It was revealed Tuesday that Geoff Johns, DC’s chief content officer, and Jon Berg, executive VP, would together be running a new arm of the company called DC Films, giving those two greater control regarding the use of DC Comics’ properties on the big screen. This is seen as the muted response to Batman v. Superman versus the recent Captain America: Civil War buzz. While this news surely sparked a large “hallelujah” amongst many fans (guilty), we’re pretty sure that Johns’ indelible influence will be stamped on the movie franchises in the following questionable ways:
Batman: Arkham Origins might be the first prequel concept to hook me in a very long time: Two years into his career as the Dark Knight, Batman is a far more brutish and unrefined crime fighter than the hero we know from the previous games. His reputation as an ominous threat to Gotham’s underbelly inspires Black Mask to put a $50 million bounty on Bats’s head one Christmas Eve, attracting the attention of eight deadly assassins. Like Arkham Asylum, Origins sounds like it could play as a self-contained comic arc, but Origins will be even larger a game than Arkham City.
Developer Warner Bros. Games Montreal has been fairly tight-lipped with its cast of characters so far, but today at their Comic-Con panel they revealed Copperhead as one of the eight main villains in the game. Copperhead is a minor character in the Batman universe who in previous iterations either wore a super-powered snake costume or inherited snake-like powers a la Spider-Man. WB Montreal decided to revitalize the character as a woman (!) who, in line with the video game series, is much more realistic in design (Thank God). Arkham Origins‘s Copperhead doesn’t appear to have any supernatural abilities, but as a contortionist she can slink around and strike quickly with what seem to be poison-coated gauntlets. Take a look at the trailer:
According to SuperHeroHype, DC’s Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns liked Copperhead’s re-imagining so much they’ve decided to use the likeness in their comics, sort of like how Harley Quinn became canon following her creation in Batman: The Animated Series. It’s always nice to see more women in games and comics; I just wish they hadn’t sexualized her in the process.
February 27th, 2013: the day the Arrow fandom collectively had a fangirl stroke and briefly died only to come back to life sputtering nonsense such as “River Song! Mom! Oh no! The bird! Hot Australian shirtless man!” and “he did that! His hood! Why? What does it all mean?!?!” and the ever popular “John Barrowman’s American accent is so good!” Minus that last one, I pretty much agree with everything there. This episode was insane. After last week’s somewhat ho-hum performance, I had a feeling this week would be killer, but I was unaware how good it would really be.
First off, I need to apologize to Geoff Johns because when it came to episode 7, I said that his writing style did not translate well to television. I wasn’t entirely wrong because Muse of Fire still wasn’t all that great, but Dead to Rights was exponentially better so perhaps he can write well for TV given that the story lends itself to his style. This week certainly did as it was fast paced but it didn’t feel like we were being torn in several different places just for the hell of it, rather it worked well with the frantic actions of the characters and situations.
We started off just like most other weeks with a bad guy coming to town. This time it was Guillermo Barrera, a high price hitman. At first the name didn’t set anything off in my memory but the moment those throwing knives hit the air, I remembered who he was and probably only because I’d just done some catching up on Nightwing thanks to Scott’s Bats and Birds piece over at GEEK. Guillermo Barrera is the name of Bludhaven resident and villain, Brutale. Of course we won’t be seeing any of Brutale as he was dead after the first scene, but it was a nice little shout-out to other DC Universe entities.
The whole “McKenna could have met you at the heliport” thing reminded me of something the show does that I find to be really irritating. They don’t go back and address small things. Perfect example: the bug on McKenna’s phone. Is it still there? Did Oliver take it off? Are we going to find out who the mole is? Granted there have been a few things they’ve gone back to and I appreciate that, but I wish they would address these things as it’s driving me nuts.
The island is pretty good usually at answer some of those little questions and this week it was “was Oliver always in such great shape?” Well the answer is no. Actually that’s not entirely true as apparently he was “more of a runner.” I do love little lines like that, makes the melodramatic ones much easier to take. Outside of that, the island didn’t do a whole hell of a lot this week. Oliver did show off his knowledge of The Odyssey again and fixed a radio while Slade did pullups and discussed Gilligan’s Island escape methods.
This makes two weeks in a row that there has been very little island happenings, and after the big Shado reveal I’m anxious to get back there and see how all that plays out. Of course he was on the island for five years and I suppose they can’t tell that entire story in sixteen episodes.
