Welcome to Comic Rack! My pick of the top five comic news stories in no particular order…
The Superman/DC/Shuster Legal Battle Continues
For those who don’t know, basically DC has said that Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel gave up their rights to reclaim their half of the rights to Superman, and the Shuster estate has fought against that argument for a long time. As far as I can understand, the Shuster estate is appealing against a recent judgement made by a federal judge, who ruled they officially gave up their rights in an agreement made in 1992. It’s a little bogged down by legalese, and the complicated nature of who deserves what rights is what makes it even harder. I think it’s mostly a case of DC as a publisher trying to split hairs over what is or isn’t owed, and while I don’t know all the details, I’m sure the Shuster estate has a valid argument. All I know is I wish this whole court thing would get settled definitively, once and for all, either way. Then we could look back and judge the facts. I’m sure somebody more knowledgable than I could make a great argument for either side, but for now it’s a little sad to see yet another legal dispute in the comics world be dragged on further than it ever should have.
Find out more here.
Image Dips Into Time Travel Again with Comeback
I’m a sucker for time travel stories. They’re practically my favorite genre of Sci-Fi stories, if it could even be called a genre. It’s a storytelling trope that’s always captivated me, and hearing about a new miniseries involving time travel certainly captured my interest. In particular this one is by Ed Brisson, who up until now has only been a letterer, but is taking a step into the fray as a writer. His book, called Comeback, is about a time traveling agency called Reconnect, that provides a very special service. For a hefty price, they’ll go back in time and save somebody you loved/cared about/whoever from dying. As with all time travel stories, the price paid for manipulating the space time continuum is more than just monetary, and can result in lots of bad things happening if things should go wrong. Of course the whole thing is very illegal, and there are certain physical repercussions for traveling in time. The book is sold out at the distribution level, so getting a copy of #1, which is currently out, may be hard for the time being, but that’s why digital comics and back issue hunting exist.
A great interview going into more detail with writer Ed Brisson is here.
A Quick Look at BOOM’s Hellraiser: The Road Below
I’ve been a big fan of Hellraiser for a long time, pretty much ever since I saw the first one as a young lad. Since then that franchise has always held a place in my heart near and dear to me, which is why I was taken by such surprise to see that there was still a Hellraiser comic series going on today. Furthermore, that it’s multiple issues in! I guess keeping up with all the hoopla from the big two, you’ll always have certain titles fall by the wayside, even ones that are based on a franchise you’ve long loved. While I haven’t read a Hellraiser book in years, the comic itself looks pretty interesting from the preview shown. It’s not written or drawn by any big names I recognize, but it deals with Kirsty Cotton dealing with a war between evil forces, and there even seems to be some mention of a Cenobite Queen? Whaaaat? Man, if you’re a Hellraiser fan who is intrigued, (like me), this preview may sell you on picking up this book, and finding it’s older issues to catch up.
Find out more here.
Snyder Wrapping Up His Run On Swamp Thing with #18
If you haven’t been reading Swamp Thing, you owe it to yourself to go and pick up every issue you can find and catch up, along with Animal Man. They’re probably the two best books to come out of the New 52, and Scott Snyder has proven himself to be an incredible writer who can tell amazing stories. Swamp Thing is one of those characters who is criminally underrated, and Snyder has managed to take everything about him and do things with his character that haven’t been done since Alan Moore had his seminal run. Hearing Snyder was leaving the book was certainly saddening, but it’s going to be interesting to see his take on Superman, and for me personally, it’s a trade off I’d make every single time. While we still don’t know who is gonna fill in for Snyder and Swamp Thing artist Yanick Paquette, but whoever they are they’ve got big shoes to fill. I can’t recommend Swamp Thing enough to people, and every time people look at me like I’m crazy, but then come back next week telling me how wrong they were about it, I just tell them don’t thank me; thank Scott Snyder.
Find out more here.
DC Discusses Marvel’s Direct Market Sales
DC and Marvel. Two companies that pretty much define and are synonymous with comics for the general public, but for most comics fans they couldn’t be more different than peanut butter and toothpaste. One thing the two companies, and endless fanboys keep track of, is sales. Recently with Marvel NOW!, Marvel’s been taking the top spot, but that doesn’t mean that DC is doing too shabby either. DC is staying strong, and their books are selling pretty consistently. While it’s interesting to watch DC talk about their marketing strategies, and to formulate your own opinions about what they could be doing better, or are doing just fine, one can’t help but think if all of the competition is a good thing. It’s brought the best out of both Marvel and DC, and we’ve gotten some great books on both sides. As long as they’re both not in a creative lull, the books are selling well, and comics fans are getting great stories, it’s really a win-win for everyone. Comics are more popular now than they’ve been in a long time, and while DC is currently playing catch up over in Hollywood, I have no doubts they’ll be leading the way when it comes to the printed page.
Find out more here.
That’s all for this week’s edition! We’ll see you next time at the Comic Rack!