Thursday, March 31, 2011

5 Days of 5 Ronin: Psylocke

Marvel.com: For the past five weeks, we’ve been witness to a unique and remarkable new take on familiar Marvel icons in 5 RONIN, conceived and executed by writer Peter Milligan, editor Sebastian Girner and a quintet of tremendously talented artists.



Marvel.com: As the only female character, did Psylocke necessitate a different approach from the other Ronin?

Peter Milligan: Different in that a woman would have different roles in that society, and so offered an interesting opportunity for a different take.

Marvel.com: How did having Psylocke as an Oiran change the tone of the story? Do you still consider a Ronin in spirit?

Peter Milligan: Having Psylocke as an Oiran is the story. What’s interesting is that she has no choice in whether she becomes this type of woman or not. But now that she is an Oiran she uses it to her advantage and she never loses sight of her objective—so in this way she is a Ronin in spirit. A person who is loyal and is giving her life to avenging her “master”.
5 Ronin Psylocke sketch by Goran Parlov

Marvel.com: Again, you cleverly replicate Psylocke's powers in an appropriate way here; how did you come up with that?

Peter Milligan: I have to say here that I think that Psylocke is probably my favorite of the five chapters. And once again her “powers” come quite naturally, stemming from her situation.

Marvel.com: Wolverine has a pretty significant guest appearance here, whereas the other chapters up until now have not featured other Ronin aside from the recurring Deadpool cameos; why bring him in?

Peter Milligan: Partly because we are getting close to the end. Psylocke lives and works close to the object of the Ronins’ revenge so as the story reaches its climax the characters will begin to converge. Partly also because the idea of Logan and Psylocke meeting in this way was so irresistible. He also reveals to her something about herself that changes the course of her life; that changes everything.

Marvel.com: What lesson does Psylocke ultimately learn that makes her conclude she's been "hating the wrong person"?

Peter Milligan: I feel that that’s such an important point the reader should read the comic to discover it for themselves. In broad terms Psylocke discovers that everything she has been working towards is the result of an error, an error in the way she understood an act that changed her life many years before.

Marvel.com: Why was Goran Parlov uniquely suited to illustrate this chapter?

Peter Milligan: From the butterflies, to the images of Psylocke as a small girl, to the perfumed boudoir where the mature Psylocke plied her trade, Goran brought beauty. I adored the art in this chapter. So sensuous. And when it had to be, so erotic. And then gritty when Wolverine and the beautiful girl fought. For me, this was perfect.

5 Ronin #5 Spoilers & Art



Spoilers:
Two days after her encounter with Logan, Butterfly is asked to see the Daimyo. He, however, is somehow scared of her and dismisses her services. Deadpool ends up killing him for the Daimyo has betrayed him in the past as well.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Uncanny X-Force #6 Art


Uncanny X-Men #534 WonderCon Variant by Giuseppe Camuncoli

Marvel.com: Marvel is proud to announce that to commemorate their first appearance as an exhibitor at WonderCon, they will be producing an exclusive UNCANNY X-MEN #534 WonderCon variant! Featuring some of the most popular X-Men, this beautiful cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli, created specifically for this San Francisco-based convention, will only be available for sale at the Marvel Booth (#801) while supplies last!

Uncanny X-Force #6 Spoilers

Spoilers: Deathlok senses other Deathlok units from another possible future and believes that they are up to no-good. The alternate Deathlok units are comprised of superheroes who in the future are hunted, killed, and then reanimated as super-cop Deathlok units, which the government sanctions. The alternate Deathloks have been sent back in time to protect their possible future by obtaining a weapon known as the World. Appearantly, after Fantomex killed the child Apocolypse, it caused a disturbance in the time stream sending Deathloks and their controler into phone-booth time machines to fix the glitch. Meanwhile, Psylocke tells Brian Braddock that she aided in the murder of a child. Brian gets angry, but tells her that he can't absolve or condone her, and that he will always love her. His image then disappears, and Warren asks Betsy what she was doing alone in the Danger Room, to which she replies that she was talking to herself. Fantomex and Deathlok manage to escape the others Deathloks with the aid of X-Force. Fantomex then decides that the only way to stop this is by killing the "Father". He then expands the World, X-Force is going in to kill Father and the Future.

