(read more)
“He’s the boss. I just pay for everything and design everything. Make everyone look cooler.”
— Tony Stark, in a new trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron
With only 43 days to go before Avengers: Age of Ultron, we can expect a barrage of stuff like this after months of a tantalizing trickle….(read more)
Captain America #138 (June 1971)
Art John Romita Sr. & John Romita Sr
Words by Stan Lee
Republicans look like they’re obsessed with finding a superhero
The one-time First Lady, U.S. senator and Secretary of State pumped up a political crowd in Silicon Valley this week by vowing, presumably as president, to “crack every last glass ceiling.” As a political issue, the “glass ceiling” dates back to . . . 1984. It may be older than “income inequality.”
“The U.S. just tried electing a rookie president and had six years of amateur hour. It doesn’t work.”
But anywhere else two people gather who aren’t Democrats, you will fall into the same intense political conversation with a one-word question: Whoduyalike? Who do you like among the names floating in GOP circles for the 2016 nomination? Walker, Bush, Paul, Rubio, Jindal, Perry, Cruz, Christie, Fiorina, Carson, Santorum, Pence. I kind of like…
“And it won’t work again if the next president, whether rookie or former governor, shows up in the Oval Office in January 2017 with not much more than his victory cape and some political pals.”
Two significant meetings of conservative groups take place today through Saturday, and some of these people will pitch themselves at both the CPAC conference just outside Washington, and to the Club for Growth in Palm Beach. Mike Huckabee will preach on his own behalf Thursday evening to the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville.
It’s all great fun. But there’s something a little off about the Republican presidential conversation right now. It doesn’t come close to reflecting the seriousness of the task facing voters in 2016: Elect a successor to the most catastrophic American presidency in over 80 years. And it ain’t over yet.
“Their Captain America could be named Rand, Scott, Jeb or Marco, but the mere landing of this political superhero in the Oval Office will turn the country around. Really? That’s all it is going to take?”
Instead of offering an anxious electorate a recognizable alternative to this status quo, the Republicans look like they’re obsessed with discovering Captain America.
Their Captain America could be named Rand, Scott, Jeb or Marco, but the mere landing of this political superhero in the Oval Office will turn the country around. Really? That’s all it is going to take?
It is hard to overstate what one-man-shows these presidential candidates have become—one guy, some political pros they’ve hired, their donors and whatever thoughts are running through their or their pollsters’ heads.
In normal times, it might not matter much that a CPAC conference with its gauntlet of speeches and straw polls looks a lot like the NFL Scouting Combine. Chris Christie has no vertical leap, but man can he lift.
COMIC BOOK CLOSE UP
B L A C K C A T
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #194 (July 1979)
Art by Keith Pollard (pencils), Frank Giacoia (inks) & Ben Sean (colors)
Mild-Mannered Software Engineer by Day, Passionate Cartoonist by Night: From the Streets of NY, Meet the Sikh Captain AmericaPosted: January 22, 2015
Most office workers stick to wearing a shirt and trousers. So why has a Sikh man in his 40s been talking to strangers in New York while dressed as Captain America?
“I want to challenge people’s perceptions, I want them to have a mind freak when they see me.”
So says Vishavjit Singh, a mild-mannered software engineer by day and passionate cartoonist by night.
“When I first put on the suit, it was one of the most amazing days of my life. It was like a switch had been flicked. Strangers were embracing me, cops were asking me for photos, I was being dragged into weddings.”
The 43-year-old’s fellow Americans have not always been so welcoming. A devout Sikh, complete with traditional turban and flowing beard, Vishavjit – or Vish as he is known – has always attracted attention.
“I’m still seen by many as the ‘ultimate other’ in American society -a radical Muslim. Harassment goes up and down depending on the news,” he says.
He turned to his hobby of drawing as an outlet, creating cartoons depicting what life in America was like for Sikhs – focusing on the patriotism he felt for the country he was born in and the pride for the religion he belonged to.
“I realised I had to draw something fresh and the new Captain America film gave me an idea. How about a superhero who has a beard and a turban and fights intolerance?”
A local comic book convention provided the perfect opportunity for him to get his work noticed and it was there that he met a photographer who suggested he bring the character to life – by dressing up as Captain America himself.
