Avengers Expanding; SHIELD, Arrow Casting

The Uncanny Avengers are expanding. Marvel has revealed that the team, once depicted as having only six members, will soon balloon to a total of nine. Now Captain America, Wolverine, Thor, Rogue, Scarlet Witch and Havok will be joined by Sunfire, Wonder Man and Wasp.

In Avengers vs. X-Men five mutants, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Magik, Colossus and Namor, are given the power of the Phoenix to reshape the world. Obviously that didn’t go so well. They fight amongst themselves, destroy whole civilizations and Cyclops ends up killing Professor Xavier. Now everyone hates mutants even more, if that was possible. To help the mutant image, Captain America creates a team made up of X-Men and Avengers. Captain America, Thor and Scarlet Witch are the Avengers, Wolverine, Havok and Rogue are the X-Men.

Series writer, Rick Remender, has already stated that each new member has a purpose for being there. Wonder Man, as an actor and a pacifist, is good for PR. The recently no-longer-dead Wasp provides the team’s funding. The Uncanny Avengers are not on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s payroll, so the money has to come from somewhere. Sunfire’s purpose is being kept a secret for now, but it involves Wolverine somehow. The interesting thing about this is that there is no longer a balance on the roster. Sunfire is a mutant, but Wasp and Wonder Man are Avengers. However, considering Wolverine and Scarlet Witch first in both categories I guess it all kind of evens out. There will be plenty of other cast members, but Remender states that this is his team moving forward.

The first issue was released in October, putting the Marvel NOW! launch on top of the sale chart with 300,000 units sold (Batman #13 was second with 148,293!) The publisher announced that issues 3 and 4 have been pushed back a month. Current artist, John Cassaday, will draw the first four issues. Uncanny Avengers #5, the issue where the expanded lineup premieres, will be drawn by Olivier Coipel.

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More S.H.E.I.L.D. casting! Joss Whedon’s tv series has cast two more agents to join Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson and Ming-Na as Agent Melinda May. Elizabeth Henstridge will be playing Agent Gemma Simmons, a science whiz. Iain De Caestecker will be playing Agent Leo Fitz, the teams technology expert. The two are described as young agents who, after coming up through training together, have developed a sibling-like relationship. Hestridge is starring in the British film, Tooting Broadway and the vampire film, The Thompsons. De Caestecker will be appearing in the Scottish film, Not Another Happy Ending, alongside Doctor Who star Karen Gillan. He is also in the BBC mini-series The Secret of Crickley Hall.

The only roles that are still left to cast from Whedon’s casting breakdowns are a character simply referred to Skye and Agent Grant Ward. Sky is described as a late 20s woman who is “fun, smart, caring and confident,” while Ward is a , “a quiet one with a bit of a temper.” Still no word about the involvement of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.

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The new tv show, Arrow, about Green Arrow, has cast a new villain! Seth Gabel, the actor who played Lincoln Lee on Fringe, has been cast to play…someone. I want to say he was cast as the villain Count Vertigo, but that’s not really true. Vertigo is the ruler of the fictional country of Vlatava and he has the power to induce vertigo in his enemies. That’s unpleasant. The character that Gabel is playing won’t be called Vertigo, won’t have superpowers, won’t wear a costume, and most likely won’t be from Vlatava. So, yeah.

Seth Gabel will do none of this

The character he is playing is supposedly loosely based off the character, but altered to be a more grounded character, “Christopher-Nolan-esque” if you would. The name Vertigo will be involved, however, as Gabel’s character will be involved in the trade of a deadly new drug, called Vertigo. It’s probably where he’ll get his vertigo-like powers. Green Arrow will be just tripping balls.

The nameless villain joins the growing list of heroes and villains making their presence known on the fledgling tv series. The Huntress, The Royal Flush Gang, Firefly, China White, played by Kelly Hu (Lady Deathstrike from X-2!), Deathstroke, Deadshot, and Constantine Drakon are all comic book characters that have showed up in Arrow. I would like to see more street level heroes and villains like the Question, Manhunter, Vigilante, Onomatopoeia (if Kevin Smith doesn’t own that guy!), Big Game, Brick, and I wouldn’t be surprised if series writer, Andrew Kreisberg, brought in his own terrible pet creation, Cupid, from his time as a comic book writer. Just please don’t have her kill everyone like last time.

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Walking Dead fans rejoice, Tyreese is coming to town. Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead writer and TV show executive producer, has stated that a fan favorite from the comic book will be introduced into the show. Although nothing is confirmed yet, the wild popularity of Tyreese among Walking Dead fans make him the leading candidate for television adaptation.

To make it even more obvious, Chad Coleman from “The Wire” has been seen around the show’s filming site in Atlanta. Maybe this is all just a case of mistaken identity and racial profiling. It could always end up being Axel. I always felt that Tyreese would be a great addition to the cast, and a much more interesting character than T-Dog. What does he do exactly? Tyreese and Rick became co-leaders of the group until the two butted heads over power. Maybe we’ll see Tyreese and his hammer on the December 2nd midseason finale. My fingers are crossed.

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