Home / Pop Wire (page 1647)

Pop Wire

Pop culture news from around the web

The Stars & Creators of Marvel Television Assemble For the TCAs

Marvel Television held a special event for the Television Critics Association this past weekend which saw the casts and creators of "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," "Marvel's Daredevil," "Marvel's Jessica Jones," and "Marvel's Luke Cage" come togeth...

Read More »

Black Panther’s Pride: The Client

Black Panther by Mark Texeira

Read through some of T'Challa’s most thrilling adventures on Marvel Unlimited to mark Black Panther’s 50th anniversary!

Jack Kirby’s BLACK PANTHER series only lasted 15 issues from 1977 to 1979. The character moved around from place to place, starring in stories in MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS and guesting all over, but he didn't regain a solo series until 1998 when writer Christopher Priest debuted BLACK PANTHER with Joe Quesada and Mark Texeira. The first eight issues of that series also included the artistic talents of Joe Jusko, Vince Evans, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Amanda Palmer.

That first story, called “The Client,” started with a trip to the United States for T’Challa, his bodyguards Okoye and Nakia, the older warrior Zuri, and a contingent of scientists so that the Black Panther could track down the murderer of a young girl who acted as the face for a charity he supported called The Tomorrow Fund.

Before leaving, T’Challa had opened a part of Wakanda for refugees from nearby warring lands. The problem, though, was that many of them hated each other. Conflicts easily and quickly erupted, but with their leader out of the country, Wakanda remained open to manipulation by a man named Achebe.

In addition to searching for the murderer and worrying about his homeland, Black Panther also soon found himself dealing with street gangs, Kraven the Hunter, the previously decommissioned Wakandan black ops squad Hatut Zerze—also known as the Dogs of War—oh, and the devil.

As it turned out, Mephisto helped Achebe gain the upper hand in Wakanda, which led to T’Challa’s temporary exile from his home. The devil also played with the Dogs of War, especially their boss the White Wolf, and even helped a bunch of hoods hire Kraven.

Even with all of this going on, Black Panther remained a staunch hero who planned to do the best by everyone involved. He struggled with responsibilities between the dead girl and the troubles back home. He also made sure that his agents followed the laws of the U.S., which meant no killing. Though T’Challa took out many of the elements standing in the way, Achebe and his ilk still remained to pester him further into the series run.

Secrets of Wakanda

Readers found out about all of these adventures, along with healthy doses of Wakandan and Black Panther history, thanks to Everett K. Ross, an employee of the U.S. State Department. The character actually first appeared in KA-ZAR #17, which Priest wrote.

One of Priest’s major additions to the Black Panther mythos in this arc, though, remains the Dora Milaje, which translates into “adored ones.” The women—in the case of these issues Okoye and Nakia—came from various tribes and act not just as bodyguards, but wives-in-training, though T'Challa himself claimed that last part as purely ceremonial. As Ross explained in issue #3, acts of romantic intent from the king “would be a declaration of intent. And the girl could never marry anyone but the king.”

Next, witness the first meeting of T'Challa and Steve Rogers as TALES OF SUSPENSE ends and CAPTAIN AMERICA comes to life thanks to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

Read More »

Psych Ward: Deadpool & the Mercs for Money

Deadpool & the Mercs for Money

The following is an excerpted transcript of a group therapy session. Deadpool (Wade Wilson), Solo (James Bourne), Stingray (Walter Newell), Foolkiller (Greg Salinger), Slapstick (Steve Harmon), Masacre (Real Name Unknown), and Terror (Shreck) attending with Tim Stevens overseeing the session.

TIM STEVENS enters the room, looking down at his clipboard

TIM STEVENS (beginning talking without looking up): Thank you so much for your patience. I hope you didn’t mind waiting in here. It’s just been a very unusual day Mr…hmm….Wadiekinspoopoo? Do you mind if I just use your first name, sir? Wilson, is it?

DEADPOOL: You know you can call me whatever you want, Doc. We’re besties!

TS (going pale, looking up from his clipboard): Oh no. NO! No, no, no. I told you. Never. Again. NEVER!

DP (moving in front of the door): I’m not like that anymore, honest! There was this other guy. Not nice. At all. Madcap. Anyway he and I were sharing a body and…well, look I’m not like that anymore. I’ll be serious. I won’t even talk about your wife. Even though…damn! You know. Anyway, I don’t do jokes as much anymore.

SLAPSTICK: That’s my job!

TS (sagging at the shoulders a bit, sliding into his chair): And you are?