I’ll give the island a little leeway on not moving things along, the five years thing, but seriously there needs to be a Black Canary post-haste. I feel like I’ve been saying this for months now, just go ahead and slap some fishnets on Laurel and make it happen! All this pussyfooting around with the sushi and the martial arts, and then the picture of her sister and the black canary. Enough already. (While we are on the subject of things that need to stop, Laurel needs to go ahead and never wear that jumpsuit thing again. Might as well just go ahead and burn it.)
The only other part of the episode that wasn’t part of the main story was the beautiful friendship that is blossoming between Diggle and Felicity. I don’t think they could get much cuter. Working out together, cracking the arrow shot cell phones of high dollar hitmen together, dreaming of chinese food together… just adorable.
After the last scene of episode 16, it was obvious that this week would more than likely be about the plan to kill Malcolm Merlyn. I guess China White didn’t feel like she could handle the job on her own, so after Barrera was disposed of, she went and found the person I’ve been saying had to be still alive – Deadshot! Not only that but she ends up giving him his signature red-eye. It’s about time he came back and having China White in the last few episodes has given it more of an ongoing feeling than just the one bad guy per episode thing they had going for a while there.
I’ll go ahead and say it – I want to smack Tommy Merlyn and tell him to shut up. Yea yea yea Malcolm was a shit dad and he probably is still a shit dad but man up son! Either tell your dad to hit the road or take whatever likely half-assed apology he’s offering this week and move on. Man this constant whining is getting old. Of course it did lead to a nice moment between Oliver and him discussing their daddy issues.
However I think we can all agree that Oliver blinding some dude with sriracha is the highlight of that scene. Very heads up play on Ollie’s part.
The two big OMG moments were in the second part of the episode. Oliver runs into McKenna as the “Hood Guy” again but is able to avoid her recognizing him with a well placed fire extinguisher. So he makes his way upstairs to where Tommy and Malcolm are trying to escape both the Triad hitmen and Deadshot’s bullets. In a move I certainly did not expect, and that goes very much against his trying to keep the vigilante identity A SECRET, he shows Tommy who he is.
WHAT IS HE DOING?!?!?! That’s pretty much my entire reaction. Seriously Oliver, what on earth are you thinking? Not only that but hello, Malcolm was getting ready to show Tommy that he’s the Dark Archer until the grenade hits and then he’s shot and Oliver somehow knows that Tommy and Malcolm have the same blood type so let’s do an impromptu blood transfusion and I felt like throwing things at my TV for a good ten minutes. What is going on here? There’s just too much to process.
So now Tommy and Malcolm are all buddy buddy again and Tommy is pissed at Oliver for not telling him about being the vigilante. When Tommy was first introduced I thought he was basically useless. Now I’m looking forward to seeing how they turn this. Is John Barrowman on board with a long run on Arrow or was this the set up for Tommy to ultimately take on his father’s Dark Archer mantle and battle Oliver, the best friend who betrayed him? Intrigue. I like it.
The second WTF moment was the last scene. Laurel had gotten a phone call from her mother earlier, but of course ignored it. Of course like all good mothers, ignore the phone call and she’ll be at your doorstep. Even though I knew that Alex Kingston was going to play her mom and I knew that it was going to be this episode, I still had that immediate reaction of “OMG Laurel your mom, Dinah Lance, is standing right there! She’s the Black Canary and now you can too!!!”
Of course we’ll have to wait and see what all this talk of Sarah still being alive results in. I can’t imagine she really is alive. I mean come on, I saw her disappear off that yacht, we all did. It would be difficult to limp away from that.
Throughout all of this, the biggest thing I took from this episode is Moira has quite the set of steel balls. Even Frank Chan agrees. Even though there were a few moments of slight nervousness, her hand shaking and her obvious ill feelings towards Tommy being at the awards ceremony, she is cold as ice. Standing there as Malcolm declares there to be a traitor in their ranks? I’d probably have pissed myself and started crying.
Even though it lacked substantial island time, this was probably my favorite episode so far. It had pretty much everything else you could hope for. Going to have to give it a solid 4 out of 5. Add in Yao Fei and Walter (I miss you Walter) and it would have easily been a 4.5
Unfortunately we’ll have to wait awhile before we get any answers as Arrow is on break until March 20th, but I think we’ve got plenty to stew over in the meantime.
Until next time!
DC Comics and Chief Creative Officer (and Detroit native) Geoff Johns announced today that he would be leaving Green Lantern — the franchise he invigorated — with issue #20, a 64-page special coming in May.
