BY MATT TUCK
Did Marvel Studios leak its plan for “The Mutants?” Will Super-Skrull terrorize Ant-Man in the MCU? Who’s ready for Hourman in the DCEU? Let’s break down the latest news and rumors of the comic world.
It was a big week for the comic community. The Justice League Snyder Cut made its long-awaited premiere, and it has so far lived up to the years of hype. On the same night, Disney+ released the first episode of its next MCU installment, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Meanwhile there are new rumors for Marvel Studios’ plans for “The Mutants” and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania that could connect to the Fantastic Four.
The rumors for “The Mutants” have begun.
There has been speculation and theories on the X-Men since Disney bought Fox and acquired the film and television rights to the franchise. While it is still unconfirmed, the gossip on the internet is that Marvel Studios has begun working on its first X-Men movie with a temporary title of “The Mutants.”
The latest speculation making the rounds has it that Moira MacTaggert will play a crucial role in the rumored movie, and that introducing the mutants as well as the fear and hatred towards them will be tied to Infinity War and Thanos’ snap, aka “the blip.”
Of course, that’s a lot of rumors with nothing being substantiated by Kevin Feige, so it does not mean much right now. Still, as the gossip spreads, I expect we’ll see Moira’s first appearance in X-Men #96 get a modest bump.
Let’s assume the Moira tidbit is true, and that she will be an integral part of the MCU’s X-Men. That could indicate that the new movie franchise will fall in line with Jonathan Hickman’s X-Men revamp, and that may mean we won’t see Moira MacTaggert, per se, but Moira X. In that event, you will want to own her first appearance in House of X #2. Keep in mind, that is lot of speculation, so take it for what it is.
THE FF IN ANT-MAN 3?
The same Insider report also claims that the Fantastic Four will be introduced in the third Ant-Man movie, Quantumania. Where the rumor could truly impact the collecting market is with Fantastic Four #18. As the story goes, the Super-Skrull could play a key role in Quantumania, which would clear a path for the FF and connect the movie to the upcoming Disney+ series, Secret Invasion.
Again, take this for what it is: a rumor. While it could come to pass, I am particularly skeptical of this one until there is more information released.
HAS THE SNYDER-VERSE BEEN RESURRECTED?
After years of gossip and rumors, the Zack Snyder cut of Justice League finally made its way to the masses via HBO Max on Thursday. So far, fans are loving it. It has been such a massive hit with audiences and critics alike, which is a rarity in itself, that it has far overshadowed the series premiere of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier on Disney+.
Following the first day of its digital release, the Snyder Cut received an impressive 97% fresh rating from audiences while earning a respectable 75% fresh rating from critics, according to Rotten Tomatoes. Joss Whedon’s 2017 release earned a 71% fresh rating from audiences, and critics doused it with sewer water in the form of a 40% rotten score.
Justice League was famously established in Snyder’s previous DCEU entries, Man of Steel and Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. After the dismal failure of 2017’s JL, the Snyder-verse was dead, and it nearly took the rest of the DCEU offline with it. Now that the Snyder Cut is receiving high honors from audiences, does that mean the Time-Warner executives will take another look at the Snyder-verse? Cross your fingers.
ED BRUBAKER’S “MIXED FEELINGS”
The Snyder Cut may be the talk of the town at the moment, but that is not to say that FATWS is bad. While it is not hauling in the same amount of buzz as WandaVision, fans and critics were generally pleased with the series premiere episode, and it appears Marvel Studios will have its second hit for Disney+.
Apparently Winter Soldier’s co-creator, Ed Brubaker, is not a huge fan of the show, but he has good reason for his “mixed feelings.”
Brubaker in a newsletter commented that while he is happy for the cast and crew of FATWS, he has mixed feelings on the use of a character he and Steve Epting created. It all comes down to how Marvel pays royalties to creators. My understanding, which comes from a brief conversation with a former Marvel writer who shall remain nameless, says creators only earn those royalties for what the company considers an original character. In my eyes, and apparently in Brubaker’s as well, Winter Soldier is a new character, and the writer more or less rehashed Bucky Barnes’ name and backstory. Marvel, however, disagrees, and this has obviously left some hard feelings between Marvel and one of the top comic writers of the 21st Century.
I’m not sure how many fans begged DC for an Hourman movie, but we are about to get one anyway. Then again, no one asked for Guardians of the Galaxy, and it is now one of the biggest movie franchises in the world. This could be a case where we just didn’t know Hourman was the movie we wanted.
The relatively obscure character from DC’s Golden Age originally debuted in the Stargirl comics. If you are like me and not familiar with Hourman, his gimmick is that he is a normal human being until he takes a dose of Miraclo, which gives him superhuman abilities. But the catch is it only lasts for an hour, hence the name. Just typing those last two sentences makes me think of the Chapelle Show Red Bull spoof.
What is intriguing is that DC has struck a deal with Chernin Entertainment to bring Hourman to live action. If you don’t recognize the name, Chernin was responsible for producing Matt Reeves’ Planet of the Apes trilogy that culminated with the epic and vastly underrated War for the Planet of the Apes. With that kind of a resume, this could turn out to be a sleeper hit for the DCEU.
ALIENS AND PREDATOR ON MARVEL’S HORIZON
Marvel is prepping for what will surely be a huge launch for the first spoils of war from Disney’s Fox takeover.
This week, Aliens #1 will hit local comic shops, and it is almost guaranteed to be a sellout as we will be introduced to a new protagonist, Gabriel Cruz. Aliens fans have been anxiously awaiting the xenomorphs arrival under the Marvel banner, and adding a first appearance of any kind will only sweeten the deal for collectors.
The company began the hype with a series of variants pitting the xenomorphs against Marvel’s superheroes. As we prepare to see what Marvel has in store for Aliens, the comics giant is readying its next line of themed variant covers featuring the Predator. These will be landing on LCS shelves in May, and they are sure to be a hit with fans just like those Aliens variants.
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is also a teacher, freelance writer, comic collector, and an international man of mystery. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog.