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Meet MARVEL’s Newest CHAMPIONS, Plus the Newest IRON MAN Is a Lady

Lots of news in today’s Comics Relief, starting with the young whipper-snappers of the Marvel Universe showing the old guard how it’s done. Read on for all the details…

We are the Champions, My Friends…

It was just last year that new, young heroes like Ms. Marvel and the Miles Morales Spider-Man joined the All-New, All-Different Avengers to much fanfare. Well, I guess the old 1960s phrase “don’t trust anyone over 30” is still in style in the Marvel Universe, as Ms. Marvel, Nova, and Miles Morales have just burnt up their draft cards Avengers membership cards and are starting their very own team, one with a vaguely familiar name to longtime Marvel fans–the Champions. The new ongoing Champions series begins in October from writer Mark Waid and artist Humberto Ramos.

Along with the three former Avengers, the Champions will be made up of the Amadeus Cho Hulk, the Vision’s android daughter Viv Vision, and the teenage, time displaced Cyclops. This team takes its name from the 1970’s Marvel super-team the Champions – a name that has been mired in legal battles that have prevented its re-use until now. The original ’70s Champions were Angel, Iceman, Ghost Rider, Black Widow and Hercules–basically, the high profile Marvel heroes that weren’t currently on any team at that given moment. But that perfectly good name has gone unused at Marvel do to a legal conflict with Heroic Publishing that has now been resolved.

“Marvel Comics and Heroic Publishing have entered into a joint agreement that will allow for the publication of a Marvel’s Champions comic book, while at the same time allowing Heroic to continue publishing its own line of separate Champions and Champions-related titles,” said Marvel. “We’re pleased to have reached an agreement and wish Heroic Publishing the best in their future endeavors.”

As for what separates this new book from the Avengers, writer Mark Waid said “It feels good in that, when we first started talking about names for this group, we tended to go for ‘something something Avengers.’ That always seemed off-mission for me. If they’re cutting the cord, if they’re going off on their own to establish themselves as a thing onto themselves, they kind of need their own name. They are ultimately very socially conscious, very activist-minded, and very positive about being superheroes, so the name had to feel like a really upbeat superhero name.” [Entertainment Weekly]

Meet Marvel’s Newest Iron Person.

Speaking of youngsters taking over for veteran Marvel heroes, it seems that very soon, Iron Man isn’t going to be Tony Stark anymore, or…. well…. much of a man anymore for that matter.The newest Iron Man is in fact a young teenage African-American girl. Marvel has just revealed that it is relaunching Brian Bendis‘ Invincible Iron Man as part of the newest Marvel NOW! initiative, and it will be an Iron Man book featuring this new heroine in the lead.

So is Stark going to die in Civil War II? Don’t hold your breath, but whatever happens, for now at least, in his place will be Riri Williams, a recently introduced black 15-year-old girl and M.I.T. student. Many fans assumed that she would be the new War Machine — but nope, she’s becoming Iron Man himself. Herself. Themselves. Whatever. For our full story on the new Iron Man, watch today’s Nerdist News:

Viz Announces Several New Titles for 2016/2017

Although Anime Expo 2016 has now past, premiere manga publisher Viz Media has just announced a lot of new high profile acquisitions for the coming year, including Mobile Suit Gundam Thuderbolt, Dragon Ball Super, and Yu-Gi-Oh Arc V. There will also be omnibus editions for many of their classic titles. To check out the complete list, click on the following link: [Comics Beat]

The 2016 Harvey Awards Nominees Announced

The 2016 Harvey Awards, so named after the late Harvey Kurtzman, have just had the full nominees announced, with the release of the final ballot representing the input of the voters. The Harvey Awards recognize outstanding work in comics and sequential art. They will be presented September 3, 2016 in Baltimore, MD, in conjunction with the Baltimore Comic-Con. The Harvey Awards are voted on exclusively by comic-book creators, and are the only industry awards both nominated and selected by the full body of comic book professionals. For the full list of nomines, be sure to click on the following link: [Newsarama]

Due to Overwhelming demand, the Great Lakes Avengers return

If you were reading comics in the early ’90s, you might fondly remember the Great Lakes Avengers, a group of extremely goofy superheroes who appeared in a handful of issues of the West Coast Avengers, mainly as a way of taking some of the heat off of everyone making fun of titular LA based heroes so gosh darn much. The team consisted of heroes with silly names and equally silly powers like Mr. Immortal, Flatman, Big Bertha, and Doorman. Now they are back in a new ongoing series, which will be written by Zac Gorman (Rick and Morty) and will be illustrated by Will Robson (Star-Lord).

So will this be a “grim n’ gritty” take on a goofball idea? Thankfully, it doesn’t sound like it is. In an exlusive interview here at Nerdist, Marvel’s Tom Breevort said “because the Avengers are so well known from the films, a more general audience can get the joke of [GLA] than they would ten years ago. It seems like this sort of thing might be able to find some traction in a way it couldn’t have before.” So relax, GLA fans…he said “joke”….it’s still going to be funny. Read our full exclusive announcement/interview at the following link: [Nerdist]

Skybound Announces SDCC 2016 Plans

Robert Kirkman’s Image Comics imprint Skybound, the home of The Walking Dead, Invincible, and more, has announced its plans for this year’s Comic-Con International: San Diego. The list of panels is as follows:

Thursday, July 21st 4:30pm – 5:30pm; Room 6DE

Skybound’s The Walking Dead – Join The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, longtime artist of The Walking Dead Charlie Adlard and Skybound Entertainment Editorial Director Sean Mackiewicz as they discuss all things The Walking Dead and what’s to come for the series as it approaches its 160th issue. Panel will be moderated by Jason Mantzoukas (The League).

Saturday, July 23rd 4:15pm – 5:15pm; Room 6DE

Join Robert Kirkman and fellow Skybound Entertainment CEO David Alpert as they discuss projects such as The Walking Dead television franchise, their newest series Outcast, and what’s in store for the company. Skybound’s Dan Murray and Rachel Skidmore, will also join the panel. Special guest writer Max Landis will also join the panel to discuss his new Skybound comic series Green Valley. Panel will be moderated by Yvette Nicole Brown (Community).

Sunday, July 24th 12:00pm – 1:00pm; Room 7AB

Skybound Comics -Skybound editor Jon Moisan will be joined by Skybound creators and artists including Juan Gedeon (Horizon), Brandon Thomas (Horizon), Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead), and Chris Dingess (Manifest Destiny) as they discuss their work, and the comics industry as a whole.

Images: Marvel Comics / Skybound / Kurtzman Estate / Viz Media

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