Welcome to Comic Rack! My pick of the top five comic news stories in no particular order…
Jonathan Hickman’s Plans for The Avengers
One of the most distressing things about this new Marvel NOW! thing is the dichotomy of feelings it gives me about Jonathan Hickman. On one hand, I love the idea of a man as brilliant as him writing Avengers stories, that will undoubtedly be amazing. On the other hand, I can’t afford to buy all the books Marvel prints, with their 50 tie ins and side stories and everything. It really seems like If I wanted to buy Hickman’s Avengers, I’d at least have to buy 3 other books to get the full story. And being a total completist nerd, I either go whole hog and get everything, or none at all. In my case, it’s currently none at all, because following DC in this fashion is making my wallet look at me every Wednesday like I’m slowly skinning it in a laboratory. However, reading ABOUT Hickman’s Avengers is still fascinating, and the news of what he’s doing with them piques my interest.
“The conversation shifted to the mysterious “New Avengers” team, which Jonathan revealed consists of the Illuminati, which was introduced in Brian Bendis’ “New Avengers.”“It’s about the guys that very quietly and secretly run the world,” he said. “It’s thematically much different than what’s going on in ‘Avengers.’ The plan that I’ve worked up is that the Avengers are the utopian Avengers. They’re the ideal Avengers, whereas the New Avengers are real-world. They live in the world as it is, which is dark and apocalyptic. It’s very old-school. We’re pretty excited about it. The books will work together, in tandem. You don’t have to read both of them, but if you do, there will be things that echo across the books.”
This is a classic example of something comics writers say, but never do. “Oh you don’t have to read them both/all/whatever, but there will be bonus story connections between…” blah blah blah. I know this game. I’m not falling for it mister. My wallet shrieks in pain every time I open it now from the trauma of Civil War, and that was YEARS ago.
Cable & X-Force Bring Back The 90’s
I know, I know, we’ve talked about this Cable series before, but sometimes a book is so interesting you just gotta follow up on it when you hear more about it. Especially if it involves Cable. In the 90’s Cable was a pretty big deal. I remember seeing lots of comics with him holding big guns, doing stuff, and having lots of pouches. I know it’s very hip to hate on 90’s pouches, but you know…. It’s fun. I always imagined he had ammo of course, but also just an entire spectrum of things in each pouch. Sort of like an Uber-Bat-Utility Belt. Regardless of pouches though, the thought of a comic being printed today with that ultra macho, pouch-tastic sensibility appeals to what very little bit of nostalgia there is in me to appeal to. Hopeless seems to be taking that idea and running with it.
“Newsarama: Dennis, the first thing I wanted to ask about stemming from your first couple interviews on Cable and X-Force is the idea of not shying away from the inherent ’90sness of the characters and concept. Why is it important for you to embrace that, and not run from it? And though obviously the point is to present those things in a modern context, but what kinds of ’90s motifs and practices do you find still work today?
Dennis Hopeless: I think there’s something about badass for badass sake. I was a kid when those early X-Force issues were coming out. My friends and I loved them because they were badass. Everything was high-octane and over the top. It’s the same reason we all loved Schwarzenegger and Stallone and Robocop.”
So I’ll avoid the easy joke of a guy named Hopeless writing a comic about Cable who has a daughter named Hope, and instead just mention how this book actually seems pretty interesting. I’ve never read anything by Dennis Hopeless, but he seems to be doing good work, and I love his name. The fact that he mentions Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Robocop just seals the deal for me. He seems like he gets it, and will actually produce the kind of book Liefeld was always going for, but ended up failing at. It’s the difference between a delicious, fluffy croissant and a rice cake. They’re both mostly air, but one is way better than the other.
Garth Ennis Assembles A New ‘Red Team’
After wrapping up his long running series The Boys, Ennis doesn’t look like he’s taking any breaks. The man certainly is full of ideas, and this new mini-series he’s developing sounds like one of the more tame ones, compared to the usual shock tactics he’s famous for.
“In Red Team, Garth Ennis and Dynamite described “up-and-coming artist” Craig Cermak team for this new seven issue limited series that features a Major Crimes task force in the NYPD who make a bad call that leads to lots of drama. The team decides to murder a suspect, and things don’t go well after that. Dynamite described the series as “in the tradition of The Wire and The Shield” in a press release.”