SS (jumping off the filing cabinet, flattening and expanding accordion style): Slapstick, Mr. Mental Health Man, sir!

TS (sighs): Of course. Listen. Wade…. I’m supposed to see other clients during this time.

DP: I took care of it! Sent them all down the street to that Mexican food place. With vouchers! See, I’m a new me.

STINGRAY: Did you not make an appointment? When I was an Avenger we always made appointments. I don’t think we should jus—

TS (squinting): Walt?

SR (smiling): Yep, it’s me. How are you, Mr. Stevens.

TS: So very disappointed in you, Walt. This doesn’t seem like the kind of healthy choices we discussed.

SR (visibly shrinking in his seat): Oh…

TS (gesturing to the rest of the room): And the rest of you.

SOLO: I’m James Bourne, sir. Read what you did for veterans a few years back. Really appreciate that.

TS (shaking head): Surely you can’t expect me to believe that’s your real name.

S: Yes sir, it is, sir. Maybe you know me better by the name Solo though? While I live, terror d—.

TS (waves his hand): Right. Yes. I remember now. Dangerous loner. Violent murderer.

S (smiling): Yes, sir!

TERROR (feeling TS’s eyes): I’m Terror. Or, you know, Shreck, I guess. I’m kind of the normal one.

TS: Of course you are. And, to be clear, that’s Shrek, like the troll?

T: He’s an ogre. And no. We spell it differently. I have a “c” in mine.

TS: Fine. Wonderful. So—

FOOLKILLER (excitedly cutting off TS): What’s the rent on this place?

TS: Sorry?

FK: Just curious. I just got my own thing up and going in Queens, but it’s nowhere near this nice and—

TS: You’re a therapist?

FK: I am. Just like you. Greg Salinger. I think we’re on some of the same boards.

TS: Oh god…I just referred a client to you.

FK: You did? That’s great! We should totally set something up where we—

TS: No.

FK: But…why?

TS: Because you have like…. five guns on you right now and you hang out with Wade.

FK: Oh…yeah…I can see that. I guess.

TS (quick to move on): And you? Wade’s brother?

MASACRE (shaking head): No. Masacre.

TS: And you speak Spanish? Any English?

M: Un poco, pero…. en realidad no.

TS: Mi español es muy malo y mi acento es peor. El traductor no está aquí hoy. ¿Tal vez te gustaría para evitar este absurdo ?

M: Sí mucho.

TS: Mi secretaria le puede dar instrucciones a la sala de cine. Tienen subtítulos en español para algunas películas.

M (standing, hustling out of the room): Gracias.

DP: Did you just dismiss a member of my team Doc? I bring you alllll this business and you—

TS: Wade, he speaks almost no English, my Spanish is awful, and I have no one to translate. Him staying is a waste of his time. This is why you make appointments.

SR: Like I was saying. When I was with the Av—

TS: Walt…

SR (quiet, eyes low): Sorry…

TS: So…why are you here?

SS (blurting out): I was sucked into a cartoon world and turned into a cartoon which sounds cool but isn’t for a lot of reasons one of which is I’m a teenager and have all these teen hormones but no “instrument” and that’s not cool but what’s worse is—

TS (holding up his hand to stop SS): That sounds like something for individual work.

S: My best friend and girlfriend betrayed me and left me for dead!

FK: I can’t stand fools! But I might also be one! And I haven’t had a poem published in years.

T: I’m fine, really. No issues here.

SR: I sometimes feel like maybe I should’ve pursued a different career? Oh and I guess I’m having what you might call an existential crisis.

TS (in frustration): Wade! Why did you drag these people to see me?

DP: We’re a team, Doc, see? Mercs for Money! But, well, we don’t, you know, feel like a team. Like I want to be “Grown Ups,” but we feel more “Grown Ups 2.”

TS: Ok. Look. We’ll try this. But and I can’t stress this enough Wade, show up and my office again without an appointment and I will call Cable.

DP: That’s not cool.

TS: I don’t want to, but I will. Am I clear?

DP (sulking, mumbling): I told them all you were cool. You’re not cool anymore.

TS (turning to the rest of the room): So, why are you guys a team?

S: Money! I’ve got a lifestyle to fund!

TS: The anti-terrorism lifestyle?

S: I mean, sure. But mostly just cool stuff and great food these days.

TS: So you’ve sold out?

S: Well…yeah…kind of.

T: I am also in it for the money. And body parts.

TS: Of course you are Shrek.

T: Did you forget the “c”? It sounds like you forgot the “c.”

TS (ignoring him): Greg?

FK: I also like money.

