Marvel Previews: "X-Factor," "Criminal," And More!

Thu, June 22nd, 2006 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Arune Singh, Staff Writer

Marvel Comics has released previews of two July shipping titles, "X-Factor" #9 and "Squadron Supreme" #5, as well as a preview of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' "Criminal" series, from Icon.

Civil War has divided X-Factor in half with some supporting the Superhuman Registration Act and the other half wanting to take a stand against it in X-Factor #9. Now it's up to Madrox to make a decision that will decide the future of X-Factor and whether it stands or falls apart.

You want more? How about a special guest appearance by the Astonishing X-Men? And how will X-Factor react upon learning the secret that Cyclops, Beast, Colossus, Kitty Pryde, and Wolverine have kept from them?

Still want even more? As if an escalating war and the most popular team in comics wasn't enough, the person behind the House of M and the resulting Decimation of many of the world's mutants has arrived in Mutant Town. And it falls to X-Factor to keep Quicksilver from turning the town upside down in X-Factor #9.

Quicksilver has resurfaced in Mutant Town offering former mutants the chance to regain their powers, but what happens when he gives the same offer to the depowered Rictor? Will he accept and if he does, what price will he have to pay?

You've got questions and X-Factor #9 has the answers. Do not miss the second part of the Civil War tie-in that has dangerous consequences for the future of X-Factor.

X-FACTOR #9 (MAY062009)

Written by PETER DAVID

Penciled by DENNIS CALERO

Cover by RYAN SOOK

32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99

FOC – 6/29, On Sale 7/19/2006

This fall award-winning writer Ed Brubaker, whose recent string of hits on Daredevil, Captain America and the X-Men have made him one of the hottest writers in comics, will join best-selling Marvel Zombies artist Sean Phillips for CRIMINAL, from Marvel's ICON label.

"For about a year, Sean and I have been trying to find the right project to tackle next. One day I realized what it had to be: a crime book. A pure crime book. And it was like being called home," says Brubaker. "The first book I made a name for myself on was Scene of the Crime, a mystery with Michael Lark and Sean Phillips. And while most of what I've done since has had an element of crime fiction to it, readers have always asked when I was going to get back to writing crime comics. So I figured now is that time."

Why crime? "It's an incredibly crowded comics market and my feeling is, we really don't need another superhero comic, even a superhero comic with a twist. Marvel and DC have that ground more than covered at this point," Brubaker says. "And recently, watching Warren Ellis have so much success with Fell, and seeing Robert Kirkman grow Walking Dead month after month, I thought, 'Let's take a chance and give retailers something different for their shelves.' And let's face it, everyone loves to read about crime."

To introduce retailers and audiences to the world of CRIMINAL, Brubaker and Phillips felt drastic action was necessary. "When new books are announced, you get a cover and a few random pages from the first issue," Brubaker says. "I wanted to do something that actually gave you an idea of what CRIMINAL was all about and how holding each issue in your hands was going to feel. So I thought, 'What about a teaser, a movie trailer on paper?' Then you've got something that not only gives a sample of the series, but also acts as an ad for it, and is a PDF that fans can pass around."

As for things you can't learn from the teaser, CRIMINAL will tread the line between comics like Fell and Sin City and TV series like The Sopranos, Thief and The Shield. "The main cast of the book, they're criminals. But I wanted to do something different with it here. I wanted to write a book that explored the clichs of the crime genre and turned them inside out. I wanted to have characters totally unlike the ones you're used to seeing in crime stories."

Take the first character we meet: Leo. "He's not a tough guy," Brubaker laughs. "Not at all. He just doesn't want to go to prison. He plays it smart, and tries to avoid violence. But because of the world he lives in, that's not always possible. That kind of character is incredibly rare in crime fiction, I think, that person concerned with the consequences of their actions. And because of that, Leo's story is ultimately about a man's struggle with the violence inside himself."

What else can readers look forward to in CRIMINAL? Brubaker promises every kind of crime story under the sun. "One of my intentions with this series was to create a book that could handle any and every story I wanted to tell. The cast of the book is a loose knit gang of crooks – a pickpocket, a hit-man, and a crooked cop, for starters – who each take center stage at different times. This way I can do a heist story, follow that with a revenge drama, and then a prison breakout, all while using the same characters. And as each story unfolds, the mysterious past that connects these characters is revealed, so readers can watch the puzzle of their twisted history being put together."

To that end, each issue of CRIMINAL will feature a main story continuing from issue to issue, a self-contained back-up story, and articles by Brubaker and other writers about crime books, movies and comics. "I wanted to do something to make the monthly issues really special, so I'm going to cram them from cover to cover with content. CRIMINAL is going to be well worth the cover price."

As for launching the book from Marvel's exclusive ICON line, Brubaker could not be more pleased. "It's no secret how happy I've been at Marvel. Since I've come there, my career has exploded. So the fact that they were generous enough to give me a chance at true creator-ownership from the biggest publisher in comics is just overwhelming. I intend to repay this generosity by making sure that CRIMINAL is the best damn comic I've ever done."

"If you're a fan of my past work, or only recently discovered me through my Marvel comics, and if you dug Sean's art in MARVEL ZOMBIES, I hope you'll give us a chance to blow you away with CRIMINAL. I've been giving my all to my superhero work, but with a straight crime book, I have to say, there are places I can go that heroes can't follow, a few aces up my sleeve I can hardly wait to put into play. Fall can't come quickly enough."

J. Michael Straczynski and Gary Frank's re-envisioning of the Squadron Supreme continues as the US government controlled super-team embarks on a deadly mission to the Middle East in Squadron Supreme #5. But will the mere presence of the Squadron Supreme cause more problems than it solves?

In a perfect jumping on point for new readers, Squadron Supreme #5 ups the action to the highest degree as the government continues to use the team on foreign soil. This time, the team is off to the Middle East to save countless innocent lives, but will their intervention cause long-term consequences for the region?

Now is the time to join the ranks of the readers of the Supremeverse as Squadron Supreme and the entire Ultimate Universe will be crossing over late this year in the pages of Ultimate Power by the stellar creative team of J. Michael Strazynski, Brian Michael Bendis, Jeph Loeb, and super-star artist Greg Land.

Be sure to pick up Squadron Supreme #5 because from the looks of these preview pages, the Squadron just may be the most powerful team ever assembled in comics. Watch out Ultimate Universe!

SQUADRON SUPREME #5 (MAY061998)

Written by J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI

Pencils & Cover by GARY FRANK

32 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$2.99

FOC – 6/22, On Sale – 7/12/2006

 
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