“My first response was, ‘no way’. I’d never worn a costume and I’m a skinny guy who’s been kind of teased and bullied all my life,” he says.
Then things changed. In August 2012, six people were killed after a US Army veteran with ties to white supremacist groups opened fire on worshipers at a gurdwara in Wisconsin while preparations for a service were under way.
[The film, ‘Red, White and Beard‘ is now available to watch online.]
The incident forced Singh to once again reassess the way minorities like himself were being perceived in America. His cartoons were a way of tackling the stigma faced by Sikhs, but the self-confessed introvert felt he still had to do more.
“I was trying out the uniform at home for the first time, stuffing sports pads in to make myself look bigger and trying to work out a plan.”
It was then that he remembered his earlier conversation at the comic convention. He swiftly ordered a bespoke Captain America suit tailored to fit his slender 5’9″, 130 pound (58kg) frame.
“My wife came over to me and said, ‘just be yourself’.”
Singh began visiting college campuses and youth retreats dressed in character – complete with Captain America’s trademark shield and an ‘A’ on his turban – giving talks about social identity and life as a Sikh.
“We put people in brackets of Muslims, Jews, right wing, left wing. I want to force people to get out of those labels, out of those boxes and to start a conversation.”
It was at one of these talks that he met three filmmakers – Ryan Westra, Ben Fischinger and Matthew Rogers – then students, who were intrigued by the message Vish had come to deliver.
Read the rest of this entry »
CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS #1 (March 1941)
By Jack Kirby & Joe Simon
The first issue of Captain America came out on December 20, 1940. It shows Cap slugging Adolph Hitler in the mouth.
Good stuff, but note the date. America wouldn’t enter World War II for about another year. At the time, many Americans wanted to stay out of another European war. And here was an American superhero punching the leader of a sovereign nation in the kisser. Subsequent issues kept pitting Captain America against Hitler and his goons.
“A theater chain caved. The movie studio caved. As of now, The Interview will never be theatrically released. In theory, Sony could release it online, via on-demand and streaming channels.”
The angriest reaction came from the German-American Bund, Hitler’s stooges in the U.S. They harassed Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, the creators of Captain America, with hate mail and telephoned death threats.
“The theme was ‘death to the Jews,’” Simon wrote in his memoir. “At first we were inclined to laugh off their threats, but then, people in the office reported seeing menacing-looking groups of strange men in front of the building on 42nd Street, and some of the employees were fearful of leaving the office for lunch.”
[read the full text at National Review]
Simon called the cops, and as soon as the police showed up, the phone rang. Mayor Fiorello La Guardia wanted to speak to the creators of Captain America. Simon got on the line. “You boys over there are doing a good job,” the voice squeaked. “The city of New York will see that no harm will come to you.’”
That is how it’s supposed to work in a democracy. Read the rest of this entry »
TODAY IN COMIC BOOK HISTORY: December 11, 1942
In the pages of Captain Marvel Adventures #18 we learn Billy Batson has a long lost twin sister, Mary Batson. Mary is based off of actress Judy Garland by artist Marc Swayze and soon gains the same powers as her brother and is later dubbed Mary Marvel.
Mary Marvel would go on to headline her own book with supporting characters such as Uncle Marvel. Although Wonder Woman debuted a year earlier, Mary Marvel gained a great following especially from younger girls.
In the mid-fifties Fawcett Publications ceased the Mary Marvel books and all the Captain Marvel Family titles due to a copyright lawsuit by DC, and she wouldn’t be seen again for 20 years. DC eventually started publishing stories about the Marvel Family in the early 70s under the title “Shazam”. Read the rest of this entry »
Next: Santa Claus, Fact or Fiction?
Emil Lendof, Rich Goldstein write:
Joe Simon was the first guy Jack Kirby ever met who wasn’t from New York City (he came from Syracuse), but together they created most of the famous comic book characters that remain standard bearers for the industry including (but not limited to): Captain America, Black Panther, Ant-Man, Silver Surfer, Sandman, The X-Men, Thor. Kirby was the lightning-fast illustrator who dropped out of Pratt after two weeks, Simon the businessman who made sure the pair got a square deal (a mother from Kirby’s neighborhood was afraid life as an artist would land a boy “in a beret in Greenwich Village, talking to loose women”). Read the rest of this entry »