What Are You Reading? | Red Goblins, celestial avatars, Klan smashers and Texas blood

See what the Smash Pages crew has checked off their ‘to read’ list lately.

Like I said last week, summertime is the right time for crossovers and comics. This week brought us a taste of Empyre, Marvel’s big crossover event featuring the Avengers, The Fantastic Four, the Kree, the Skrulls, the Blue Area of the Moon, the Swordsman and all that crazy cosmic space action Marvel fans have come to know and love. You can see Carla’s thoughts on it below, along with a list of comics Shane has been buying for his kids and Tom’s thoughts on two politically minded books from DC.

You can tell us what you’ve been reading in the comments below or on social media.

Shane Bailey

Lately my kids have started wanting to read more comics. My little one has always been into them, but now the older kids are as well. So I let them pick out their own comics to read on comiXology Unlimited.

My 9 yr old son picked Amazing Spider-Man: The Red Goblin by Dan Slott and Stuart Immonen, and he loves it. He wouldn’t stop commenting on how crazy scary Norman Osborn is, how it was gross when Carnage bit the head off a rat, and during one issue when the Goblin had a captive and was interrogating him, he wondered aloud over who it was, making guesses and gasping when he found out who it was and that Norman knew who Spider-Man was. It’s great seeing him get excited at things that are old hat for me. It made me appreciate those moments more.

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Marvel’s 2020 FCBD titles will arrive in July

With no new date for Free Comic Book Day scheduled yet, Marvel has scheduled when their titles will be sent to retailers.

Marvel has announced plans to release their 2020 Free Comic Book Day titles in July.

Originally targeted for release in May as a part of Free Comic Book Day, Marvel’s two books — along with every other title that was going to be offered to fans for free as a part of the annual event –were delayed when Diamond Comics Distributors announced that FCBD would be postponed this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Diamond has not announced a new date for the FCBD yet, and with Marvel’s books offering “a first look at some of Marvel’s biggest upcoming events,” it makes sense they’d want to get their two books out there before these “game-changing” stories start.

Their two titles, and their new release dates, are:

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Spidey practices social distancing in this awesome fan comic

Dewey Bass creates an unofficial comic that finds Spider-Man dealing with the current pandemic.

Dewey Bass has a pretty impressive collection of Spider-Man comics, so it’s no surprise that when he decided to make a comic about the coronavirus pandemic, he turned to the wall-crawler. His completely unofficial five-page Spider-Man comic, “Social Distancing,” has been liked or shared more than 42,000 times on Tumblr.

“I guess this is how I’m processing what we’re all going through right now. I had the stray thought, ‘What is Spider-Man doing during all this?’ and this happened,” Bass said on his Tumblr blog. “On the one hand, it’s kinda sloppy and inconsistent, but on the other hand, I had the idea Sunday night and I’m posting this Wednesday night. 5 color pages in 4 nights is pretty good work. Anyway. Hope everyone’s safe out there.”

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Kelly, Bachalo reunite for ‘Nonstop Spider-Man’

New action-oriented title from Marvel starts up in June.

Marvel has announced a brand-new Spider-Man title by the team of Joe Kelly and Chris Bachalo — Nonstop Spider-Man.

“[Editor] Nick Lowe has a super-power,” Kelly said. “He picks up the phone, calls me, and says the exact combination of words that make me want to drop everything and dive head first into the Marvel Universe. Last time it was Spider-Man, Deadpool, Ed McGuinness. No brainer, YES. This time it was Spider-Man, Non-Stop, Chris Bachalo. Again, YES…but ‘Non-stop?’”

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Marvel heads back into the ‘Spider-Verse’ this fall

New miniseries reunites Miles Morales with many of his Spider-friends, as well as fan-made #Spidersonas.

With the success and critical acclaim that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse received — not to mention the awesome Spidersona artwork pros and fans created after seeing it — it makes sense that Marvel would make more Spider-Verse comics.

