Marvel Comics is the brand name and primary imprint of Marvel Worldwide Inc. Marvel Publishing, Inc. and Marvel Comics Group, a publisher of American comic books and related media. In 2009, The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Worldwide's parent company. Marvel started in 1939 the common name in the Golden Age was Timely Comics, by the early 1950s, had become known as Atlas Comics; the Marvel era began in 1961, the year that the company launched The Fantastic Four and other superhero titles created by Steve Ditko, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and many others. The Marvel brand had been used over the years, but solidified as the company's only brand with in a couple of years. Marvel counts among its characters such well-known superheroes as Captain America, Iron Man, the Hulk, Spider-Man, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, the Silver Surfer, Ghost Rider, the Punisher and Deadpool, such teams as the Avengers, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, the Midnight Sons, the Defenders, the Guardians of the Galaxy, supervillains including Galactus, Doctor Doom, Ultron, Green Goblin, Red Skull, Doctor Octopus and Venom.
Most of Marvel's fictional characters operate in a single reality known as the Marvel Universe, with most locations mirroring real-life places. Pulp-magazine publisher Martin Goodman founded the company known as Marvel Comics under the name Timely Publications in 1939. Goodman, who had started with a Western pulp in 1933, was expanding into the emerging—and by already popular—new medium of comic books. Launching his new line from his existing company's offices at 330 West 42nd Street, New York City, he held the titles of editor, managing editor, business manager, with Abraham Goodman listed as publisher. Timely's first publication, Marvel Comics #1, included the first appearance of Carl Burgos' android superhero the Human Torch, the first appearances of Bill Everett's anti-hero Namor the Sub-Mariner, among other features; the issue was a great success. While its contents came from an outside packager, Inc. Timely had its own staff in place by the following year; the company's first true editor, writer-artist Joe Simon, teamed with artist Jack Kirby to create one of the first patriotically themed superheroes, Captain America, in Captain America Comics #1.
It, proved a hit, with sales of nearly one million. Goodman formed Timely Comics, Inc. beginning with comics cover-dated April 1941 or Spring 1941. While no other Timely character would achieve the success of these three characters, some notable heroes—many of which continue to appear in modern-day retcon appearances and flashbacks—include the Whizzer, Miss America, the Destroyer, the original Vision, the Angel. Timely published one of humor cartoonist Basil Wolverton's best-known features, "Powerhouse Pepper", as well as a line of children's funny-animal comics featuring characters like Super Rabbit and the duo Ziggy Pig and Silly Seal. Goodman hired his wife's cousin, Stanley Lieber, as a general office assistant in 1939; when editor Simon left the company in late 1941, Goodman made Lieber—by writing pseudonymously as "Stan Lee"—interim editor of the comics line, a position Lee kept for decades except for three years during his military service in World War II. Lee wrote extensively for Timely.
Goodman's business strategy involved having his various magazines and comic books published by a number of corporations all operating out of the same office and with the same staff. One of these shell companies through which Timely Comics was published was named Marvel Comics by at least Marvel Mystery Comics #55; as well, some comics' covers, such as All Surprise Comics #12, were labeled "A Marvel Magazine" many years before Goodman would formally adopt the name in 1961. The post-war American comic market saw superheroes falling out of fashion. Goodman's comic book line dropped them for the most part and expanded into a wider variety of genres than Timely had published, featuring horror, humor, funny animal, men's adventure-drama, giant monster and war comics, adding jungle books, romance titles and medieval adventure, Bible stories and sports. Goodman began using the globe logo of the Atlas News Company, the newsstand-distribution company he owned, on comics cover-dated November 1951 though another company, Kable News, continued to distribute his comics through the August 1952 issues.
