Marvel Entertainment made waves of headlines yesterday when it took to ABC's The View daytime television talk show to announce an all-new Thor comic series that would replace the classic hero with a female version, the first woman to wield the power of the mythical hammer of Norse legend known as Mjolnir. The controversial swap was specifically designed to cater to female readers in an effort for Marvel to expand their audience. If anything, they certainly got the geek world's attention in their lead-up to San Diego Comic-Con next week.
Marvel is continuing with the momentum today, this time taking to The Colbert Report this evening for another comic book title announcement. Thankfully, this time they were clear that the news is specific to comic books instead of letting many think it could be television or film related. While Comedy Central's The Colbert Report isn't Disney-owned like most venues or networks Marvel typically makes its official announcements, host Stephen Colbert has been a longtime collaborator with Marvel. He has a Captain America shield on his shelf on the show and in the comics he was actually a character running for President. He even won the popular vote against President Obama in Marvel's mainstay 616 universe (the main series of Marvel comics).
Tonight's (Wednesday, July 16th) episode airs at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT where 50 year-old funnyman and soon-to-be host of the Late Show on CBS (when David Letterman retires next year) will invite Joe Quesada, Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment, on to announce "an all-new comic book title and all-new era for one of Marvel’s most classic Super Heroes."
Keep in mind, that Marvel already announced a week ago that there will be a new Captain America debuting this fall, stepping into the star-spangled costume previous worn by Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes - played by Chris Evans and Sebastian Stan in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, respectively. Joining the new Cap is the all-new female Thor revealed yesterday, which begs the question if tonight's "classic" hero is another key member of The Avengers as we know them from the films (i.e. Iron Man) or if it's another headliner like Spider-Man who's crossed paths with Colbert in the books.
We don't know if this will be an all-new character, or character swap like yesterday's announcement, or simply a new direction ("new era") for someone we know. It could be more details and confirmation on who the new Captain America is, but we already know thanks to the cover of Avengers #35 that it's Sam Wilson aka Falcon (Anthony Mackie in Captain America: The Winter Soldier). That issue releases in September.
Like the Captain America and Thor changes, the new direction for these stories and characters opens new paths for Marvel Studios to follow years down the road when Hollywood and talent contracts prevent the production house from making more followups to the characters we're familiar with on screen. It allows for Avengers movies for years to come with new versions of their iconic characters.
What are your predictions for tonight?
Guardians of the Galaxy opens August 1, 2014, The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 17, 2015, Captain America 3 on May 6 2016, and unannounced films for July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie and TV news!