Aside from Preacher, I’ve always thought that Garth Ennis worked better with his mini-series. The Boys trailed off around issue 23 in my opinion, and never really recovered for me since. His mini-series have always appealed to me. I like the idea of him returning to another reality themed book, and think tackling a concept like a task force in the real world could work well for him. The guy has the chops to do more down to earth, gripping stuff in him. He did it really well for his Punisher run way back when, and Battlefields is the only modern example I can think of. I’ll be looking forward to this one because I know it’ll be done in 7 issues, and for a guy like me that’s comforting from a monetary standpoint, but disappointing if I end up REALLY liking it. Everything’s a catch-22 for me. Shit.
Mark Waid Is Taking On The Green Hornet
Now that Mark Waid has made himself a bigger deal with the success of Irredeemable, it seems his name has some clout to it that will bring more attention to what he’s doing. Specifically, Green Hornet. A character who is pretty famously non-popular. Not that he’s UN-popular, which means people hate him ala Aquaman. He’s just non-popular. Like… Red Tornado. Most people haven’t heard of him, but those who have probably don’t have any strong feelings about him. You’d have a hard time being pressed to list a seminal Green Hornet story the way you would with nearly any other superhero. That being said, perhaps Mark Waid will give Green Hornet his.
“It should come as little surprise that I have an affinity for all costumed crimefighters no matter if their adventures are ‘period pieces’ or not–heroism is heroism regardless of whatever year’s on the calendar,” said writer Mark Waid in a press release. “With this Green Hornet project, which I’ve been percolating on for more than ten years, I’m able to meld my love of the Hornet’s legacy with a little bit of Citizen Kane and a lot of Lawrence of Arabia to tell a story never before told–the dark years of the Hornet’s later career and the one mistake he makes that nearly costs him everything.”
So… Green Hornet will make newspapers in the desert while freeing slaves? And go sledding? Or something? Okay so I’ve never actually seen Citizen Kane (I know), but still. The man at least knows what he’s trying to accomplish. They even made that Green Hornet movie a year ago didn’t they? Then there was Kevin Smith’s comic, right? So maybe this whole thing has been building to this. Perhaps The Green Hornet will finally get his due? Being unfamiliar with his character in almost every dimension makes it hard for me to feel anything about this other than bemused indifference. I really loved Irredeemable though, so maybe it’ll be good. It’s weird, it’s almost like I have to try to purposely make an effort to like Green Hornet. I’m hoping soon I’ll be able to change my mind about him. Or not. Whatever.
Frank Cho Brings Us Savage Wolverine
Frank Cho is one of those names that’s known in particular for one thing. Cheesecake. No, not the delicious dessert, but rather the term for gratuitous shots of gorgeous, lusty, busty women posing seductively in some manner. Personally I have no problem with this. Who doesn’t like beautiful, busty, buxom, bouncing babes busting out of their brassieres? (+5 Alliteration skill)You know what else everyone loves? Wolverine. Now thanks to Frank Cho, we’ll get a book with BOTH!
The new series will start off, appropriately enough, in the Savage Land. Shanna the She-Devil, who Cho previously worked on in the Shanna the She-Devil limited series, will guest star in the series’ opening story arc, which features a stranded Wolverine waking up in the Savage Land with no memory of how he arrived. “The story takes place in the forbidden area of the Savage Land where an evil ancient god slumbers,” said Cho. “Wolverine and others accidentally unleash it, while trying to get home.”
I know this might rile up some weird Wolverine fanboys who don’t want their cheesecake mixing with their Wolverine…salad. Or whatever. All I can say is why not? Why not make a book with Wolverine fighting dinosaurs in the Savage Land, assisted by a busty, scantily clad sidekick who stabs dudes with her spear? Must everything be so dark all the time? The book sounds like it’ll be a hoot, and most importantly, actually interesting. A lot of writers get so caught up with making Wolverine such a gritty, broody, dark mother f-er they lose sight of the potential to just make him a badass awesome character who gets shit done. Best he is at what he does and all that. Plus boobs! Boobs! If you can’t get behind that, man… I dunno how to help you.
That’s it for this week! Be sure to check out more Comic Rack here!