Welcome to Comic Rack! My pick of the top five comic news stories in no particular order…
Geoff Johns Finally Spills The Beans About The New JLA
It’s been a fairly well established trope that DC likes to have multiple Justice League titles running at the same time, because let’s face it, superhero teams are money makers. It’s a pretty simple formula, you grab a couple of heroes, announce they’re on a team together or tease a new team and who the possible members could be, and rake in the cash as people buy your book to find out. Marvel did the same thing with the new Thunderbolts not too long ago. “Why is Punisher a Thunderbolt?”, isn’t damn near the same question as “Why is Catwoman in the JLA?”, and the answer to both is always, “Buy the book and see!”
Does that sound cynical? Perhaps it is, but I can’t help but feel cynical when it comes to groups of superheroes banded together eclectically for reasons X, Y and Z. Yes, Mr. Johns I’m sure you have a wonderful story to tell, and there’s a specific reason for each one of them and blah blah blah. Listen, we know you were pitched the idea by DC execs and made lemonade out of lemons for yourself. Good on you. Let’s just stop all the arbitrary team making for the sake of team making, okay Comics Industry? Thanks.
Find out more here.
Francesco Francavilla Joins Fraction’s Hawkeye
Easily one of the best new series Marvel is putting out right now, Matt Fraction and David Aja’s
Hawkguy Hawkeye has continued to wow me since the first issue with its enjoyable and down to earth look at the mainstay Avenger. Not to be forgotten is Javier Pulido’s issues that contribute greatly to the overall aesthetic of the series that follows Clint Barton when he’s not being the superhero Avenger everyone is used to. Francavilla joins as Hawkeye embarks on a brand new story line, which serves as a great jumping on point for readers, and faces Hakeye against his deadliest opponent yet.
[box_light]“On Hawkeye we’ve been blessed with not only one of the biggest writers in comics with Matt Fraction, but also some of the best artists like David Aja, Javier Pulido and now Francesco Francavilla,” said Stephen Wacker, Senior Editor, Marvel Entertainment. “Though he’s only on the series for issues #10 & #12, Francesco is going to leave his mark on Clint with some of the most beautiful art you’ll see all year!”[/box_light]
The story starts in April with Hawkeye #10!
Thanos Rising Will Be Jason Aaron’s Next Big Book
Mark my words, in the next coming years, Thanos is gonna get huge. The guy’s long been held back by the stigma of being a thinly veiled rip-off of Darkseid, but let’s face the facts: The guy showed up in the movies first. Nowadays, that’s all that really matters with major audiences. The movies are almost more canon than the comics for the average fan, and the introduction of Thanos at the (post credits) end of last years The Avengers, is gonna cement him as the go-to face of evil for future comics movie watchers. In a way this could be construed as a pre-emptive strike to get existing and new Marvel readers re-acquainted with Thanos. In the movies we know all about the Cosmic Cube but the Infinity Gauntlet was only hinted at, and understood by those already in the know. This new series by Jason Aaron (whose work on Scalped I really need to catch up on) will introduce everyone who’s unfamiliar to Thanos in a way that will get them pumped to see him depicted as the Big Bad on the silver screen. When The Avengers 2 ( or Guardians of the Galaxy depending on where he appears) c firstomes out in theaters, trust me, you’ll be hearing about Thanos everywhere.
Find out more here.
Constantine’s Death Teased In The Second To Last Hellblazer Ever
Hellblazer is a book near and dear to my heart. It’s one of the earliest series I ever remember buying, as many trades I could find, and reading in a flurry. Constantine is a fascinating character in every conceivable way, and my love for him knows no bounds. It saddened me pretty greatly to find out that Hellblazer will be ending soon, and while I’m wary of the New 52’s Constantine title starting relatively soon, I’m at least thankful I’ll still get to enjoy a title with my favorite con artist/magician in it as lead. The thing here is, what if John Constantine dies? What if somehow, someway, the New 52 Constantine isn’t actually Constantine? I’m not saying they’re going off on a ridiculous Superior Spider-Man style death switch… Although I suppose that would be technically interesting.
