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SYFY WIRE Star Wars: The Clone Wars

WIRE Buzz: Marvel Unlimited offers a dozen free comics; Clone Wars making-of; more

By Jacob Oller
Black Panther

Comic production may have waned under the coronavirus, but that doesn't mean readers have to go without. In fact, being stuck at home might be a good opportunity for fans to dip a toe into the comic world if they haven't before. That's what Marvel seems to be hoping is the case, as the comic giant has used its comic reader service Marvel Unlimited to make 12 of its comics free until May 4.

Marvel started the initiative earlier this month, but it will continue for another week, letting fans check out the below titles for free:

  • Avengers vs. X-Men
  • Civil War
  • Amazing Spider-Man: Red Goblin
  • Black Panther by Ta-Nehisi Coates Vol. 1
  • Thanos Wins by Donny Cates
  • X-Men Milestones: Dark Phoenix Saga
  • Avengers: Kree/Skrull War
  • Avengers by Jason Aaron Vol. 1: The Final Host
  • Fantastic Four Vol. 1: Fourever
  • Black Widow Vol. 1: S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Most Wanted
  • Captain America: Winter Soldier Ultimate
  • Captain Marvel Vol. 1: Higher, Further, Faster, More

Those wanting to read some of these gateway comics can also do so on the Marvel Comics App, webstore, and comiXology — no credit card information or trial subscription required. Most of the MCU favorites are represented here, which should offer a way in for those fans who've only sampled the characters in their on-screen versions. Perhaps they'll even be tempted with a full Marvel Unlimited subscription after getting addicted to the comic storylines? That's Marvel's hope, at least!

These dozen comics are free through May 4.

Next, the filmmaker behind the Maze Runner franchise has found a new adaptation to tackle after his Mouse Guard film got sidelined during the Disney/Fox merger. Wes Ball will be helming a feature film version of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August.

Deadline reports that Ball will helm the Melissa Iqbal-penned adaptation of Claire North's award-winning sci-fi novel, about a man who's stuck in his own life, for Amblin Partners. Think if Groundhogs Day really leaned into its genre elements. Basically, the titular protagonist lives his life over and over, with his memories and consciousness persisting throughout. He's looking to use this power to save the world from the other person with this ability...who's out to take things over and become a god.

Ball's also set to direct an upcoming Planet of the Apes film.

No timeline for either film has yet been set.

Finally, things finally went down on Mandalore. Star Wars: The Clone Wars' final season on Disney+ has been building to this conflict, with Darth Maul (a much bigger character in the show than in the films) squaring off against fan-favorite Ahsoka Tano. The results? Well, those that watched "The Phantom Apprentice" found a lot to love in the complex battles and their outcomes.

Now fans can go behind the scenes of the showdown with EP/supervising director Dave Filoni himself, along with the cast and other crew, as he talks about making Maul and Ahsoka Tano's showdown.

Check it out:

"It got me thinking 'I've known [Maul film actor Ray Park] for a while, why don't we bring Ray in and do some motion-capture?'" Filoni said. "He could be Maul one more time, physically fighting." That also meant that Ahsoka needed a mo-cap performer. Enter Lauren Mary Kim. Their incredible fight footage was tweaked by the animation team to fit the style of Clone Wars, resulting in the impressive final product.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars heads towards its penultimate episode, "Shattered," on May 1.