This globe branding united a line put out by the same publisher and freelancers through 59 shell companies, from Animirth Comics to Zenith Publications. Atlas, rather than innovate, took a proven route of following popular trends in television and movies—Westerns and war dramas prevailing for a time, drive-in movie monsters another time—and other comic books the EC horror line. Atlas published a plethora of children's and teen humor titles, including Dan DeCarlo's Homer the Happy Ghost and Homer Hooper. Atlas unsuccessfully attempted to revive superheroes from late 1953 to mid-1954, with the Human Torch, the Sub-Mariner, Captain America. Atlas did not achieve any breakout hits and, according to Stan Lee, Atlas survived chiefly because it produced work cheaply, at a passable quality; the first modern comic books under the Marvel Comics brand w
Michael Turner (comics)
Michael Layne Turner was an American comics artist known for his work on Witchblade, Superman/Batman and various covers for DC Comics and Marvel Comics. He was the president of the entertainment company Aspen MLT. Michael Turner was born in Crossville, Tennessee on April 21, 1971, he was a student at the University of Tennessee, graduated from International Performing Arts Academy after which he moved to San Diego, where he developed an interest in comics. Turner was discovered by Marc Silvestri at a convention and hired by Silvestri's Top Cow Productions as an artist, he did background illustrations for Top Cow titles before co-creating Witchblade. In the summer of 1998 he debuted the creator-owned Fathom, having worked on his new series Soulfire; as well as an artist, Turner was an award-winning water skier, held an instructor level red sash in martial arts, was an avid video game player. In March 2000, Turner was diagnosed with a form of cancer, in the right pelvis, he was treated at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center with surgery in which he lost a hip, 40% of his pelvis, three pounds of bone.
The surgery was followed by nine months of radiation therapy. Turner departed Top Cow in late 2002 to found his own comic book publishing company, Aspen MLT Inc. located in Santa Monica, with a studio in Marina del Rey, California. The release of comics from Aspen was delayed by a year-long lawsuit with Top Cow Productions over the rights to Fathom and over the rights to the unreleased titles Soulfire and Ekos, both of which Turner had begun developing before leaving Top Cow and before his diagnosis of cancer. Aspen and Top Cow settled the lawsuit out of court in 2003. In 2004 Turner contributed covers to various DC Comics titles, including The Flash and Identity Crisis, he provided cover art and co-wrote the "Godfall" story arc that ran in the three main Superman titles in early 2004 and illustrated the six-issue Supergirl story arc in Superman/Batman. His creator-owned title Soulfire began publication in 2004 and Fathom resumed publication in that year as well, though this time with Aspen MLT rather than Top Cow.
On August 6, 2005, Marvel Comics announced the signing of Michael Turner to a work-for-hire deal for a six-issue project and covers. This would turn out to be at least the variant covers for the miniseries Civil War and the Wolverine ongoing series Wolverine: Origins. In addition Turner had been announced as the artist on Ultimate Wolverine. Turner created online comic adaptations for the NBC television series Heroes. Turner died June 27, 2008 at the Santa Monica Hospital in Santa Monica, California, of complications from bone cancer, he is survived by his mother Grace Crick, his brother Jake Turner, his fiancee Kelly Carmichael. Fathom vol. 3 #1, published on Wednesday, August 6, 2008, featured a tribute to Turner in the form of a stylized blue ribbon in the upper right hand corner of its cover, its first page was a memorial to him. AspenMLT published a trade paperback collection of writings from people who knew Turner, titled A Tribute to Michael Turner, which features a cover painted by Alex Ross.
Jim McLauchlin, "Up from the Depths", Wizard #112 "Playin' It Cool", interview with Michael Turner, Wizard #115 Aspen MLT Inc. official website Michael Turner at Mike's Amazing World of Comics Michael Turner at the Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators
The Angelus is an American comic character featured in publications by Top Cow Productions. Appearing in the first lineup of The Darkness in 1997, the Angelus has featured as an antagonist and occasional supporting character in issues of The Darkness and The Witchblade. Described as the equal and opposite of the Darkness, as well as being the mother of the Witchblade, the Angelus is a powerful opponent that has challenged both Jackie Estacado and Sara Pezzini on several occasions. She's made cameos in a few other Top Cow titles; the Angelus played a prominent role in the First Born limited series and had a one-shot by Ian Edginton released in December 2007 as part of the Top Cow Pilot Season event. The Angelus is the antithesis of the Darkness. Unlike her nemesis, the Angelus subjugates the personality of its vessel; the Angelus was born from the light of creation. It resented the Darkness, starting the cosmic war between the two forces. A truce was agreed upon and the two consummated; the Angelus possesses such basic prowess as supernatural strength and resistance to injury as well as flying at high speeds with her wings and teleportation.