Anyhow, I’m getting ahead of myself. What I mean to say is that this is probably like any other comics death in that it’s more metaphorical than literal. Sure the cover of this penultimate issue shows Constantine leaning up against a grave that may or may not be his, and if the log line for the issue is to be believed then it is, but this is the comics world. We all know he’s not staying dead. I’m hoping that what they’ll do is have this be his actual, final, meaningful death, and have this New 52 Constantine comic retroactively take place loosely within the timeline of his Hellblazer run. In between fighting off lonely ghosts and The Devil and lung cancer. Somewhere in there.
Find out more here.
Kirkman & Ottley Celebrate Invincible #100
Oh, Invincible. You’re a book that just won’t quit. From being a great mash up of Spider-Man and Superman, to becoming a genuinely awesome superhero comic on its own, to launching an entirely new superhero universe, you’re the little book that could. I’d say that of the big Kirkman two, while The Walking Dead is consistently the most gripping, Invincible is by far more entertaining. I’m a sucker for big bloody action set pieces, and ginormous feats of ridiculous strength, and will generally take that over intense, seething, paranoid human drama any day of the week. While all the mainstream attention has been on The Walking Dead lately, I feel that Invincible has gone by the wayside a bit. It makes sense, Kirkman is focusing on his cash cow, and If I was in the same place I would probably do the same. I can’t blame him for putting more focus into TWD when it’s clearly made him a very rich, famous man. Which is great, because any guy who can make a comic like Battle Pope and still have a successful career just proves what a great country America is.
So if you’re over in the Sherman Oaks area of California on February 2nd, I highly implore you to grab a copy of Battle Pope, stroll on over to Earth-2 Comics and get it signed by Kirkman. Hopefully he’ll chuckle and be reminded of his roots, rather than have you dragged away by his money dogs who live and breath money and eat money, and kill you with money poisoning. Which is a real disease I just made up.
Find out more here.
That’s all for this week’s edition! We’ll see you next time at the Comic Rack!
Welcome to Comic Rack! My pick of the top five comic news stories in no particular order…
Grant Morrison’s Multiversity Is Coming
I sure do loves me some Grant Morrison. It’s not exactly a secret, but I tend to think the man is a genius, and I’ve said so a bunch of times here on Comic Rack. I think he’s one of the few guys who really truly gets superheroes, what they mean in a contemporary social context, and does them well. I know I’m the one who is usually clamoring for writers to stick to their own original projects first, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love it when geniuses like Hickman, Lemire or Morrison work on mainstream stuff by the Big Two. I’m probably one of the 10 or so people who LOVED Final Crisis and thought it a complex, densely intricate and beautiful story that is best told in one go, rather than in a serial format. To me, Morrison knows how to handle universal concepts, and the fact that he’s now working on Multiversity has me intrigued.
For those who don’t know, Multiversity was meant to follow-up 52 and Infinite Crisis a few years back, but never showed up for some reason or another. Presumably the reason is because he had to re-write it in planning for the New 52, but who knows how long DC really had the New 52 in planning before they executed it. My personal guess is not very long at all, from the rumblings I hear of how things are managed. Regardless, I’m totally stoked for Multiversity. If there’s one guy who knows how to do stories that span across universes, it’s Grant Morrison. You can read more about the actual plans for the title here, and a fascinating interview with him about it here.
Here’s some very cool art from Multiversity released by Frank Quitely this past weekend:
Johns & Lemire Add Their Names to ‘Ghosts‘
It’s finally that time of the year where all things morbid, spookifying and Halloweeney are celebrated. As a kid I always looked forward to Halloween, because it led to Christmas. Nowadays that anticipation for Christmas is replaced with jaded cynicism, and my love for all things horrifying, along with my love for Halloween. It was a real surprise to me then, to find out only just this week about a Halloween anthology project that gathers some of my favorite comics writers and artists of all time. The project is a one shot called Ghosts, that looks to be goddamned amazing from its talent line up and subject matter.
A revival of the publisher’s 1970s horror series of the same name, the 80-page one-shot boasts also includes stories by the likes of Gilbert Hernandez, Paul Pope, Phil Jimenez, David Lapham, Amy Reeder, Mark Buckingham, John McCrea, Rufus Dayglo, Toby Litt and the late Joe Kubert, with covers by Dave Johnson and Brendan McCarthy.