New Mutants #23 Spoilers (Age of X, Chapter 4)

Spoilers: Magneto catches up to Legacy (Rogue) and Gambit. Magneto is rebelling as well because he feels there is something wrong. He shows them the Fortress X plans and point to a room he didn't build. He sends them to see what's in the room while he provides the distraction. "X" loses track of Magneto, then tells Moonstar that he has also betrayed them, so now they are looking for him. Rogue borrows Gambit's powers to get to the room Magneto wants them to infiltrate. Magneto frees Kitty and Professor X - he's trying to rescue them. Whomever has created the chaos, its a woman. Xavier says he couldn't stop her. "She took it all. Turned it inside out". He says they have to find her and make her give it back. Rogue and Gambit enter the room. They find Dr. Nemesis frozen in place trying to touch a keyboard. We find out that Nemesis was looking at scans of someone's brain. They find a box, Rogue looks inside and drops the box. Moonstar and her gang catch up to Magneto, they accuse him of murder, he says he's killed no one. They come to a truce until they get all the answers. Something drops on Magnetos and knocks him out, the Force Warriors have taken over control and have relieved Magneto of his command. Gambit asks Rogue what she saw in the box. The whole universe is in the box which is why there is nothing outside the walls of Fortress X...

Thanks to Nekobaghira for the spoilers!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

5 Ronin #4 Art


5 Ronin #4 Spoilers

Spoilers: In Japan, Captain Braddock tells his 9 year-old-daughter that back in England, he and his friends used to caught butterflies and pin them to a board, not for their beauty, just for the sport. He explains to her that in Japan the butterfly is revered for its vigor and grace, something that she would need if she wants to make her way in this violent world. His daughter doesn't understand, for she thinks he will always be there to look after her...

12 years later, the daughter, now assuming the alias of Butterfly has become an Oiran, a courtesan, who has learned how to read men. Unlike the other Oirans, she's tough and stands up to her friends. When she sees Logan, who's seeking for entertainement, Butterfly immediately becomes attracted to him. After spending the night together, Logan tells her that he has heard about her European father and how the Daimyo confiscated his land, which led to him to commit suicide. Logan tells her that her father was a weak man who abbandoned her. This puts Butterfly over the edge, she thinks the Daimyo is the only one to blame, he's the cause of her sorrows. They fight. Logan tells her the Daimyo killed his master and his brothers Ronin, so he's planning to avenge them. Butterfly doesn't want anybody else but her to have the satisfaction of killing the Daimyo. They can't come to an agreement, and Logan pins her to the wall with a sai, and leaves. Butterfly is left wondering that all these years she's been hating the wrong person...

A Little Preview of What's To Come

Straight from Mark Brook's Twitter. A little sneak peek at Psylocke arriving at the Age of Apocalypse. :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

X-Solicits for June 2011

Uncanny X-Force #11
Written by: Rick Remender
Penciled by: Mark Brooks
Cover by: Esad Ribic
Variant Cover by: Mark Brooks
"Dark Angel Saga" pt. 1. Apocalypse is dead. His heir, Archangel, has picked up where his predecessor left off, amassing an army of En Sabah Nur’s greatest servants! The only hope X-Force have of saving Warren Worthington from the dark entity that inhabits his soul, rests in a dimension where Apocalypse, and his technology, took over the world, the solution lies in—The Age of Apocalypse! However, before X-Force can obtain the thing capable of saving their friend, they must defeat The Amazing X-Men!

Uncanny X-Men #538
Written by: Kieron Gillen
Pencils & Cover by: Terry Dodson
Blood has been shed on the island of Utopia as Powerlord
Kruun’s Night of the Knives draws to a close. Who has perished? Who has survived? Discover the answers as vengeance rears its ugly, alien head!






