Blackwing to be in Wolverine movie

CORRECTED & UPDATED: Variety reported yesterday that actor Dominic Monaghan, known for his performances in the TV series “Lost” and the three Lord of the Rings feature films, has been cast for the part of Barnell in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, a spin-off movie from the X-Men films.

Variety describes the role as “a mysterious character from Wolverine’s past who has the ability to manipulate energy and electricity”. Barnell is the first name of Beak and is speculated to be an adaptation of the same character, currently known as Blackwing of the current New Warriors team. Due to the power description, some have wondered if Variety got the character’s name wrong. However, E! Online today posted an article that seems to confirm Monaghan will be playing Barnell Bohusk. It is still unknown, however, what form of the character will be used (Beak or Blackwing), and to what extent the character will be adapted.

This will mark the first second time a member of the New Warriors has appeared in a theatrically-released feature film. (Jubilee had several cameos in X-Men, played by Katrina Florece, and then by Kea Wong in X2: X-Men United and X-Men: The Last Stand.)

Additionally, South Korean actor Daniel Henney has been cast as Agent Zero a.k.a. Maverick, Bolt‘s former mentor. Variety describes Agent Zero as “a member of the Weapon X program and an expert tracker with lethal marksman skills”.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine stars Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. The cast also includes Liev Schreiber (as Sabretooth), Danny Huston (William Stryker), Lynn Collins (Silver Fox), Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool), Taylor Kitsch (Gambit), and (Wraith). Gavin Hood (Rendition, Totsi) is directing from a screenplay by David Benioff (Troy). Jackman is also serving as producer along with Lauren Shuler Donner, Ralph Winter and John Palermo. Kevin Feige is executive producer. The film is currently scheduled to debut in US theaters on May 1, 2009.

Read the full Variety article

Read the full E! Online article

Thanks to Straight Edge for the Barry pic.


New Warriors-related comics for May

Marvel Comics has released their listings for comics to be released in May 2008. The New Warriors #12 ends the first year and third story arc of the series with the team in peril and only Night Thrasher able to help. Nova #13 begins the 3-part story pitting the Human Rocket against the world-eater Galactus and his herald, the Silver Surfer. Power Pack: Day One #3 continues the new origin. Plus, another Thunderbolts one-shot, more recruits for Avengers: The Initiative and several reprint collections of note. Read on…!

Continue reading “New Warriors-related comics for May”

December 2007 Sales Figures

The December 2007 sales estimates have been out for several weeks now. In fact, January 2008 estimates should be coming out soon. So instead of trying to quickly cobble together a feeble analysis, I’ll defer to Paul O’Brien’s December 2007 edition of his Marvel Month-to-Month Sales column at The Beat, the comics blog for Publisher’s Weekly. O’Brien uses a different source for his figures than I do, but the difference is less than +/- 100 copies and usually less than +/- 50 copies, and so is rather negligible for these purposes. Of course, take everything with a grain of salt. Neither my analysis or O’Brien’s should be translated into factual statements on a given title’s success or lack thereof.

With that, here are some New Warriors-related excerpts from O’Brien’s column.

30 Avengers: The Initiative #8 – $2.99 – 58,091
31 Avengers: The Initiative Annual #1 – $3.99 – 57,586

The monthly series continues to bleed readers at a terrifying rate. On the bright side, for what it’s worth, the Annual manages to sells quite close to the core title. Normally they lag further behind.

But realistically, this is a book with serious problems. This is the third straight issue to drop by more than 10%, and there’s no sign yet of the book leveling out. It literally cannot carry on like this.

As ‘Somebody’ points out in the comments, the Annual was a Secret Invasion: Infiltration tie-in, with accompanying banner. This could have accounted for the Annual selling closer to the core title.

71 New Warriors #6 – $2.99 – 32,962
85 New Warriors #7 – $2.99 – 30,159

Another title with serious problems. The last five issues have seen an average drop of 8%, with the most recent issues being above that average. Once again, this simply isn’t sustainable beyond the very short term. If NEW WARRIORS carries on losing sales at 8% per issue, it’ll drop below 20K within six months.

83 Nova #9 – $2.99 – 30,451

Losing readers far too quickly for comfort. The drops should have levelled out by now, but there’s no real sign of it. Despite generally positive reviews, it’s hard to see NOVA sticking around in the long term if these numbers are anything to go by.

136 Marvel Holiday Special 2007 – $3.99 – 15,638

The annual Christmas anthology. The number is marginally up from last year.

245 Iron Man/Power Pack #2 – $2.99 – 4,852

As you surely know by now, these books are not aimed at the direct market, and they do most of their business elsewhere.

Read the entire article by Paul O’Brien

See the Sales Estimates figures dating back to 1996 and more information on what the numbers mean.

New Minimates: Nova, Cloak & Dagger

At this weekend’s American International Toy Fair in New York City, Art Asylum debuted their next series of Marvel Minimates. Toy news site Superhero Times has pictures from the trade show which show that the line-up will include Cloak & Dagger, as well as Nova in his current costume. The Nova Minimate appears to come with a replacement head of Richard Rider without his helmet. A Minimate of Rich’s occasional girlfriend Gamora is also part of the line-up. Release dates are not yet known. (UPDATED with better pictures)

See the Nova Minimate (close-up of Rich Rider head)

See the Cloak Minimate

See the Dagger Minimate

Roundtable Review: New Warriors v4 #8

Next week sees the release of New Warriors #9, the return of regular artist Paco Medina and the start of a new storyline. In the meantime, the NWCC Roundtable sits down for a close look at New Warriors #8, the conclusion to the two-part “Reunion”.

Flank, Jeremy and Corey compare notes to see how the issue held up. Be sure to share your own thoughts on the issue in the comments.
Continue reading “Roundtable Review: New Warriors v4 #8”

Steve Gerber, 1947-2008

Writer Steve Gerber died on Sunday, February 10, 2008 at the age of 60 from complications of pulmonary fibrosis.

Best known for creating and writing Howard the Duck, which eventually led to an industry-changing fight for creator rights, and Omega the Unknown (with writer Mary Skrenes), Gerber is best known among New Warriors fans for taking over the 1970s Sub-Mariner series following Bill Everett’s death. While never happy with his run on the book, Gerber was the first to shake up the status quo of the newly-created Namorita. Her storyline also crossed over into Gerber’s Marvel Two-in-One.

Gerber also co-wrote, along with Gerry Conway, Len Wein, Chris Claremont, Scott Edelman and Roger Slifer, Giant-Size Defenders #5, the first appearance of young Vance Astrovik, who would later become Marvel Boy, and later still take the name Justice.

Years later, Gerber and artist Rick Leonardi were brought in to try to rejuvenate Cloak and Dagger volume 3 in 1991. Unfortunately, the shift came too late to save the series from the weakening sales of the previous 13 issues of ‘Mutant Misadventures’.

In 1996, Gerber returned to Howard the Duck for Spider-Man Team-Up #5, which featured Ben Reilly as Spider-Man and a cover by New Warriors volume 1 artist Darick Robertson. The issue slyly interconnected with Savage Dragon/Destroyer Duck #1, also written by Gerber and published by Image Comics. The issue was illustrated by former Nova writer/artist Chris Marrinan. The two issues effectively removed Gerber’s original Howard the Duck from the Marvel Universe and replaced him with a double in a protest over Marvel Comics’ past mishandling of the character.

Despite his occasional New Warriors connection, Gerber is most known for creating Howard the Duck, the acerbic social satire of the 1970s. The unlikely main character won such a following that a presidential campaign in 1976 resulted in several hundred votes. A newspaper comic strip also spun out of the series, an achievement rarely obtained by Marvel Comics characters. However, a protracted battle over the rights of the character began in the late ’70s, resulting in the removal of Gerber from both the comic strip and the comic book. One Marvel executive allegedly proclaimed that Gerber’s name would never again appear in a Marvel comic. In the interim, the infamous Howard the Duck movie was released in 1986. Gerber’s involvement was limited and the movie’s success famously even more limited. The movie remains one of Hollywood’s biggest bombs. Many creators rallied around Gerber during the proceedings. Eventually a settlement over the ownership of the character was reached, and while the details are limited, Gerber stated he was “no longer angry”. The legal battle created a shift among comic creators in what they deserved and the worth of their work.

Gerber is also remembered for his quirky run on The Defenders and his imaginative series with co-writer Mary Skrenes Omega the Unknown. The latter was never completed. Marvel drew criticism from Gerber recently when they relaunched the story without consulting him.

Gerber was also involved in animation. In the 1980s, he was chief story editor for “G.I. Joe,” story editor and co-creator of “Thundarr the Barbarian” and story editor on “Dungeons & Dragons”. In the 1990s, he won an EMMY for his work on “The Batman/Superman Adventures”.

His creator-owned series such as Nevada and Void Indigo while less cited also drew praise from critics. The latter, however, was found to be objectionable by some distributors and retailers who refused to sell it. The more recent Hard Time reunited Gerber with writer Mary Skrenes. While it failed to make strong enough sales, perhaps hindered by a failing imprint, the series won positive reviews from critics and readers. At the time of his death, Gerber was working on the final issues of Countdown to Mystery, a mini-series relaunching Dr. Fate for DC Comics.

Gerber had a website at and had been writing an online journal, stevegerblog, covering his work and health struggles. Since Gerber’s death, friend and colleague Mark Evanier has been managing the blog and providing people with a place to share remembrances. If you have fond memories of any Gerber’s work or of Gerber himself, please stop by and share them.

Gerber’s friends and family have asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to The Hero Initiative.

Obituaries and remembrances: Los Angeles Times, New York Times, POV Online, The Comics Reporter, The Beat, Journalista

Also: Gerber interview from The Comics Journal #41, August 1978