TS (rubs his temples): Anyone not in it for the money?

SS (raises hand): For the laffs?

SR: To make sure they behave?

TS: Bang up job Walt.

T: I also said body parts.

TS: But nothing else. No other…drive?

DP: What other drive is there?

TS: Well… As a therapist, we’re not supposed to be this didactic. But, to be honest, the faster I can get you all out of here, the better. All good teams have a common goal, an ethos. Even your Heroes for Hire are motivated by more than pure money.

DP: So, like…. chimichangas?

TS (exasperated): You don’t even like those best Wade! You prefer tacos. You. Just. Like. The Word.

Long awkward pause in the room

TS (heavy heavy sigh): Sorry. Sorry. Just…a trying day. The bottom line is a team without a common goal is just a collection of people. If money is all that motivates, the moment there’s a hiccup, the moment something goes wrong? The team will fall apart because in this world, with those costumes? There’s always some piece of human garbage or desperate desperate person who will pay you to commit terrible acts of violence. Why try to be a team when there’s easier money elsewhere, right?

SS: Oh my gosh! He’s right. What the h—

TS (cutting him off): Case in point. So, find a reason to be a team. Find a mission, a goal, beyond the paycheck. Hell even Roxxon has a purpose beyond making money and that place is like…the worst thing on Earth.

FK (whispering to S): Figures he’d be a leftie.

TS (glaring): For next week, I want you all to come back with a list of what are other reasons you might hit someone with a giant mallet or garrote someone or shoot someone 312 times.

SS: Like maybe someday being able to—

TS: Sure. That could be one of them. But maybe try to think of something more than yourself. Bring the lists back here and we’ll compare and discuss. See if maybe you guys have a chance.

FK (excited): That’s exactly how I would have handled this! We are SO alike!

TS: We really aren’t.

S (raising hand): If all my answers are “deading terrorism” would that be accepta—

TS: It would not. You only need to write it once and I’d like you to dig a little deeper.

DP: But we can come back.

TS (can hardly believe he’s saying it): …yes. For one more session. Then we’ll see.

SR: I’ll make sure we make an appointment this time!

TS: Walt…(sighs)…that’d be great, Walt. Great job.

TS stands up and opens the door gesturing them all out.

SR (to DP, overheard as they leave): See! I told you I knew them too.

The clients were immediately referred out to Doctors Cullen Bunn and Iban Coello with appointments on August 10 (file: DEADPOOL AND THE MERCS FOR THE MONEY #2) and September 7 (file: DEADPOOL AND THE MERCS FOR THE MONEY #3).

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is an Outpatient Therapist who has experience in organizing and facilitating group therapy sessions in a number of settings with a variety of clients, including criminals. No joke.

Deadpool & the Mercs for Money

Read More »

Unlock the Gamma Zone in ‘Marvel Avengers Academy’

Hulk in Marvel Avengers Academy

Hulk smashes his way into “Marvel Avengers Academy” this week as the Gamma Zone section of the Timefog finally clears up.

We’ve banished the symbiotes, locked up Carnage, and now our students can focus on mysteries a little closer to home. Still suspicious of Nick Fury, Black Widow wants to use this opportunity to discover more about the Timefog and what he’s hiding. With more of the fog fading, freeing Hulk from its clutches, there’s so much to be explored. With new Academy levels, buildings, heroes, and actions, this story update provides a welcome sight to players who have already discovered all the secrets they could so far.

We got Allen Warner, senior narrative designer at TinyCo, to step away from his Gamma experiments for a few minutes to tell us what it’s like to bring the Hulk to life and expand “Marvel Avengers Academy.”

Marvel.com: The addition of new Academy levels and the unlocking of the Gamma Zone bring a ton of new content into the world of “Marvel Avengers Academy.” What new characters are coming to the campus?

Allen Warner: The first two new recruits are Tigra and Hulk. Tigra is great. She’s already an accomplished young Super Hero, and a burgeoning supermodel, so she brings this uber-confident swagger to the Academy. I feel like she’s immediately the most mature person on campus, so it’s a lot of fun to watch her interact with the more mature students at the school like Black Widow and Captain America, and the more immature students like Enchantress. Of course, she also has awesome feline abilities, and our animation team did a great job as usual showcasing how powerful and graceful she is while also having some fun with the cat angle. She brings a completely unique look to the game, and I think our art team did an amazing job with all three of her visual ranks. She’s voiced by Bella Thorne, and she was one of the first characters we announced for the game, so I’m excited that she’s finally entering Avengers Academy.