X-Men #12 & #13
Written by: Christopher Yost
Penciled by: Paco Medina & Dalibor Talijic
Covers by: Ed McGuinness
Variant Cover by: Paco Medina
“First To Last” Who are the Evolutionaries and why doesn’t anyone remember when they fought Xavier and his original five X-Men? Cyclops and his crew on Utopia better figure out quick or the Evolutionaries are going to wipe out every human
on the planet. That’s right, every human. Two issues of this huge story this month both showing X-Men/Evolutionary actionin the past and in the present. And it’s all thanks to Christopher Yost (X-Force), amazing regular artist Paco Medina and the always classic Dalibor Talijic (Hitmonkey)! Parts 2 and 3 (of 5)

X-Men Legacy #250 & 251
Written by: Mike Carey
Penciled by: Khoi Pham
Cover by: Mico Suayan
“Age of X: Aftermath!” The X-Men have escaped the AGE OF X and returned to Utopia…unaware that something sinister followed them back. Upon discovering that this new evil has been loosed into the world, Rogue and Magneto round up a team of X-Men to hunt it down. But is this motley new crew of X-Men prepared for what awaits them?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Rick Remender On The Dark Angel Saga

Two more interviews with Rick Remender about The Dark Angel Saga. He doesn't really reveal anything that wasn't said before, but it's a great read nonetheless. Here are a few excerpts concerning Psylocke:

Marvel.com: While X-Force may be in unfamiliar surroundings, they will recognize many of the faces they encounter, with at least one “reunion” stirring up drastically different reactions for two team members.

“Wolverine’s going to stumble into the [Age of Apocalypse] version of his [deceased] arch-nemesis Sabretooth, but this guy is a hero,” explains Remender. “Coincidentally, Psylocke used to be romantically entangled with this Sabretooth [when they were both in EXILES], so you’ve got interesting things happening there. We’ve [also] got Wolverine’s deceased best friend, Nightcrawler, who’s alive in the Age of Apocalypse, and the woman of his dreams, Jean Grey, who is still alive and imbued with the Phoenix Force. Beyond that, the staples: Magneto, Rogue, Gambit, Silver Samurai, Sunfire—got some pretty fun stuff coming up with Sunfire.”

Newsarama: And since the story does seem to revolve around Angel — his name’s in the story arc title, after all — can we assume that Psylocke thusly is pretty center to the story?

Remender: Sure. Everybody is. That’s the reason we want to keep the cast at five. It’s a manageable cast, and I can really tell deep stories that involve every character. There’s never one story where you realize that dude was in the background running with them the whole time. So yeah, Betsy has a big role to play in this, as does Fantomex, and Wolverine, and Deadpool. Betsy’s obviously connected to it in a deeper way; Warren being the man of her life, and the guy she’s in love with. We’ll see how that all plays out. We’ll see how some of Betsy’s past comes to haunt them, and plays a role in her and Warren sort of losing control. She’s been working so hard to help Warren maintain control over this evil persona that Apocalypse put in his head — the way things spin out of control leave Betsy in a pretty rough situation.

Friday, March 18, 2011

C2E2: Remender's Apocalyptic "Dark Angel Saga"

Defending a dream is never easy. The Children of the Atom, Marvel Comics' X-Men, are especially aware of this painful truth. The mutant heroes' dream of a peaceful coexistence between humans and mutants has been repeatedly jeopardized by humanity's intolerance of mutants. In 1995 their dream came under attack from a different enemy -- mutants themselves. That's because a new alternate reality was established where Charles Xavier, the founder of the X-Men, had been murdered years before and the mutant villain Apocalypse had conquered Earth. Xavier's friend Magneto formed the X-Men to end Apocalypse's violent campaign of genocide against humans.

The X-Men's adventures in that timeline were detailed in an X-Men event titled "The Age of Apocalypse." It ended with Apocalypse’s death and the dystopian world's supposed destruction; history was again altered so that Charles Xavier was never murdered and the familiar status quo returned. In 2005, readers learned that this world still existed when Marvel Comics launched "X-Men: Age of Apocalypse", a six issue mini-series that chronicled life after Apocalypse's demise. That series ended on a hopeful note for the world, but what will life be like a decade later? Announced earlier today at C2E2, the cast of "Uncanny X-Force" will find out as they travel to the reality on desperate mission to save one of their own in an arc titled "The Dark Angel Saga" this spring.