Like the Darkness, the Angelus can form weapons such as flaming swords or spears as well as armor from her native element. The Angelus can fashion sentient servants made in her likeness; these are called Angelus Warriors and appear as angelic beings but can appear mortal. Unlike the more numerous Darklings, Angelus Warriors require more time and effort to bring to life. One such otherworldly creature - a mortal concubine created purely for satisfying the Angelus's sexual cravings - possessed a hypnotic capacity for seduction, her Warriors are possessed of limited teleportation range as well as potent levels of strength and durability - although not to the same degree as their mistress, as their bodies can be dissolved with chemicals and are still vulnerable to Darklings and Darkness weapons. Unlike the Darkness, the Angelus retains the memories of her previous incarnations; the Angelus's abilities and constructs are weakened while in the shadows. She can hear through her servants' eyes as well as breathe fire.
As a celestial being, the Angelus can fire powerful waves of raw sunlight to blind or burn her enemies. In dark environments, these blasts can obliterate Darklings from a distance; when outraged, the Angelus leveled entire cities. The Angelus seems to be able to combine the radiance of both herself and her Warriors to intensity their effectiveness; this was shown when they overpowered and banished Glorianna Silver - bearer of the Ember Stone - using their combined light channeled through their spears. An ancient host of the Angelus was show to be able to channel the collective souls of an entire host of slain Warriors and infuse them into a dying star to create the Sun Dagger - a blade powerful enough to destroy the most powerful of the Darkness's vessels. So long as she remains possessed, the Angelus renders its host immortal. However, depending on the age of the body, they will begin to age and decay if depleted of power; this was seen when the first Angelus Jackie fought - nearly a millennia old - began to age into dust.
Beyond her supernatural abilities, the Angelus is innately skilled with her weapons. She is a deadly swords-woman and can hold her own against any battle-hardened Darkness wielder, the Magdalena, one of her own renegade Warriors, empowered by the Wheel of Shadows; the Angelus is absent in The Darkness, with only a few fleeting references to "the light" in the plot. However, she is referenced in The Darkness II - her conflict with the Darkness providing the backstory for many of the collectible relics found throughout the levels. Throughout the course of the story, the Angelus manifests only as visions of Jenny which haunt Jackie, she soon begins recreating whole scenarios, making Jackie relive past moments with Jenny - such as a dance at a diner or a time when they visited a now-abandoned amusement park. It isn't until the post-credits scene that the Angelus is revealed. After one final tender moment with Jenny, she is possessed by the entity - having been under its influence since her death in the first game and been used to lure Jackie into freeing her from Hell.
The Angelus transforms Jenny's image into her own and declares her intention to return her light to the world. While Jenny is still within her and still loves Jackie, she "knows what must be done." She ascends, leaving a despondent and powerless Jackie stranded in Hell
Marc Silvestri is an American comic book artist and publisher. He acts as the CEO for Top Cow Productions. Marc Silvestri was born on March 1958 in Palm Beach, Florida. Silvestri first discovered comics through his cousin, an avid collector, it was during visits to his cousin's house that Silvestri would become familiar with artists such as Jack Kirby, Bernie Wrightson and John Buscema. Silvestri names Wrightson and Frank Frazetta as his biggest influences. Silvestri began his career drawing issues for First Comics, he joined Marvel Comics in the late 1980s, became the penciller on Uncanny X-Men from 1987 to 1990. He subsequently spent two years pencilling its spin-off title Wolverine. In 1992, Silvestri became one of the original seven artists — along with Jim Lee, Whilce Portacio, Rob Liefeld, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane and Jim Valentino — to form the breakaway comics company Image Comics. Silvestri's stable of titles was published under the imprint Top Cow with the first title released being Cyberforce.