I don’t often say this, but ZOMFG!1!!one! Look at that list of talent! All of those people are artists whose work I specifically look out for based on their name alone, and somehow, someway, I’VE MISSED THIS UP UNTIL NOW? I feel like I’ve failed my dying, withered and emaciated inner child. The fact that Lemire and Johns are adding a story to it just sweetens the pot, and makes me drool in anticipation for this thing to come out. Can you imagine an anthology novel written by these guys? 80 pages isn’t NEARLY long enough for me. I demand they make this book an anthology of anthologies. Let’s see Ghosts 2 through infinity. Let this thing spin-off into a whole series of horror related books that involve all of my favorite comics authors and artists, endlessly working to make material that appeals to me as perfectly as this book does. You can check out more preview art for the project here & here. That Hernandez panel looks goddamned awesome. Holy hell. I can’t wait to read this thing.
Stan Lee is NOT Sick Or Dying!
Recently Stan Lee has had to cancel a lot of public appearances, and until now he hasn’t revealed exactly why. As the cancellations piled up, rumors started to spread. Frankly, the guy’s up there in age, and it didn’t seem to bode well for his current state of health. The problem was exacerbated by the fact that nobody really knew what was up. Thankfully, he’s broken the silence and filled us in on whats the haps.
“Attention, Troops! This is a dispatch sent from your beloved Generalissimo, directly from the center of Hollywood’s combat zone!” Lee wrote on the POW! Entertainment website. “Now hear this! Your leader hath not deserted thee! In an effort to be more like my fellow Avenger, Tony Stark, I have had an electronic pace-maker placed near my heart to insure that I’ll be able to lead thee for another 90 years. But fear thee not, my valiant warriors. I am in constant touch with our commanders in the field and victory shall soon be ours. Now I must end this dispatch and join my troops, for an army without a leader is like a day without a cameo!”
Well that’s certainly comforting, made all the better by the way it was written. I dare you to try to read that and not have Stan Lee’s voice echoing in your head. In all seriousness, I was pretty relieved to find out the guy’s gonna be okay, but for a moment there I remember thinking that I’d have to end up writing up rumors about his imminent death. Which believe me, is nothing I want to do. I may rag on Marvel here and there, and I’ve probably talked a bit of trash about Stan in the past in comparison to Kirby, but I do have massive respect for him. The man’s an icon for god’s sake, who the hell doesn’t wish him a long and happy life? You’d have to be a total shit head to be all “GOOD. HARUMPH. I HOPE HE DIES SOON”. I know, I’m probably extrapolating a bit far in terms of fan reaction, but this is the Internet. People are terrible here.
Disabled Artist, Writer, Writes & Draws Comic Using Only His Mouth
Normally I’d try to avoid a semi-sensationalist descriptive title like the one above, but in this case it’s pretty necessary to point out what a feat it truly is. Larime Taylor is a disabled artist and writer who well, manages to do with only his mouth what some folks cant with two hands and a whole writing staff working underneath them. He has a congenital condition where the muscles and joints in his body are pretty profoundly affected. The guy is working on a book called Dark Zoey that I can’t wait to read. Listen, I don’t often go for the feel good kind of stories, or anything even remotely mushy, but as I’ve grown older I’ve conversely become softer and simultaneously more jaded towards a lot of things in my life. This sort of thing is one of the ones I’ve become more soft towards. A younger me would simply not have cared, but now I find stories like this awe-inspiring.
The man’s determination is resolute, and his humble nature make me realize how much I take for granted in my everyday life as a writer. I don’t know if I’d have the strength to overcome the odds he has, nor the tenacity to continue pursuing my own goals as he has. The guy’s story is really something to behold, and a fascinating read. Basically he’s writing this book using Kickstarter, and the donations will go towards helping him produce the book so everyone out there can read it. Aside from his own personal story though, is the book’s story. Which is summarized on the Kickstarter page, and it sounds exactly like the kind of story I’d love:
Some people become killers.
Zoey was born that way.
Ever since she can remember, Zoey Aarons has felt the urge to kill. For eighteen years she resisted those urges and fought to be someone better than her base instincts would allow. In a moment of weakness and anger, however, she let go and took a life. That hazy Seattle summer day still haunts her, and as she begins college far away from home, she’s afraid that she will kill again.
She’s right to be afraid.
Instead of leaving that fateful day behind her and starting a new life as a college freshman, Zoey’s about to be tested and face temptation in ways far greater than she could ever imagine. The prestigious women’s college that she’s attending on a full academic scholarship is in Cutter’s Circle, California, and Cutter’s Circle has a dirty little secret: it has the highest population of serial killers in the country. The town is up to its proverbial severed head in murderers.