In "The Apocalypse Solution," the introductory arc of "Uncanny X-Force" by Remender and artist Jerome Opeña, X-Men members Wolverine and Archangel recruited fellow teammate Psylocke, the mercenary Deadpool, and the mutant thief Fantomex for a clandestine force they were assembling to eliminate super villains they felt were too dangerous or too evil to live. Their first target was Apocalypse, the villain responsible for transforming Warren Worthington into his current form, Archangel, and implanting a violent and unpredictable "Death" persona in his mind. The mission was a success, and in the recently released #5, Remender began the series' second arc, "Deathlok Nation," with art by Esad Ribic.

"Deathlok Nation" promises to be a personal and traumatic arc for Fantomex -- dimension-hopping cyborgs attacked him and murdered his mother in front of his eyes in "Uncanny X-Force" #5. "That was a pretty awful moment for him wasn't it? We talked a lot about the mystery of Fantomex and we put together a mythology that we'll slowly be unveiling over the next two years," Remender told CBR News. "This story is definitely a piece of it; losing a mother."

The current arc runs through "Uncanny X-Force" #5-7 and in #8 Remender and artist Billy Tan kick off "Before the Fall," an arc that sets the stage for "The Dark Angel Saga." "We've seen Warren's behavior changing a little bit and we've seen the divide between his two personas in his mind," Remender said. "I think by issue #10 that finally blows up in every one's face in a way that they definitely didn't see coming and is pretty heavy.

"The ramifications of this are in issues #8-10. In these three issues we have a chain of events that lead to the ascension of Archangel's Death persona. Without giving away too much, I can reveal that you're going to see the results of the internal conflict that we've been seeding since the very first issue," Remender continued. "For this arc Billy Tan is working in a similar fashion to Jerome Opeña on our first arc. He's working from tight pencils and Dean White is going in and digitally painting them with the same method he used to paint over Jerome in our first arc. The pages are absolutely stunning. Billy's always great, but he's never looked like this."

The events of "Before the Fall" will cause some tension in the group, but when "The Dark Angel saga" begins X-Force is determined and united in their quest to rid Archangel of the Death persona that's taken him over. "They're pretty tight knit. You have to imagine them as a family unit because they're all friends and people who have a history together. Now they're all carrying the burden of the same secret and the continuing ramifications of this secret that they share together," Remender explained. "That really forces them to be a family because there's no one else they can talk to about all of these things. So if, say, Deadpool is sitting around having nightmares about what they've done and what he's dealing with, there are only four other people he could talk to about it. I think that creates a band of brothers style bond."

Archangel's condition in "The Dark Angel Saga" won't be curable with any of the technology available in the main Marvel Universe reality of Earth 616, which is why X-Force will look to the Age of Apocalypse for answers. "Psylocke's experiences with the dimension hopping super team, the Exiles, is why they'll look to other dimensions and her Exiles teammate, the Age of Apocalypse's Sabretooth, is why they'll look to this reality in particular," Remender said. "I was lucky to have a band of characters who need something that is a product of a world where Apocalypse's technology was given time to grow and flourish. I was also lucky to have a character who knows where just such a dimension exists. It so happens that all of those pieces were just right in front of me."

Once the team arrives in the Age of Apocalypse reality they'll need a guide to help them find what they're looking for, which is why they'll form a dangerous alliance with a native of the dimension, the villainous Dark Beast. "X-Force makes a Faustian pact with Dark Beast that seems like it would guarantee that neither side would betray each other," Remender said. "The dynamic between X-Force and Dark Beast is going to be one of pure mistrust. When your tour guide is essentially going to fleece you at any moment, you tend to not enjoy the tour as much."

Remender feels that part of the reason the original "Age of Apocalypse" storyline resonated with fans lies in familar concepts and characters reimagined in new and interesting ways. The writer wants to recreate some of that experience, which is why Dark Beast and Uncanny X-Force will arrive in the Age of Apocalypse reality ten years after the events of the 2005 miniseries.