Hulk is the strongest there is, but that doesn’t always work out in his favor. He struggles to deal with a world built for “puny” people, and has the tendency to push people away because he’s afraid of what might happen if he loses his temper. He’s just trying to figure out who he is and find his way, but he’s constantly being courted by everyone from the school’s faculty to its rivals since having Hulk on your side immediately makes your goals more attainable. A lot of characters look at him like some out of control monster, but he’s actually one of the kindest and most thoughtful characters in the game. He has some great animations showcasing everything from his extreme power to his anger management techniques, and has what I think is some of the best voiceovers in the game provided by [WWE Superstar] John Cena.

We’ll also be releasing another very notable hero, and featuring new cameos, visuals, and clues from characters we’ve met before, and others who will be introduced for the first time.

Marvel.com: Can you tell us a little bit about how Hulk comes to the Academy? Are we going to learn more about the Timefog and Fury’s secrets?

Allen Warner: Yeah, if you’ve explored the area outside of the campus, you’ve probably noticed Hulk struggling to escape the Timefog. Unfortunately, even he doesn’t remember how he got there, so a big part of the main story after he’s freed is uncovering how and why he ended up trapped in the Timefog. The big piece of visible debris next to him in the Gamma Zone has always been the first clue. Black Widow leads the charge to free him because she thinks there are more clues to the Timefog’s origin in the Gamma Zone, and because she needs someone with Hulk’s extreme strength to help her break into Nick Fury’s vaults beneath the campus, and uncover his secret. A big portion of the story in this release will be following the heroes as they learn more about the Timefog and Fury’s secrets, and move closer to the big reveal.

Marvel.com: New characters and story galore, will there also be new Academy buildings?

Allen Warner: We’re adding a really cool new building called the Asgardian Gauntlet. Odin designs a new combat training building on campus where students can fight holographic versions of themselves, along with other heroes and villains who they’ve battled in the past. It looks amazing, and one of the coolest aspects of it is that Odin steps out onto the playspace for the first time to observe the new combat actions that take place there.

Marvel.com: In terms of heroes and buildings already in the game, will we see new levels and actions?

Allen Warner: Yes, there will be a lot of visual upgrades for both buildings and heroes. For buildings, players will be able to upgrade Avengers Stadium, The Timeless Archives, The Arena of War, The Blasting Range, and The Power Gym. Each one unlocks new actions, including some great new animations like Cap’s shield toss, and Ares stepping into the Arena to spar with the students firsthand. There will also be a lot of character upgrades, including the ability to unlock Wasp, Black Widow, and Loki’s maximum rank outfits.

Marvel.com: Hulk has been an early access hero since the game’s launch. Now that he’s coming into the story and will be unlockable for everyone, will someone new take his early access status?

Allen Warner: Thor! You’ve probably also noticed him trapped in the Timefog, locked in battle with a Frost Giant, but players will now be given the opportunity to free him early.  I love having him at the school. He’s a jock with a heart of gold who’s always looking for the next challenge while trying to adjust to these strange Midgardian customs. He’s the immediate center of attention, and has some great interactions with everyone from Wasp to Enchantress, and you can probably guess how Loki feels about having his long-lost [brother] at his side once again. He looks awesome, his actions and animations are appropriately spectacular, and Colton Haynes did an amazing job with his voiceover. Everyone will be able to recruit him for free when we unlock the Thunder Zone, but I’m glad we got to add him early because I had a ton of fun writing him, and he adds so much to Avengers Academy.

Marvel.com: I’m sure everyone is excited to dig into this; will there be a longer break before the next big event to give players time to work toward unlocking all the new content?

Allen Warner: There will be some time before our next big event, which was teased pretty heavily during the Spider-Man event, and will introduce classic heroes from the comics and TV. In between now and then, we'll have a mini-event more similar in scope to our recent British Invasion event, where A.I.M. finally unleashes M.O.D.O.K. on Avengers Academy, and new heroes including Squirrel Girl and Phil Coulson help the Avengers save the day. I’m really excited about this one because Squirrel Girl is one of my favorites, and a perfect fit for our tone and school. We had a lot of fun reimagining a young fanboy Phil Coulson who dreams of being a S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent, and I think players will enjoy our new approach to a—mostly—kinder, gentler, fun-loving M.O.D.O.K.

For the latest on “Marvel Avengers Academy,” watch Marvel.com and follow @MarvelGames on Twitter!

Thor in Marvel Avengers AcademyHulk in Marvel Avengers AcademyTigra in Marvel Avengers Academy

Read More »