Besides his art, Silvestri was scripter on the Top Cow title Codename: Stryke Force. Many of Silvestri's stories were scripted by Eric Silvestri. Disputes among the Image partners led to Silvestri leaving the publisher in 1996, but he soon returned after Liefeld severed his own ties with Image. Top Cow's successes include The Darkness, Inferno Hellbound and Fathom. Silvestri produced the story and preliminary character sketches for the 1997 video game Fighting Force. In 2004 Silvestri made a brief return to Marvel to pencil several issues of X-Men, collaborating with writer Grant Morrison. In the year, he launched a new Top Cow title, Hunter-Killer with writer Mark Waid, he provided covers for the Marvel Comics mini-series, X-Men: Deadly Genesis by Ed Brubaker and Trevor Hairsine. In June 2006 Top Cow released a Cyberforce #0 featuring the art talents of Silvestri. In late 2007, he pencilled the X-Men: Messiah Complex one-shot, as well as many covers in the crossover of the same name that followed.
Silvestri executive produced the anime adaptation of Witchblade. He continued his work on X-Men, penciling the first installment, in the form of a one-shot Uncanny X-Men/Dark Avengers crossover Utopia in 2009; that same year, he contributed to the crossover miniseries Image United, penciling all the characters he created during his run at Image that featured in the story. In 2012, Silvestri was one of several artists to illustrate a variant cover for Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead #100, released July 11 at the San Diego Comic-Con. Silvestri is married to Bridget Silvestri, his favorite TV shows include Breaking Bad, his favorite films are Forbidden Planet, Alien and Dr. Strangelove, he says that he listens to down-tempo chill music while working, alternative rock at other times. Batman Black and White #3 Ghosts #104 House of Mystery #292 The Unexpected #222 Weird War Tales #113 21 #3 Cyberforce #1–4 Cyberforce, regular series, #1–7, 9–13, 18 Cyberforce Ashcan, one-shot Cyblade/Shi: The Battle for Independents #1 Darkness #1–7, 9–12.
3, #1–3 Marvel Graphic Novel #17: Revenge of the Living Monolith Master of Kung Fu #119 Star Trek/X-Men, one-shot New X-Men #151–154 Uncanny X-Men #218, 220–222, 224–227, 229, 230, 232–234, 236, 238–244, 246, 247, 249–251, 253–255, 259–261 What If? #41 Web of Spider-Man #16–20, 22 Wolverine #31–43, 45, 46, 48–50, 52, 53, 55–57 X-Factor #8, 12, 54 X-Men: Messiah Complex, one-shot Warp Special #2 Marc Silvestri on Marvel.com Official website Marc Silvestri at the Comic Book DB
Battle of the Planets (comics)
The Battle of the Planets is a series of comic book based on a television series of the same name. It was published by American company Gold Key Comics, with Top Cow releasing a number of comics more recently. Released in comic book form by Gold Key Comics in 1979, the series was revamped by Top Cow Productions with a new twelve-issue limited series starting in 2002; the series was planned as an ongoing comic, but low sales led to its cancellation at issue 12, which ended the series with a cliffhanger. A two-issue mini, was solicited in 2005, was meant to tie up the loose ends, but never made it to print. In 2003, there were a number of crossover one-shots starting with Witchblade; this was followed by two crossover issues with the ThunderCats. These were followed by a number of other comics: a Battle Book one-shot, one-shots focused on Mark and Jason, a six-issue limited series called Battle of the Planets: Princess released in 2004, written by David Wohl and illustrated by Wilson Tortosa. Top Cow published three issues of a manga version in 2003–2004.
Top Cow's license is now lapsed, there are no plans for future Battle of the Planets works from them, including the unreleased Endgame. A different Battle of the Planets strip was published in the UK weekly in TV Comic from 1981 to 1983, illustrated by Keith Watson; the various series have been collected into a number of trade paperbacks: The Gold Key series: Battle of the Planets Classics Volume 1 The Top Cow comics: Trial by Fire Blood Red Sky Destroy all Monsters Digests of the Top Cow comics: Trial By Fire Destroy All Monsters List of comics based on television programs
Witchblade (Japanese TV series)
Witchblade is an anime series loosely based on the American comic book of the same name. Not an adaptation of the original story, the series has characters. However, the anime version is considered controversial by some fans because GONZO has announced that the main character of the anime is of Japanese ethnicity but is not Itagaki and Yuka, one of the previous bearers of the Witchblade. Instead, it is a new character named Masane. Although this series sets up an new story with all new characters, it is set in the same continuity as the comic book. Sought by the greed of men since the dawn of human kind, but only bestowed upon the women whose fate it forever scars...the Witchblade. Is it the righteous sword of God? Or hand of the Devil himself? Now a new bearer has been chosen, and she must discover the answers for herself. As she stands on the brink of destiny, she is forced to ruin; the lead character is Masane Amaha, a kindhearted, well-intentioned woman, clumsy and awkward around the house. Having lost her memory during the Great Quake which ravaged Tokyo, Masane was found uninjured at the quake's ground zero with a baby in her arms.