"The great thing about doing this story nearly a decade after the last story was that the landscape of the world had changed so much," Remender explained. "That gave us characters who hadn't been touched on; characters whose fates you thought you understood one way or another. So with that decade that passed I respected the continuity quite a bit, but I wasn't slavishly tied to every single piece of it. I got to have a little bit of fun.

"The last time we saw this reality in 2005 it seemed like there was hope and the world was going to be fixed. When we see it again here the years have passed and the world has not been fixed. There's a small band of X-Men that have survived. Every one else is dead," Remender said. "The survivors are hiding in Atlantis where they have made their home and are trying to topple the person who has caused all of this."

Remender couldn't reveal much about the architect of the reality's devastation. "I can't really touch on the antagonist of this story because that's a big kick in the teeth reveal," the writer explained. "It also has quite a bit to do with the new Apocalypse mythology that we're building. It's all growing out of the idea of the Death persona; what it is and why after killing Apocalypse Warren is having such trouble controlling the Death persona. All of these things are connected with the new antagonist that we're building in the 616 reality."

The supporting cast of "The Dark Angel" saga will include the AoA incarnations of Sabretooth, Wild Child, Nightcrawler, Jean Grey, Magneto, Gambit and Rogue. "Wolverine and Betsy coming face-to-face with Jean Grey, Nightcrawler and some of the other Age of Apocalypse characters will have ramifications," Remender said. "In fact, the ramifications of this arc will be felt throughout the Marvel Universe in a pretty big way. That's not just a way to wave the 'important continuity' flag and say, 'Hey look over here.' We wanted to make sure that anything that dealt with in an alternate reality 'mattered.' I know that can be a dirty word but in terms of this we figured out a way to make it matter in a pretty huge way that I think fans will be excited about."

When readers who have been following "Uncanny X-Force" since #1 pick up "The Dark Angel" saga they'll discover it's not just the dimension hopping and Apocalypse elements that link this story to the previous two. "Early on, as I was building the story for this series, I was having discussions with my then-editor Axel Alonso and my current editor Jody LeHeup. Everyone contributed big ideas -- five huge ideas were born out of those conversations and we were able to get all of them approved," Remender said. "It's really been a case of, you know where you want to go, and then you start slowly building from the bottom up. You know you need to get this or that character to experience this. Then it's just a matter of figuring out the best way to do it.

"I built the stories that way and they sort of become rich tapestries where I'm seeding things in issue #5 that then pay off in issue #14. And you're seeding things in issue #4 that then pay off in issue #7. Then you're seeding things in issue #9 that pay off in issue #18," Remender explained. "You get to build a story that has a lot of great moments and is a big, exciting story with a lot of momentum, which has a lot things seeded that then grow. I don't think people will know what to expect next, but when they get it, I think they'll realize that every single one of the big revelations has been there growing the whole time."

"The Dark Angel Saga" is an eight-part storyline that features art by Mark Brooks and Jerome Opeña and serve as the final chapter in Remender's first long-form story for "Uncanny X-Force." "The first three issues where we enter the Age of Apocalypse reality will be drawn by Mark. Then Jerome will draw the following five issues," Remender stated. "By issue #18 we've come full circle. Issues #1-18 are one big story. There's not one thing we've seen that doesn't play a big role in what's coming up. I think that's the fun of it. Everything we've seeded is important, especially in the first seven issues, which may seem disconnected at first. I think it's a nice little puzzle that people will enjoy seeing come together."

C2E2 2011: Welcome To The X-Men Liveblog

Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo
6:00 p.m. Central, Welcome to the X-Men Panel


Welcome to the X-Men Panel Liveblog

Marvel’s most uncanny heroes have emerged bloodied…and not altogether unbowed…from the Curse of the Mutants. But now that the survivors have been drafted to" Serve & Protect," what will be the vampire legion's next move? And what secrets are at the heart of the mysterious timeline known as the" Age Of X"? Pop your claws into all the answers as X-Editor Daniel Ketchum, C.B. Cebulski, Marvel's SVP Creator & Content Development and a slew of surprise guests as they explore the present landscape and multiple futures of the X-Men.

X-Force in Fear Itself

From CBR's Cup o' Joe: Tom Brevoort column: Wolverine had almost no role in the main book of two of the last 3 big crossovers (there was no Wolverine in 'Civil War' or 'Siege'). Does he do anything interesting in 'Fear itself'?

