Mattel announces Storm, Dark Phoenix, and Mystique X-Men Barbie Dolls

We mutants can do anything, right Barbie?

During the first day of the San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel and Mattel announced a new line of X-Men Barbie dolls, which include Storm, Dark Phoenix and Mystique. The dolls are a part of the celebration of the 80th anniversary of Marvel Comics.

The dolls will be sold exclusively through GameStop, retailing for $54.99 USD each and are slated to be released in October. Preorders are open now. Here are the descriptions of each from their website:

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‘Marvel Comics #1000’ brings together 80 creative teams for one 80-page story

Anniversary project celebrates 80 years of Marvel.

After teasing a whole lot of creative teams on Twitter and in its comics this week, Marvel Comics has announced Marvel Comics #1000, an 80-page comic that arrives in August.

According to the New York Times, the story will start at “day one” for Marvel, in 1939, and each page will correlate to one year in Marvel history — and will be created by a different creative team. Names that Marvel has announced include current Marvel creators like Mark Waid, Al Ewing (who helped architect the project), Saladin Ahmed, Jason Aaron and Gerry Duggan, as well as key creators from Marvel’s past, like Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz, Erik Larsen and Rob Liefeld. There’s also folks who haven’t done comics before, like basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas and The Goldbergs creator Adam F. Goldberg.

“Our characters are mentioned in so many different ways and in so many different mediums and we always keep track,” Marvel Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski said. “Now these distinguished individuals are able to contribute back to the comics they grew up on.”

Alex Ross will provide the cover:

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‘Marvel Team-Up’ returns in April

The first arc by Eve Ewing and Joey Vazquez will feature Ms. Marvel and Spider-Man.

One of the staples of Marvel’s 1970s/1980s comic line will return in April, as the publisher has announced plans to reboot Marvel Team-Up.

Written by Eve Ewing with art by Joey Vazquez, the first arc of the new ongoing series will feature a team-up between Ms. Marvel and Spider-Man. Ewing and Vazquez are also working together on a Ms. Marvel story that will be included in Ms. Marvel #38.

“I don’t want to reveal too much, but my goal with the story is to have maximum fun with two characters that are both really sweet and really cool people who are fan favorites (and faves of mine), and to put them both in some delightful awkward and uncomfortable situations where they have to stretch to the limits of their abilities,” Ewing told The Chicago Tribune.

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Comics Lowdown: Comic books sales up in 2018, Marvel top publisher; stalker sets cosplayer’s car on fire

Plus: ‘Drama’ drama with the Ottawa Catholic School Board! Faith Erin Hicks! Jed MacKay! And more!

The 2018 direct market numbers from Diamond are in and comic sales are ever so slightly up from 2017. Comics saw an increase to sales by 3.3%, but graphic novels were down by 6.6%. The combined sales of the two formats mean a wee increase of 0.6% for the direct market.

Marvel Comics increased their market share slightly to gain an extra 2% over DC Comics, who seemed to have flat lined and lost 0.3% of their market share. This indicates that Marvel’s market share gains mostly come from the expense of small publishers or independent comic sales, with the exception of Image Comics, who also saw a slight increase.

The best-selling graphic novel of the year was Infinity Gauntlet. The 1991 story is enjoying a revival because of the Avengers: Infinity War movie. The best-selling comics was Action #1000, a landmark issue featuring unpublished artwork by legendary Superman artist Curt Swan and the introduction of writer Brain Michael Bendis to the DC universe.

Complete lists and more insight are available on comichron.com.

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Liefeld, Portacio return to the X-Men with ‘Major X’

The mysterious character from another reality will make his debut in April.

Before moving on to help found Image Comics, Rob Liefeld and Whilce Portacio left their mark on Marvel’s X-Men titles in the early 1990s. They worked on X-Force and Uncanny X-Men, respectively, and between them created or co-created iconic characters like Deadpool, Cable, Bishop and more.

Now the two creators are returning to the X-corner of the Marvel Universe with the introduction of Major X, a mysterious new character who is getting his own six-issue miniseries. The series will run bi-weekly from April through June. It’s written by Liefeld, who will share art duties with Portacio and Brent Peeples (Titans, New Super-Man).

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2018 Cyber Monday Comic Sales

It is not too late to score some last minute deals!

As the day winds down, it is not too late to score some last minute Cyber Monday sales. It is a good idea to check your own local comic store for deals closest to home. Here are some comic and comic related deals online

Fantagraphics 2018 Cyber Monday banner

Fantagraphics is offering 40% off almost everything!

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Nuff Said: Stan Lee passes away at 95

The face of Marvel Comics leaves behind a lifelong legacy of superheroes and sequential art

On the morning of Nov. 12, legendary comic creator Stan Lee was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he passed away. The news was broken by TMZ, who spoke with his daughter, J.C. Lee.

It feels weird to write an obituary on a man many comic fans know so well already.

Stanley Martin Lieber’s career in comics started when he was only 17 years old as an assistant at Timely Comics. His duties included refilling inkwells and erasing pencil lines. Two years later, using Jack Kirby’s and Joe Simon’s Nazi-fighting war hero, Lieber got his chance to write his first story called “Captain America Foils the Traitor’s Revenge.” Lieber used the pen name “Stan Lee.” The story was only a two-page text story in Captain America #3, but it was the story where Captain America first used his iconic shield-throwing maneuver. Two issues later, Stan Lee got his first comic break with “Headline Hunter, Foreign Correspondent,” which also showed Lee’s love for names with alliteration. Lee’s first superhero co-creation was Destroyer in Mystic Comics #6 (1941).

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Comics Lowdown: ‘One Punch Man’ tops GN chart

Plus: Another view of Marvel’s Northrop Grumman Comic, Palmiotti and Conner say goodbye to Harley Quinn, and was New York Comic Con too big?

Top Graphic Novels: Viz takes half the slots in the September BookScan top 20 chart, which measures sales of graphic novels in the book channel: Vol. 12 of One Punch Man was the top seller, followed by the all-in-one edition of Death Note (a 12-volume omnibus—yes, it’s a brick). Perennial best-sellers Fun Home, March, and Watchmen all make the chart, as does Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight: Master Race, vol. 3 of Tom King’s Batman: Rebirth, and Avatar’s limited edition of Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows’s Providence: Act 3. Interestingly, there is not a single Image title on the list.

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Comics Lowdown: We’re all doomed! Or not!

A writer predicts the demise of Marvel comics, but the DC honchos are bullish on their medium. Plus: Sitting down with Los Bros Hernandez.

Let’s kick things off with some doom and gloom! At the Disney theme park fan site The Kingdom Insider, Thom Pratt asks “Will Disney Stop Publishing Marvel Comic Books?” Pratt makes some good points: The Marvel universe most people are familiar with comes from the movies, not the comics; the comics themselves are not really accessible to most people, both literally (because of the uneven distribution and quality of comic shops) and figuratively (because the storylines cross over and the continuity is complex); and the profits are low relative to what a large corporation like Disney expects. Of course, this is all unvarnished speculation, with no insider knowledge, but there’s food for thought here—and as Pratt points out, Marvel is already outsourcing its digests to Archie and its young-readers Star Wars comics to IDW.

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