Okeydoke? Models, Inc. x Marvel Divas

April 11th, 2009 by | Tags: , , , , ,

modelsinc001_covMODELS, INC. #1 (of 4)
Written by PAUL TOBIN
Fashion Week is always a hectic time for models, and this year is no exception. Between escaped wolves, robbery attempts, and overly friendly police officers, Mary Jane Watson, Patsy Walker, Jill Jerold, Chili Storm and Millicent (Millie the Model) Collins are testing the limits of their endurance. But when a brilliant young set designer is found murdered with three bullet holes in his back, and Millie proves to be the prime suspect, the models are forced to play detective in order to save one of their own!
32 PGS./ Rated A …$3.99

modelsinc002-cvMODELS, INC. #2 (of 4)
Written by PAUL TOBIN
Millie Collins suspected of murder? Could it get any stranger? How about when she’s linked to a second murder by a policeman who’s intent on making a name for himself, and who has romantic intentions on Mille? It will take the investigative skills of Chili Storm and Mary Jane Watson, along with the ever-helpful Peter Parker, in order to turn up the clues to turn Millie loose!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

Anybody remember Marvel’s Models, Inc.? Paul Tobin and Viçenç Villagrassa have been working on Marvel’s all-ages Adventures books. Models, Inc. was to have been a book edited by Mark Paniccia, who just this past week released the delightful debuts of the all-new Savage She-Hulk (Fred van Lente/Peter Vale) and Exiles (Jeff Parker/Salva Espin). Looking over Paniccia’s profile on Comicbookdb.com reveals him to be a pretty solid editor. He was behind Agents of Atlas, Daughters of the Dragon, the Franklin Richards books, the New Warriors, Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, and (word to Gavok) Marvel’s recent trips back to the What If? well. He’s delivered on some pretty fun and engaging comics concepts, and put his faith in a lot of the non-Bendis/Brubaker/Millar guys at Marvel to great success.

The mini-series was supposed to start in February, after being solicited in November, but we’re two months past that now and Marvel’s just announced a new series, Marvel Divas.

This also seems like the perfect time to announce our Marvel Divas limited series, beginning in July, from Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Tonci Zonjic, featuring some of the Marvel Universe’s greatest female heroes in a way you haven’t seem them before. I’ll let Roberto explain:

“The idea behind the series was to have some sudsy fun and lift the curtain a bit and take a peep at some of our most fabulous super heroines. In the series, they’re an unlikely foursome of friends–Black Cat, Hell Cat, Firestar, and Photon–with TWO things in common: They’re all leading double-lives and they’re all having romantic trouble. The pitch started as “Sex and the City” in the Marvel Universe, and there’s definitely that “naughty” element to it, but I also think the series is doing to a deeper place, asking question about what it means…truly means…to be a woman in an industry dominated by testosterone and guns. (And I mean both the super hero industry and the comic book industry.) But mostly it’s just a lot of hot fun.

Robot 6 has an interesting comments thread about the series and other issues.

Here’s the cover, which interestingly enough is named “vixens001_cvr.jpg.” Was the series Marvel Vixens at first?


In the writer’s own words, the series is “sudsy fun” and “naughty” and “hot fun.” Contrast this with Paul Tobin’s description of Models, Inc.:

The series itself is a murder mystery. The models are all staying at one of Tony Stark’s Central Park mansions because it’s Fashion Week in New York, and they have so many events to attend that they decide on a central location. Fashion Week is already buzzing because of the murder of a well known socialite and the disappearance of several important works of art by artists such as Otto Dix and Egon Schiele.

Then, when a second murder takes place, Millie Collins becomes the prime suspect, and it’s up to the models to band together to unearth the real murderer. Crime, suspense, and high fashion. Alert the paparazzi!

One has a description that’d fit with your average Skinemax movie, or Bill Jemas’s Bad Girls for Fanboys movement. The other sounds like, well, a murder mystery. Jeff Scott Campbell’s cover is, well, a J. Scott Campbell cover. Big on Comic Book Sexy, low on variety. Models, Inc.’s covers were take-offs on the stereotypical Cosmo/Vogue covers, Glamourpuss-style.

When you put them up side-by-side like this, I feel like one of these books would be interesting and fun, and the other wouldn’t. Obviously, I’m pre-judging here, but as a consumer, that’s what I’m supposed to do. Models, Inc. sounded like the kind of self-aware-but-funny comic I dig these days, and fairly non-exploitative. Marvel Divas sounds like the opposite.

I couldn’t find a statement from Marvel online about its cancellation, but the series has been wiped from Marvel’s site entirely. So, what happened to Models, Inc.?

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8 comments to “Okeydoke? Models, Inc. x Marvel Divas”

  1. Checking Paul Tobin’s site I don’t see anything. But the picture of Models, Inc. goes to an empty link in Marvel’s online catalogue now. His twitter mentions that he just finished a script for an unannounced project. None of which sounds good for the Millie the Model book…

    Still I know that Marvel is reprinting the story he wrote and his wife drew of Millie, Mary Jane and others where the take on the Enchantress. Maybe that will kick start some more interest in the project…

  2. One important detail about the Marvel Vixens/Divas is that it is written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who wrote the fantastic Marvel Knights 4 series. He had a great handle on Susan Richards, so I trust him on this.

  3. Marvel Divas sounds like another book along the vein of Entertainment created by Gay Men for Straight Women. It’s probably going to be as exploitative as Sex and the City, Cashmere Mafia, or Grey’s Anatomy is. The description is really on par with any episode of Sex and the City, hence the writer quoting it. Do you really think that’s like a Cinemax flick?

    Also people keep assuming that Models was canceled to produce this? David doesn’t say it directly but links both in a way to imply the thought. The projects share one character and nothing else. We don’t know if the other project is done yet and Marvel is waiting to release it because this one is more time sensitive. Or the artists on Models Inc. is taking forever or Tobin has to work on his own secret project.

    I understand why people are upset, but the gut reaction on this is clouding people’s thinking.

  4. @Matt Ampersand: RAS is okayish, but not very memorable at all.

    @Pedro Tejeda: Who keeps assuming that Models, Inc. was cancelled for Divas? I’m the first person to mention the book in over a month, so I’m not sure what you’re arguing against here. What gut reaction?

    That aside, the artist had no schedule problems on the Marvel Adventures books, to my knowledge. My issue is that the book was solicited twice, didn’t come out, and hasn’t come out, while a new series that’s kind of in a similar wheelhouse was just announced. It isn’t a leap to go “Oh, maybe the two issues are related.”

  5. I’m guessing that Model’s, Inc. was quietly canceled like Marvel does with a lot of lower tier books. As for why I think that, it was probably ordered in such abysmally low numbers that Marvel simply gave up on it.

    I do have to give credit to Marvel for at least attempting something like Model’s, Inc. but I have no idea what they were going for in doing the series.

  6. […] Publishing | With the (somewhat controversial) announcement last week of Marvel Divas, David Brothers wonders what happened to Models, Inc., the all-ages miniseries by Paul Tobin and Vicenc Villagrassa that was scheduled to debut in February. [4thletter!] […]

  7. I’m sure I read something about Models Inc being resolicited and released to coincide with fall Fashion Week in September, but I can’t remember where I read it.

    I doubt Marvel Divas has preempted the series.

  8. I was wondering about Models, Inc. too. That was something I was actually looking forward to reading. Paul Tobin had put some pencils up on his blog and they looked great. I remember Rich Johnston writing something about it being reworked and that it would be re-solicited to coincide with New York’s Fashion Week, but I don’t know how true that was.