Tom Brevoort: Wolverine has plenty of cool stuff to do during "Fear Itself," both alone and alongside both the Avengers and X-Force. Most of those events, though, are going to play out more in the tie-in series than in the central book. That’s the difficulty when you have so many cool characters and a limited number of pages to work with every month -- you need to constantly be focusing the story back on the characters who are at the center of it.

Uncanny X-Force #5.1 Art


5 Ronin #4 & New Mutants #23 Previews

5 Ronin #4
Cover by: David Aja, David Mack
Writer: Peter Milligan
Pencils: Goran Parlov

The Story: 5 Books, 5 Heroes—1 unforgettable story of heroes pushed to their limits. It is 17th century Japan, a time and place of violent upheaval, wandering Ronin, and mysterious Geisha. Into this strange and dangerous world come Wolverine, Pyslocke, Punisher, Hulk and Deadpool. Five of Marvel’s greatest heroes…as you’ve never seen them before. Each has been wronged by a powerful tyrant. Each has taken a solemn vow… of vengeance! 5 Books, 5 Heroes, 5 Weeks…1 spell-binding story.

In Stores: March 23, 2011




New Mutants #23
Cover by: David Aja, David Mack
Writer: Mike Carey
Pencils: Goran Parlov

The Story: “Age of X” Chapter Four! In possession of knowledge that could mean the collapse Fortress X, Rogue is on the run, hunted by every other member of the mutant race. But one of those pursuing her has an agenda of his own. Will it be her destruction… or something else entirely?

In Stores: March 23, 2011



Thursday, March 17, 2011

Uncanny X-Force #6 Preview

Uncanny X-Force #6
Cover by: Esad Ribic
Writer: Rick Remender
Pencils: Esad Ribic

The Story: “Deathlok Nation,” Part 2. Buried deep, sequestered under a million years of unnatural evolution, Father, architect of The World, has a solution to the relentless and fruitless super human conflict that has left the Earth teetering on the brink of destruction. The Deathlok virus will spread, acclimate and control them all. In order to protect Earth's heroes from the Deathlok virus, X-Force must kill The World's Father, and his perfect future with him. But should they? How many people would a hero allow to die to ensure worldwide utopia?

In Stores: March 23, 2011


Uncanny X-Force #5.1 Spoilers

Spoilers: Deadpool does a recon on the Outback town, where he learns from Gateway that the Reavers and Lady Deathstrike are back and planning an attack on Utopia. X-Force decides to learn the details of their plot and then kill all of them. Psylocke is especially happy as she will finally make the Reavers pay for what they did to her and the X-Men years ago. The Reavers are blackmailing Gateway to open a portal to Utopia, otherwise they'll kill his family/tribe. X-Force then confronts the Reavers in Australia. Lady Deathstrike plans on making Wolverine suffer; she doesn't want him to die. While Logan and Deathstrike fight, one of the Reavers blows up in front of Fantomex and Deadpool. Psylocke and Archangel are left against the rest of them. Some of the Reavers are seen using Gateway's portal to Utopia, and Psylocke goes after them alone. Pixie was on security duty and spotted intruders on radar on Utopia. Cyclops and Magneto find out they're Reavers, but by the time they find them they're all dead. Psylocke had used her Telepathy and stealth to get to the Reavers before the X-Men do and kill them. She leaves their corpses and leaves Utopia unnoticed. Back in the Outback, Wolverine beats Deathstrike and she uploads herself through a computer and escapes. We see Wolverine tell Psylocke she doesn't look so happy about the revenge she just had...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Psylocke Statue Concept by Khurram Alavi

Sculptor Khurram Alavi came up with a beautiful statue concept of Psylocke. According to him, no one seems to be interested in producing this version of her at the moment, so for now this is just a portfolio piece till that scenario changes.

If you like this piece and would be interested in buying a statue like this, I suggest that you guys leave comments to the sculptor. If Marvel/sculptures company see there's high demand for this piece, they might greenlight it.

You can find Khurram Alavi at StatuesMarvels and StatueForum.