Some Book News and Avengers NOW

I have a confession to make. Like many traditional and indie authors, I constantly check my book’s Amazon page for updated sales rankings and reviews. A month ago, I’m checking the Amazon US page for Star Brigade: Resurgent and about 2 or 3 new reviews had been posted. One was a 5 star review (yay!), another was 4 star while the last was 2 star.

Of course, I freeze, panic and immediately read the review to see what could possibly have caused the reviewer to dispense such a low rating to my book.

Turns out, the reviewer had actually liked my book and would have given it a 5-star review. However, several typos and spelling issues had made reading the book very difficult. That was a hard pill to swallow, and confirmed a longstanding fear I’d harbored about this latest edition of Star Brigade: Resurgent.

A small part of me had wanted to get the book one more professional edit before releasing it. But the combination of waiting for the last beta reader to finish their review and my general impatience pushed me to release the book without doing so. Not very smart. Rest assured, I have since hired a professional editor and as of June 29th, Star Brigade: Resurgent is now as error-free as can be. My apologies to those who have encountered grammar and spelling issues that have made reading my book difficult. For anyone who bought Star Brigade: Resurgent before June 29th, an updated version is now automatically available. Rest assured that this will never happen again. Anything I put out will have its spelling and grammar quality guaranteed before you ever lay eyes on it.

That being said, so Marvel had some huge announcements this week about its brand-new Avengers NOW initiative.

The new Avengers roster!

Interesting new line-up, right? The Marvel brass is quick to point out that only 4 of its 11 member cast are white males, a clear push for diversity given the former lack of diversity on Marvel’s premiere superhero team. This is similar to the Marvel NOW initiative two years ago, but just revamping the Avengers. As you can see from the picture above that new members include Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch, Medusa, Inferno, Angela (formerly a Spawn character now integrated into the Marvel-verse as Thor’s secret sister from the recently revealed 10th Realm. Oui comics.) Deathlock, a returning Ant-Man and Winter Soldier.

Also it appears that Marvel is revamping its Big Three (Captain America, Iron Man and Thor). Let’s start with everyone’s favorite Odinson.

This was the first of Marvel’s big changes, announced on The View of all places. Gotta love that Disney/Marvel synergy, no? Apparently Thor will do something unworthy during the current Original Sin game-changing, blockbuster world-shaking miniseries, something unworthy enough to no longer wield his own hammer. Meaning that someone new will wield Mjölnir. This someone new is a woman currently of unknown origin. A Goddess of Thunder. So where does that leave male Thor? And what will he be called now that She-Thor is THE Thor?

Then we have Captain America. Apparently, the super soldier serum that makes Steve Rogers so super soldier-y gets sucked out of his body by nefarious means, reverting him to his previous enfeebled state and true age. Ooph. Sucks to be born in the early 20th century, Steve. Longtime Captain America sidekick Sam Wilson (aka The Falcon) takes over as Cap, making him the second African American Captain America after Isaiah Bradley.

Iron Man is still Tony Stark. Except that he’s moving from NYC to to San Francisco and his armor looks like he got into a fight with an Apple Store and lost.

As for the others? Deathlock is obviously a tie-in to the Agents of SHIELD TV show. Ant-Man’s getting his own movie soon. Winter Soldier was just prominently featured in the Captain America sequel. Scarlet Witch will be featured in Avengers 2. The Inhumans Medusa and Inferno have been getting a huge push into the main Marvel Universe for about a year or so.

Thoughts? I’m all for change when it makes sense. Some of these changes work. In terms of diversity, I’m glad that Marvel is making a serious effort toward not having such a lily-white roster for their biggest team. The world is changing and kids of different ethnicities should be seeing a little something of themselves in their favorite superheroes. As a kid, the lack of diversity in comics didn’t really bother me as much as it should have. But as I’ve gotten older, it’s obvious to even a blind man that big changes need to be made. Granted, it would be nice to introduce a new superhero of color that isn’t reliant on a previous hero’s mantle to get attention. But hey, baby steps right?

Now on another side of the coin, I could care less about most of the changes. Why, you might ask? Because the majority of this roster change is a series of stunts driven by the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We all know that Steve Rogers and the original Thor will regain their stations of power by the time Avengers 2 comes out. Iron Man might even change from his Apple silver armor back to the iconic red and gold by May 2015 as well. We’ve seen this before. Winter Soldier was ‘killed’ while wearing the Captain America mantle around the time that the first Captain America movie came out, only to return right before Captain America: The Winter Soldier hit theaters. Peter Parker reclaimed his body from Doc Octopus right as the Amazing Spider Man 2 was released in theaters. I seriously doubt that Wolverine will stay dead once X-Men: Apocalypse gets released in 2016.

Comics nowadays are like snow globes. They shake everything up, promising that this event will change the way you see comics and the world for ever and ever, only for things to settle and the original characters to land right back to where they once were previously. Give me a more permanent change and then we can talk. On that note, I’m off. I’ll post my thoughts on the new Planet of the Apes movie and Lucy next week.

To end things, here’s a fantastic sci-fi short film called ABE. Super creepy with great special effects!

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Posted in Book Promotion, Meh, Publishing, Science Fiction, Star Brigade, Writing, Writing Advice
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