New Thunderbolts #3 Cover Has A Red Leader
The new Thunderbolts book coming out is gonna have an interesting gimmick applied to all of the covers. The gimmick being a red tint to all of them, that has some vague sort of story related reason for their particular hue. Notable out of all of them is a cover featuring The Leader, who is now noticeably redder than we’re used to. In the past, all Hulk related things becoming red usually meant bad things for all those involved. The thought of The Leader getting super-red-Hulk powers sounds pretty bad, but perhaps there’s more to it.
Interesting. Perhaps he’s just really sunburnt?
Here’s some of the other covers themselves. I suppose the red tint is going to get explored in the story itself. So why are they red? My first and safest guess is it represents some thematic sort of thing. Vengeance, anger, blood. All that sort of thing. What do I hope it is? Hoo boy.
I hope it’s some kind spectacular foreboding message to all of the enemies of the Thunderbolts. They start wearing red as a warning, particular the Punisher. The whole thing is representative of the “blood” they’ll carry on their hands, as they start taking down evil motherf–ks left and right. Eventually, they’ll all decide the only way to continue their blood feud is to all become Red Hulk versions of themselves, and of course some of it gets into bad guys hands like The Leader. They then somehow get into space, and use their Red Hulk powers to blow up entire evil planets. Red Hulk actually takes the Red Hulk powers and becomes Double Red Hulk, and uses his Double Red Hulkness to split the fabric of reality and space-time, until they end up in an entirely new reality. They cross through The Bleed, and end up transubstantiating their collective consciousness into one singular unified being, and project themselves outward into infinite, reversing all socially accepted constructs of what color “is”. Along with that, they also blow up the Death Star.
Or maybe it’s just to make them look real tough. Whatever.
Welcome to Comic Rack! My pick of the top five comic news stories in no particular order…
DC New 52 Resets All First Appearances
For a while now, fans have been asking DC just exactly what the new timeline in the NewDCu is, and how it’ll directly unfold. This month, a bevy of “Zero” issues came out, all meant to explain, or give origins to the current DC lineup. Included in these issues is a series of “Who’s Who” listings, giving out character information, backstories, and of course, listing their first appearances. Way back when, for Superman, this would have said Action Comics #1, it now lists Justice League #1 (2011).
via [The Source]
[This] marks the release of the first week of DC Comics’ #0 issues. Each of these special issues is filled with everything from secrets to revelations to origin stories. These will both explain what happened before the launch of DC COMICS-THE NEW 52 last summer, as well as plant seeds for future story arcs!
If you’ve already picked up your #0 issues today, you’ve probably noticed that in the back of each book (and now online!) is a Who’s Who entry on a major character in DC COMICS-THE NEW 52. These pages share information such as each character’s first appearance, base of operations, powers, history, and other appearances. Below, check out the list of which character is being spotlighted on each of this week’s releases and be sure to click on their names to read up on who they are!
DC Comics has a new take on their classic “Who’s Who” listings, giving basic details on their characters, teams and concepts. Power Sets, basic origin stories, current affiliations and recent appearances are all included, as they were in the old “Who’s Who” sets. For example, Superman’s entry in Action Comics #0 looks like this:
Justice League #1 (2011)
Base of Operations:
Under a yellow sun Superman is extraordinarily strong in addition to being nearly invulnerable. He can run and fly at incredible speeds and possesses other abilities such as super-hearing, heat vision, x-ray vision, and much more!
Batman: The Dark Knight #5-7
Swamp Thing #1
As the planet Krypton exploded and a civilization died, baby Kal-El was rocketed to safety by his parents…
Well, at least they’re committed to going whole hog, and saying that yep, they’re all brand new, and their first appearances were in the books we labeled as #1. Deal with it. I know there’s probably still some old DC fans out there who are hurt, or feel betrayed, or just plain don’t like the New 52. Frankly, I think they ought just get used to it, or keep reading their old stuff. Clearly the New 52 is here to stay, and we just have to hope that everything can be as interesting and cool as Animal Man, Swamp Thing, or Batman.
New Avengers Lineup Grows In Numbers!
Marvel NOW! expands the roster of the Avengers, as lead scribe Jonathan Hickman teases Marvel fans with the full list of Avengers. When will they assemble? WHEN?
Three interlocking covers for Avengers #1-#3 show all six of the movie Avengers — Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye — plus Brian Michael Bendis-era additions Spider-Man, Wolverine and Spider-Woman; along with frequent team members Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) and Falcon.