Six years she returns to Tokyo with the child, intending to live a peaceful life. Masane becomes entangled in a power struggle between a large corporation and a government agency, discovers that a mysterious bracelet on her right wrist is the legendary Witchblade. Masane Amaha Voiced by: Mamiko Noto, she became the Witchblade's bearer six years before the beginning of the series during an event that destroyed most of Tokyo, leaving her with amnesia and holding a baby girl. Masane is an unemployed single mother, is at odds with the NSWF's Child Welfare Division over issues concerning the custody of her adoptive daughter, Rihoko; when the Witchblade activates, she gains a revealing black armor with a katana blade extending from her arm and her hair can extend to lash or pierce her enemies. She gains enhanced strength and endurance, she gains a type of telepathic link to Rihoko, being able to sense when she is in danger. After unlocking new power in the Witchblade, her armor becomes red and she has a blade on both arms.
When fighting, she is possessed by an uncontrollable desire for destruction, deriving an erotic like pleasure from battle. Prior to the Great Quake, her name was Yasuka Ōhara, the name Masane Amaha being from the maternity diary of Reina Soho, found with her following the Great Quake. Rihoko Amaha Voiced by: Akemi Kanda, her biological mother is Reina Soho, her biological father is Takayama. She was found as a newborn with an amnesiac young woman, who authorities believed to be her mother from a maternity diary found with them, at the epicenter of the Great Quake. Rihoko is more compatible with the Witchblade than anyone else, it was she, responsible for Reina's initial high compatibility rating, because Reina was pregnant with Rihoko at the time. Rihoko is praised for her good cooking capabilities, she is mature for her age and is noted for being more capable than Masane. Yusuke Tozawa Voiced by: Masaya Matsukaze, he becomes Masane's friend. He is among the first ones to nickname Masane "Masamune", referring to her huge chest.
This is carried over in the anime, to the point that Tozawa only refers to Masane with this nickname. Reiji Takayama Voiced by: Rikiya Koyama, he is the one responsible for employing Masane to fight-off malfunctioning "Ex-cons" technological weapons developed by his own employers. Takayama is a stoic and stern man who shows little to no expressions at all, he is accompanied by his assistant, Hiroki Segawa. Takayama seems to have a past relationship with Reina Soho a sexual one, as it is discussed between himself and Masane that there is a possibility he may be Rihoko's biological father, a point which he says is possible, which he affirmed in Episode 19, they both had worked together before the ground-zero event in doing research on the Witchblade. Takayama appears to be cynical and cold, but as the anime progresses this proves to be false as his relationship with Masane deepens, he and Masane become romantically involved in episode 19. Masane attempts to get him and Riko closer after learning he is her real father.
He is last seen standing with Riko at the site of Masane's last fight, watching on as she sacrifices her life. Reina Soho Voiced by: Mie Sonozaki. Reina Soho is a Neogene who works as a Forensics Medicine Specialist in the National Scientific Welfare Foundation, she is a intelligent woman. She is quite self-centered. Unlike most of her First-Generation counterparts, Reina has come to terms with the fact that Furumizu views her and the res
Top Cow Productions
Top Cow Productions is an American comics publisher, a partner studio of Image Comics founded by Marc Silvestri in 1992. During the early years of Image Comics, founded in 1992, co-founder, Marc Silvestri shared a studio with Jim Lee, where he created his first creator-owned comic book, Cyberforce, as part of Image's initial line-up. After setting up his own studio, Top Cow Productions, he expanded into other comics, launching Codename: Strykeforce, a new Cyberforce series and various spin-offs; the company attracted several professionals including artist Brandon Peterson, writer Garth Ennis and former Marvel staffer David Wohl. It helped launch the careers of various writers and artists, such as Christina Z. Joe Benitez, Michael Turner and David Finch. Benitez and Finch have since worked for DC and Marvel Comics. In 1996, Top Cow departed from Image during a power struggle with Image associate Rob Liefeld until Liefeld left the company shortly after. At the same time, Top Cow was moving more into the fantasy genre.
