Shout! Factory, Marvel Animation team up for ‘Marvel Knights’ on DVD

The announcement was made earlier today by Shout! Factory founding partners Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos and Marvel Animation President Eric Rollman. Per the press release:

Behind every image and every word lies the genius of Marvel’s celebrated creators like Joss Whedon, Brian Michael Bendis, John Romita, Jr., Warren Ellis, John Cassaday and Adi Granov. Boasting groundbreaking graphics, sensational soundscapes and, of course, the explosiveness of the Marvel Universe, Marvel Knights Animation merges iconic Marvel comic book graphics and dynamic animation, utilizing some of the latest technology to provide incredible, cutting-edge, in-your-face storytelling. A wonderful hybrid that incorporates all of Marvel’s greatest talents, viewers can experience their favorite comics, as the spectacular visions of these authors and artists come alive in Marvel Knights Animation.

To translate into simpler terms, the movies will be sticking close to the storylines and art style without looking crappy (I hope).  Based on the writers and artists named as well as two of the four titles, it’s easy to determine which comic arcs they’ll be developing.

Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men: Gifted was drawn by Cassaday and is made up of their first six issues. Kitty Pryde, a fan -and Joss – favorite, can be considered the main character in the run though in true Joss fashion all the characters get a chance to shine. A small quibble is that Astonishing X-Men is not actually part of the Marvel Knights line but, based on some of the themes and events, I can see the logic in placing it under the “adult” umbrella of the House That Stan Built.

Iron Man: Extremis is the name of issues 1-6 of writer Warren Ellis and artist Adi Granov’s run on Invincible Iron Man. In comics continuity, the story served as an origin reboot of sorts after the massive “Avengers: Disassembled” event and was partially used in the Iron Man film (which Granov was made a producer of and designed the final armors for).

The un-subtitled films will probably stick to the same first-six-issues pattern. John Romita, Jr. was the artist for Reginald Hudlin’s run on the Black Panther – they’ll most likely be adapting the 2005 origin story “Who Is The Black Panther.” As for Brian Michael Bendis and Spider-Woman, I’m 99% sure they’ll be adapting the mini-series Origin drawn by the Luna Brothers.

All in all, it’s a promising slate and I’m most interested in seeing what they do with Black Panther who could really use a strong showing. I’m also curious how they’ll be interpreting the art of the Luna Brothers which is just beautiful.

The full press release:

For Immediate Release

SHOUT! FACTORY & MARVEL ANIMATION EXPAND CONTENT PARTNERSHIP

Shout! Factory and Marvel Animation Join Forces to Bring Highly Anticipated Marvel Knights Animation Series to DVD

Powerful Slate of Marvel Knights Animation Highlights Works from Celebrated Marvel Authors and Artists

Los Angeles, California – Shout! Factory and Marvel Animation have expanded their strategic content partnership to bring Marvel’s innovative and media-rich Marvel Knights Animation series to the U.S. home entertainment marketplace. The announcement was made today by Shout! Factory founding partners Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos; and Marvel Animation President Eric Rollman.

Direct from the pages of the critically acclaimed comic books, Marvel Knights Animation remains true to the legendary Marvel experience of sophisticated storytelling and dynamic artwork. Behind every image and every word lies the genius of Marvel’s celebrated creators like Joss Whedon, Brian Michael Bendis, John Romita, Jr., Warren Ellis, John Cassaday and Adi Granov. Boasting groundbreaking graphics, sensational soundscapes and, of course, the explosiveness of the Marvel Universe, Marvel Knights Animation merges iconic Marvel comic book graphics and dynamic animation, utilizing some of the latest technology to provide incredible, cutting-edge, in-your-face storytelling. A wonderful hybrid that incorporates all of Marvel’s greatest talents, viewers can experience their favorite comics, as the spectacular visions of these authors and artists come alive in Marvel Knights Animation.

Under the multi-year agreement, Shout! Factory will be the exclusive U.S. home entertainment distributor with licensing rights to Marvel Knights Animation properties, including Astonishing X-Men: Gifted, Black Panther, Iron Man: ExtremisSpider-Woman and many more to be announced.

Early this year, Shout! Factory announced an agreement with Marvel Animation to be the exclusive U.S. home entertainment distributor to Marvel’s highly successful animated series “The Super Hero Squad Show.”

“Marvel Animation is a wonderful partner. Once again, we are delighted to expand our relationship with Marvel and to add fan favorite stories from Marvel Animation to our pop culture library,” stated the Shout! Factory founding partners. “Marvel Knights Animation demonstrates the immense popularity of the genre, offering fans a one-of-a-kind experience of bringing Marvel’s greatest Super Heroes to their homes in an entertaining way.”

Eric S. Rollman, President of Marvel Animation stated, “We are excited to expand our relationship with Shout! Factory to bring Marvel Knights Animation to home video.  This offering brings the best of the best of our comic books to life using proprietary animation techniques, delivering a must see experience for both loyal and new fans.”

About Marvel Entertainment, LLC

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 5,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years.  Marvel utilizes its character franchises in licensing, entertainment (via Marvel Studios and Marvel Animation) and publishing (via Marvel Comics).  Marvel’s strategy is to leverage its franchises in a growing array of opportunities around the world, including feature films, consumer products, toys, video games, animated television, direct-to-DVD and online.  For more information visit www.marvel.com.

About Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory is a diversified entertainment company devoted to producing, uncovering and revitalizing the very best of pop culture. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their careers sharing their music, television and film faves with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory’s DVD offerings serve up classic, contemporary and cult TV series, riveting sports programs, live music, animation and documentaries in lavish packages crammed with extras. The company’s audio catalogue boasts GRAMMY®-nominated boxed sets, new releases from storied artists, lovingly assembled album reissues and indispensable “best of” compilations. These riches are the result of a creative acquisitions mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention. With its fingers on the pulse of pop culture, Shout! Factory continues to impact the entertainment media landscape through acquisition of top quality programming for home entertainment releases. Shout! Factory is based in Santa Monica, California. For more on Shout! Factory, visit ShoutFactory.com

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About Tamara Brooks

A few things I wondered about as a kid: Why didn't Wonder Woman punch more bad guys in the face on the tv show?; How does Superman flying around the Earth turn back time?; Could someone really catch bullets with their teeth?; Why didn't the liquid bits of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man cause 3rd degree burns on whoever it landed on? Because melted marshmallow is up there with molten hot lava.