New to the squad is Cannonball of the New Mutants, along with two unconfirmed characters: One that looks Human Torch-esque (Johnny Storm? Jim Hammond? Or perhaps a slightly tweaked look for Cannonball’s New Mutant buddy Sunspot? [This has since been confirmed]) and a shadowed figure between Captain America and Captain Marvel likely intended to remain a mystery for now (though feel free to speculate — the chest symbols bring to mind Ikaris of the Eternals, maybe?)
In a July interview with Newsarama, Avengers editor Tom Brevoort said that by issue #12 of the relaunched Avengers, the team has an “an active roster of about 18,” indicating that there are around four more members to come not seen in this image. Upon the original announcement of Marvel NOW! two months ago, Entertainment Weekly reported that Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu, would be on the team.
Dustin Weaver, who is scheduled to draw an upcoming Avengers arc, illustrated all three covers. Current Fantastic Four and FF writer Jonathan Hickman is launching the new twice-monthly Avengers series in December, and New Avengers with artist Steve Epting in January.
Update: Jonathan Hickman has commented on the covers on Twitter, writing, “Image released today is not the complete roster, we intentionally left off new characters for spoiler reasons.” and “And the roster starts at 18, grows to more.” In later tweets, he disclosed that there are eight more members still to come.
I love Jonathan Hickman. He’s an amazing writer, and one of my favorites of all time. I think his work elevates the medium to heights it’s never been, and captures ideas, concepts and thoughts that utterly fascinate and baffle me in turn. So I’m very conflicted on his tenure at Marvel, because he IS writing great Superhero stories, man, I’d rather he work on his independent, original work. In my opinion it’s more important, in every sense. That’s not to say that his Marvel work isn’t important, I just really REALLY like his original work, and crave it day and night like heroin. Yummy heroin.
Marvel Releases A Series Of New Marvel NOW! Related Teasers
To promote new books, sometimes they’ll pop a teaser ad in the middle of a book that’s popular. It’s a quick way to get people talking and speculating, and it generally creates a buzz for the project, and what it could be. Go on and click each one of the teasers for links back to Newsarama, where people much more knowledgeable than I, give far better analysis and guesses as to their meaning.
Teasers via [Newsarama]
Holy crap there’s a writer whose pen name is HOPELESS? I don’t know if that’s foreboding, ominous, or just badass. Probably all three. Who do I think this teaser is for? I’ve no clue actually. I’ll take a guess and say… Ant-Man? Yep. Ant-Man. Ahem.
People think this one is Deadpool, from the red crosshairs, and they’d have a solid point. An astute reader connect Lightning>Thunder, and come up with Thunderbolts. Who may be persecuted, and thusly have a target on their heads? Since they’re villains? Maybe Deadpool is gonna fight them? In a cage? On fire? During a storm? Brb, writing awesome superhero cage match fanfic.
These two are allegedly linked to the same project, so they’re going together. On my gut instinct alone, this makes me think Punisher. I know folks think that the Lightning one is for Punisher [EDITORS NOTE: My thoughts are of the Thunderbolts for this one], but the words WANTED and KILLER(s) make me think of ol’ Frank. The only thing throwing me off is the plural of KILLERS, so chances are I’m probably wrong.
So while all of my speculation is probably wrong, I’m allowed to dammit. You should go check out each teaser’s article over at Newsarama, if you’re putting money down on this sort of thing. Also, go see someone for your gambling problem.
Geoff Johns Talks About New Arab-American Green Lantern’s Creation.
Considering today is a very important day, I found this interview enlightening and relevant. I think the choice made here to portray an Arab-American by Geoff Johns is gutsy, but bold. It’s also notable that we get just a quick snippet of background history for Baz, who so far we know very little about.
Did 9/11 inspire you to introduce a Arab-Muslim character, considering that it plays an important part of Simon Baz’ life?
When we re-launched our universe last year, diversity was a very important of the thinking when introducing characters. When I thought of the story, I had to introduce a new character into the “Green Latern” Corps. There was a lot of thought about his background, and that’s when I came up with the Arab-American “Green Lantern.”
What parts of your own life did you use when creating Baz?
My father is Lebanese so I have some of the cultural experience. I also worked with the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn on the script to make sure it had the authenticity of an Arab-American.
An Arab protagonist seems timely since there is this swirl of social issues that Muslims in post 9/11 America have to deal with.
True. As fantastic as the concept of “Green Lantern” is of an intergalactic police force, the comic has had a history of grounding in the now and dealing with modern characters and concepts and Simon Baz is that. I wanted to create a character that everyday Americans have to deal with.