Coming in October, they’re doing just that — writer Jed MacKay and a bunch of artists will take Miles Morales on a six-issue tour of the multiverse. MacKay will work with Juan Frigeri, Arthur Adams, Stuart Immonen, Stacey Lee and more, according to Marvel.com.

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Marvel announces ‘Red Goblin: Red Death’ for October

Pat Gleason, Rob Fee, Sean Ryan and Pete Woods explore one of Norman Osborn’s deadliest personas.

The depths of Norman Osborn’s depravity will be explored in a one-shot this fall, as Marvel goes back in time to flesh out the story of the Red Goblin.

Red Goblin: Red Death looks back at the time the former Green Goblin merged with the Carnage symbiote, circa Amazing Spider-Man #798. He certainly made Spider-Man’s life hell at the time, but what else did he get up to? Writers Pat Gleason, Rob Fee and Sean Ryan, along with artist Pete Woods, plan to tell that story.

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Mary Jane breaks out into her own title in October

Leah Williams and Carlos Gomez send ‘The Amazing Mary Jane’ to pursue her Hollywood dreams.

After more than 50 years, Mary Jane Watson will jump into her own miniseries in October, titled, naturally, The Amazing Mary Jane.

Writer Leah Williams and artist Carlos Gomez will helm the series starring Peter Parker’s better half, which spins out of the recent Amazing Spider-Man #25.

Mary Jane Watson just got her big shot — but at what cost? And can she really trust anyone as she pursues her Hollywood dreams?

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Adidas + Marvel team for Spider-Man inspired shoes

With great sneakers come great responsibility.

Adidas and Marvel have teamed up with the Utah Jazz player and major Spider-fan Donovan Mitchell for a line of shoes inspired by the various suits worn by Spider-Man.

The “D.O.N. Issue #1” line kicks off with the traditional red-and-blue suit getting a sneaker makeover, while the Iron Spider, Stealth and of course Symbiote suits also get some love.

The “D.O.N.” in the name stands for “Determination Over Negativity.” “Determination Over Negativity is a belief that anything is possible no matter who you are or where you come from,” said Mitchell . “I wanted this sneaker to be a symbol of that – for the kid who believes they can do anything.”

Mitchell, whose nickname is “Spida,” also appears in an ad for Spider-Man: Far from Home. “It made up a lot of movies I watched as a kid,” Mitchell said back in November after the death of Stan Lee, about the influence Lee and Spider-Man had on him. “It was pretty special for me to take that Spider-Man name and kind of run with it. It is an honor. He has done so much for the community and for us as kids growing up. [Lee’s] made an everlasting impact due to the comics, the movies, the ideas. He never stopped, and I think that is one thing that you can attest to his work ethic. I kind of put that into my work ethic. There’s always something, you always have to do more, he never stopped, and that was very impressive.

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News of a ‘Spider-Man’ miniseries by JJ + Henry Abrams sparks mixed reactions

Fans and pros had many opinions on Marvel’s newest Spidey series.

Marvel teased and then announced last week that filmmaker JJ Abrams and his son Henry will write a new miniseries simply titled Spider-Man. The comic will feature artwork by Sara Pichelli and Dave Stewart, with covers by Olivier Coipel.

The quick version:

  • Marvel began hyping the series with a series of teasers on Twitter that counted down to the day it would be announced, starting with a stylized “4” that looked like Spider-Man’s webs.
  • The announcement was made via a New York Times interview with JJ and Henry Abrams.
  • Reactions were, to put it lightly, mixed. Many fans expressed their disappointment with the overall announcement, as many were hoping the teasers were referring to a comic book adaptation of the script for the unmade Spider-Man 4 by Sam Raimi. Many comic creators criticized the fact that the inexperienced Henry Abrams seems to be getting a big break into comics simply because of who his father is.

So what’s this all about? Let’s break it down …

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