Thor Annual - Cover - Marvel

Thor Annual – Cover – Marvel

by Jeff Gwinnup, Contributor, The Geek Initiative

The internet was recently set ablaze with the announcement that former professional wrestler CM Punk will be making his comic book writing debut in February 2015’s Thor Annual #1. It’s an interesting and intriguing development to say the least. Tuesday’s announcement seeks to be even more exciting as Noelle Stevenson has also been tapped to write a feature story in the upcoming annual issue with accompanying art by Marguerite Savage.

For those not in the know, Stevenson, also making her Marvel debut, is one of the co-creators of the critically acclaimed independent comic Lumberjanes, a story about a group of young female scouts at a summer camp full of mystery and fantastic creatures.

She is also a co-founder of the popular tumblr page The Hawkeye Initiative, where artists illustrate the gratuitous, misshapen and outright misogynistic positions that female characters are drawn into by mainstream comic companies by way of putting male characters in outfits and provocatively hyper-sexualized poses usually meant for women. It’s an eye-opening, yet tongue-in-cheek indictment of female objectification. [Read our interview with The Hawkeye Initiative Co-Creator Jennifer Jeong here.]

Uncanny X-Men Annual - Marvel

Uncanny X-Men Annual – Marvel

Noelle Stevenson’s addition to the upcoming Thor Annual #1, which currently has a woman holding the mighty Mjolnir, is a continuing sign of the steadily increasing inclusion of leading female characters, writers and artists into mainstream comics. And judging by her work on Lumberjanes (of which I had just recently taken a look at and recommend it highly), it’s a welcome addition. I’m looking forward to Stevenson’s take on the Goddess of Thunder.

Switching gears to another upcoming annual, top Marvel scribe Brian Michael Bendis will pen Uncanny X-Men Annual #1 with accompanying art by Andrea Sorrentino, whose previous works include DC Comics’ I, Vampire and Green Arrow. Solicits posit the story of one Eva Bell, a new X-Men trainee whose code name is Tempus. Judging from the preview artwork, this looks to be a mind-bending, beautifully illustrated mystery that spans across time and space.

With two exciting annual issues upcoming, events like Secret Wars and Spider-Verse (which I’m checking out for MC2 Spider-Girl, Spider-Gwen, and Spider-Ham), The Falcon taking over as Captain America, and no doubt more on the way, not to mention Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. still going strong with the addition of Adrianne Palicki as Mockingbird, Marvel’s future looks to be progressing in a unique direction that will be intriguing to watch.

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