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Comics Relief: Second IRON MAN Title Coming from ALL-NEW MARVEL

In this weekend’s Comics Relief, we have reports on sales estimates for super popular manga Attack on Titan (SPOILER: They’re real big) the creator of Naruto responds to requests for more sequels, and several news items on All-New Marvel, inclduing the launch of a second ongoing title for Tony Stark. Read on for more….

Brian Michael Bendis Hints At Second Iron Man Title

The character of Iron Man, thanks to Robert Downey Jr.,is now arguably Marvel’s second most beloved character next to Spidey, but his comic book sales have never quite caught up with his movie popularity. Marvel is certainly looking to change all that, and seem to already be off to a good start, as The All-New Marvel re-launch of Invincible Iron Man, from the creative team of Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli, which doesn’t launch until October, already has pre-orders that are putting the first issue as selling some 200,000 copies. Not too shabby.

Now writer Brian Michael Bendis is teasing a second Iron Man title, via his Tumblr. In a post this week revealing a new variant cover to October’s debut issue by Sara Pichelli, he makes it a point to comment that “Man, the launch of Iron Man is going so well, I might have to launch another!” Yeah, that’s pretty on the nose. Bendis has proven he can juggle several books at once, so a second Iron Man title seems like anything but out of the question, and almost a certainty at this point. [Brian Michael Bendis Tumblr]

Classic Avenger The Black Knight Gets Ongoing Series

The latest book for the second wave of All-New Marvel has been announced by the publisher, and it’s for a long-standing Avenger that hasn’t received much love over the past twenty or so years, despite having been an early joiner to the team. The new Black Knight will be an ongoing series featuring the longtime Avenger Dane Whitman in a very different world. Set in a post-Secret Wars Weirdworld, this “All-New All-Different Marvel” title is written by Frank Tieri and illustrated by Luca Pizzari. Tieri, who has written the character before, describes this new Black Knight series as “a long time coming and a cross between the dark, addictive tones of Breaking Bad and the modern medieval landscape of Game of Thrones.” [Newsarama]

English Translation of Attack On Titan Sells How many copies??

So Iron Man is selling 200,000 copies of its first issue before its out, and Star Wars recently topped a million copies. Well, that’s peanuts compared to what Japanese manga Attack on Titan has been selling. More than 2.5 million copies of the English-language editions of Attack on Titan in print have been sold, publisher Kodansha USA announced earlier this month at Anime Expo. And while that seems like a hell of a lot by American comics standards, in Japan there are more than 44 million copies of the same 15 volumes in print. Crazy as it sounds, this makes sense, as say estimates the U.S. comics market as one-fifth the size of the Japanese market. [CBR]

ICYMI: Creator of Naruto Manga Gives Best Answer When Asked For More Naruto

Speaking of manga and anime, Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto recently gave the best answer ever when a fan asked if he would continue his hit manga series, which just ended a fifteen year run that was topped off by a new movie. First he said  “I had thought that I could finally rest when I finished the manga series, but I couldn’t rest …” and when asked about a sequel, he said, “I can’t. Please let me rest now.”  I think all high profile creators should just take a cue from Kishimoto from now on, like whenever Joss Whedon is asked about more Firefly, or Buffy, or whatever, he should just tell fans “No. Let me rest.”

DC Comics Sues T-Shirt Company Over Superman-esque S-Shield Shirt

In what seems like a somewhat shady move, DC Comics is suing t-shirt company Mad Engine for selling shirts with a similar shield logo on it to the world famous Superman one, but instead of the trademark ‘S’ symbol, it says “Dad” instead. This kind of Superman parody has been around for almost as long as there has been a Superman, so why DC is going after this one manufacturer is odd.

In a statement, DC said “the shield design on Defendant’s Infringing T-Shirt is substantially similar to DC Comics’ copyrighted Shield Design; DC Comics’ copyrighted Shield Design consists of a bordered five-sided shield in red and yellow, with the text inside the shield sized and positioned according to the proportions and shape of the shield. The shield design on Defendant’s Infringing T-Shirt incorporates each of these elements.” Below is a picture of the shirt in question. Do you think it looks like official Superman product, or a sort of harmless parody? [Hollywood Reporter]

Marvel Chickens Out On Exploring Hercules’ Bi side

In the last edition of Comics Relief, I mentioned the news that Marvel was giving old Avengers standby Hercules his own ongoing series as part of phase two of All-New, All-Different Marvel. Many, myself included, assumed this would finally be an exploration of the character’s hinted at bisexuality (hinted at in Marvel books over the years, flat out explicit in actual Greek mythology.) After all, Marvel has been making such an effort to bring diversity ton their books. Marvel’s EIC Axel Alonso responsed to the possibility of making Herc their first bisexual male hero with his own title, and the answer was, well…expected, and kind of lame.

When CBR asked Alonso if Herc’s bisexuality would be explored, as it was with the alternate universe versions of the character with Wolverine, he said “”Hercules and James (Wolverine) Howlett’s relationship in X-Treme X-Men took place in a unique alternate universe, similar to how Colossus was gay in the Ultimate Universe, but is straight in the 616. Same goes for Hercules here.” Alonso forgot that 616 Herc has also been hinted as being bi before, not to mention, the character from actually mythology is bi. Way to chicken out on doing something unprecedented there Marvel. [Comic Book Resources]

Comic Book Numbering Systems Explained (Kind of)

Explaining comic book numbering to a newbie can be perplexing, especially in the modern era, where comic books relaunch just as a matter of course now. It used to be that comic book series rarely relaunched, and when they did, they had different enough titles to make a clear differentiation (Savage She-Hulk became Sensational She-Hulk, etc.) Even for an old school fan like me, the way comics and their trade paperback collections are numbered now can be baffling. Writer Robert Frost over at Slate has decided to tackle the question of numbering for a comics newbie, and even though he makes his best attempt at explaining it all… it still kind of comes off a bit like algebra. [Slate]

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