Every now and then there will be something in the news about superheroes or other geeky topics that I just have to pass on. That'll be covered here.

New Trailer for Thor: The Dark World

by Aaron Einhorn
I’m just going to leave this here…

Wow. I mean, wow. I was a fan of Thor, despite some criticisms. But this one looks even more fantastic. I love seeing how the Marvel Cinematic Universe is weaving a complete tapestry. Each film stands on its own, but as a whole, the world they’re making is just amazing.

And hey, what’s not to love about Chris Eccelston as Malkeith the Accursed, right?

I generally try to avoid trailers once I’ve decided to see a movie, and I almost skipped this one. But I’m glad I didn’t. I cannot wait for Thor: The Dark World to arrive in theatres on November 8.

Nightcrawler Returns in Amazing X-Men #1

So, in additional post-SDCC news releases from Marvel, a new X-title has been revealed, Amazing X-Men #1, from the creative team of Jason Aaron and Ed McGuinness. In and of itself, this is kind of cool. Aaron is a hell of a writer, and McGuinness has a nice, solid, unique style that is a fan favorite. I’ve always dug it on some books, even as I’ve hated it on others.

The team line-up for this title is ok, consisting of Wolverine, Storm, Beast, Ice Man (and more). I’m not thrilled about other X-team that is focused around Wolverine, but considering he was just kicked out of the Avengers (at least for now), I can live with that. Storm should be busy enough in Brian Wood’s X-Men, and Beast and Ice Man are certainly not being underused in All-New X-Men, but fine, whatever.

But the the plotline kind of, I dunno, irks me.

So, the team is going “beyond the grave” (Marvel’s words) to reclaim Kurt Wagner’s soul (and to presumably bring him back to life). The press release goes on to say:

When Nightcrawler sacrificed his life to protect mutantkind in the cataclysmic Second Coming, a hole was left in the X-Men’s rank that has never been filled. Not a day goes by when any of the X-Men does not mourn the “heart and soul” of the their family—and now they’re going to do something about it!

The heart and soul of the X-Men? Really? I mean, don’t get me wrong, Kurt was well-loved. Heck, I love him and have even considered doing him as a costume down the line. But the heart and soul of the X-Men? Couldn’t that term be equally applied to, I dunno, Jean? Or the Professor? If one of the team deserves to have a team mounted to assault Hell in order to bring him back, I can’t honestly believe that Kurt is at the very top of that list – especially with Wolverine leading the team.

If it’s up to Logan? It’s Jean. It’s always Jean. And right now, with Scott becoming Magneto and not-quite back together with Emma (but I think it’s going to happen), and with teen Scott and Jean running around, now might actually be an interesting time to bring Jean back.

I don’t want to totally trash this book. There’s a lot of potential for good here. But I can’t quite bring myself to be excited about it.

Amazing X-Men #1, written by Jason Aaron, with interior art and a wraparound cover by Ed McGuinness, will be in comic shops November 2013.

Venom Returns to Challenge Otto Octavius in Superior Spider-Man #22

Marvel just sent out a press announcement telling us that November’s issue of Superior Spider-Man (specifically, issue #22) will bring Venom back into the pages of Spider-Man as the Otto-possessed Peter Parker clashes with the infamous symbiote.

I can only find myself wondering how we’re supposed to react to this. Dan Slott says “Venom always brings out Spider-Man’s dark side, and we’re taking that 10 steps further in this latest arc. You should probably read this in a sunny, well-populated area,” which sounds good, but I have to ask how true it is.

First off, the history between Peter Parker and Venom really shouldn’t apply with Otto in the driver’s seat. Otto doesn’t care about Venom. He’s pushed Mary Jane away, and Aunt May is out of the city, so why would Venom have any particular significance for him? Heck, if anything, Venom should be the one who finds the encounter troubling.

And of course, that doesn’t even touch the question of which Venom? Mac Gargan is back as the Scorpion, and was just recently seen in the pages of Superior. Eddie Brock, last we saw, was powerless and hunting symbiotes down, having successfully eliminated (at least for now) Hybrid and Scream, and having been briefly bonded with Toxin. As far as I can tell, fans are still enjoying seeing Flash Thompson as Venom, and in addition to his own title, Flash has been quite active in Thunderbolts. So, if it’s Flash, why would he be fighting Spidey (even the Otto Octavius version), and if it’s Brock, well, then that sucks for fans of Flash-as-Venom.

I’ve never been the biggest fan of symbiotes. I enjoyed Venom when he first appeared, as a dark mirror to Spider-Man, but hated it when he became a sort of anti-hero and they were forced to use Carnage to actually be darker than Venom. And I won’t even get started on the proliferation of symbiotes that came out of the various Venom miniseries. That said, I am a fan of Flash and seeing what they’ve done with both the character of Flash Thompson and the use of the symbiote suit itself. I’m not really eager to see that come to an end, especially not just to restore the status quo of Brock-as-Venom, and especially not right now with Otto already serving as a dark reflection of the Spider-Man we know and love.

Of course, I’m a regular reader of Superior Spider-Man, and a big fan of the creative team of Slott and Humberto Ramos, so it’s not like I’m going to suddenly stop reading the title because of this announcement. But I am very skeptical of where this storyline could end up going.

Superior Spider-Man #22 comes out in November, 2013, written by Dan Slott, with interior art and cover by Humberto Ramos.