New properties were The Darkness. Thanks to the success of Witchblade Top Cow was able to expand, adding to its line with titles that included The Darkness, Aphrodite IX, others. Silvestri was involved in training and developing new talent through the studio and Top Cow was known for a time for its "house style". In addition to its' company owned properties, Top Cow has worked with creators to develop creator-owned properties; these properties have included Michael Turner's Fathom which ended up at Aspen Comics, Joe's Comics, created for J. Michael Straczynski, which included Rising Stars and Midnight Nation. Top Cow is known for bringing Tomb Raider's Lara Croft to comics. In 2006, Top Cow made a business agreement with Marvel Comics to use several of their licensed properties in their own series, with characters including Wolverine and the Punisher, appearing in crossovers; as part of this agreement, several Top Cow artists provided art chores on various Marvel series, such as Tyler Kirkham, Mike Choi, Silvestri himself.
At the 2007 San Diego Comic Con an announcement was made by Marvel Comics extending the deal into 2008. They used Kickstarter to fund some of the comics. At the 2007 New York Comic Con it was announced that Top Cow would be one of the first major comics publishers to offer online distribution, through a partnership with IGN; the initial titles offered were Tomb Raider #1–50, The Darkness #1–50 and Witchblade #1–50, at around $1 per issue. They announced a deal with Zannel to license their comics as mobile comics. Top Cow publisher Filip Sablik said in an interview that: Both film and television, as well as video games and animation, are things that Top Cow is and pursuing. All of those things take a long time to develop and set up; the Witchblade Anime that Gonzo produced and was released by FUNimation in the US took a decade to come to fruition. Add on to that Marc Silvestri and Matt Hawkins mantra of “we’d rather have no movie than a crappy movie” and you can see why it can take a while to bring a Witchblade or The Darkness movie to fans.
In December 2004, Dimension Films paid an undisclosed six-figure sum to develop a movie based on the comic for release in 2008. The film was pitched as a movie similar to The Crow, produced by Dimension. There have been no further developments. In March 2005, The Darkness was licensed by Majesco Entertainment for a console game to be developed by Starbreeze Studios. 2K Games obtained the rights to the game, the first-person shooter was released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 console systems on June 25, 2007 in the United States and releasing first on Xbox 360 in EU Regions on June 29, 2007 and a month on PS3 on July 20. To promote the video game a five-issue mini-series was released, with each issue chronicled a chapter of the game. In June 2007 it was collected into a trade paperback. In February 2012, a sequel to the video game, entitled The Darkness II, was released for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3; the script for the game was written by comic book writer Paul Jenkins, who worked on The Darkness comic series.
Unlike the first game, the graphics for The Darkness II were developed using a cel-shading technique, emulating the aesthetic of its graphic novel namesake. The game received positive reviews from critics. Following a pilot film in August 2000, the cable network TNT premiered a television series based on the comic book series in 2001; the series was directed by Ralph Hemecker and written by Marc Silvestri and J. D. Zeik. Yancy Butler starred as Sara Pezzini. Although critically acclaimed and popular with audiences, it was canceled in September 2002. Announced as a production decision, the cancellation provoked widespread speculation that the true reason was Butler's alcohol addiction. Butler was ordered to enter rehab for alcohol addiction a year after being arrested for wandering intoxicated amidst traffic. Witchblade ran for two seasons of 12 episodes on TNT; the first episode aired on June 12, 2001, the last episode aired on August 26, 2002. On April 1, 2008, Warner Home Video announced a long-anticipated DVD release.
Witchblade: The Complete Series — a seven-disc collectors set including the original made-for-TV movie, all 23 episodes of the series, special features — was released July 29, 2008. An American superhero film based on the series was announced in 2008; the film was to be directed by Michael Rymer, who directed the 2002 film Queen of the