When 9/11 hit, he was 10-years-old. His family was devastated, just like every other American. He’s grown up in that world. It’s just part of the daily life, the new normal.
The fact that the color green has a historical connection with Islam is probably coincidental but will religion play any part in future stories?
The background is in the DNA of who he is but it doesn’t define who he is. It’s more about a compelling character than anything else.
Geoff Johns is a writer you either love or hate. I’ve heard plenty of hate for him from friends, in real life and on the internet. Fortunately, I love him, and his work. I think he makes great, fun to read, yet not retardedly simple popcorn comics. He’s exactly the kind of guy I think should be working on superhero titles, rather than the Hickman’s of the world. This character he’s created, is a potentially risky step in a good direction, and follows through with the theme of diversity that DC execs touted at the beginning of the reboot of the DCU. I look forward to seeing the new stories with Baz, and hope his lineage, faith, and back story are written respectfully and tastefully by Johns, and any other who will be handling this character. It’s a great opportunity to reach out to the large muslim comics audience that’s out there, who I’m sure are craving some representation on the page.
New Writer For Superman, Introduces New Kryptonian Villain!
Even if it was hell for George Perez, his run on Superman was pretty goddamned boring. So boring, I stopped reading it. Being a big fan of Supes, I’ve been looking for a good point to jump back in, and start reading good Superman stories again. Hearing about a new Kryptonian villain, definitely sounds like the main foundation for the building blocks of a great Superman story.
Lobdell — already one of the most prolific writers at DC — will take over the Superman title, launching the second year of the iconic hero’s New 52 story with a new villainous threat.
Working with Kenneth Rocafort on art, Lobdell will start his run with this month’s Superman #0, then will take the title into November’s “H’el on Earth” event with Supergirl andSuperboy. The three “Super” characters will deal with a new Kryptonian supervillain named H’el, which Lobdell is introducing.
They then go on to conduct a LONG interview with Lobdell, who goes into detail about his plans, Superman, and what’s coming in store for him come issue #14, with the introduction of H’el. Here’s a choice snippet from the interview:
“Nrama: The “H’el on Earth” storyline that we’re seeing in the Super-books in November features what appears to be a new villain, but he’s got a Bizarro look about him. Is H’el a new take on Bizarro, or something new that you guys created for this story?
Lobdell: In my effort to re-imagine Superman’s villains, I went so far afield in re-imagining Bizarro with Kenneth, that editorial started saying “Um, Scott — this character is so not-Bizarro any more; he’s a whole new character, with new motivation, new history, new look, new origin. You’re at the point where it doesn’t make any sense to call him Bizarro any more.”
And they were right.
And for everyone who wonders about the “S” on his chest? It is so far removed from Bizarro or Prime or anyone else that you can relax: By the time this story is over, you’ll see that H’el and Bizarro can exist in the same world.”
You should go and read the whole thing over at Newsarama, because it’s fascinating, and worth the read.
Welcome to Comic Rack! My pick of the top five comic news stories in no particular order…
Rob Liefeld Quits DC, Thousands Rejoice?
Liefeld is a pretty infamous name in the comics world. He’s generally known for his 90’s work, which showcased his startling lack of attention or care to basic human anatomy, and a bizarre fascination with ridiculously sized guns and an inordinate amount of pouches. I know, it’s very hip to hate on Liefeld, but the dude really did contribute to the boom, and subsequent giant bubble burst of comics collecting in the 90’s, and the stigma his art and writing left on the industry is something from which they’re finally recovering. Well it seems he’s quitting DC, and as much as I’d like to celebrate, his reasons, are actually pretty concerning.
“This is the 4th time I quit in the last 4 months. This time it will stick,” he wrote from a theater, where he was watching The Expendables 2. “Never thought the Image section of my book would be topped. This last year was a humdinger. The DC52 chapters will go top all of it. […] Reasons are the same as everyone’s that you hear. I lasted a few months longer than I thought possible. Massive indecision, last-minute and I mean LAST minute changes that alter everything. Editor pissing contests… No thanks. Last week my editor said ‘early on we had a lot of indie talent that weren’t used to re-writes and changes … made it hard.’ Uh, no, it’s you.”
I’m not Liefeld advocate by any means, but it’s hard to not see where he’s coming from. Things at DC do seem pretty haphazard, and just barely thrown together. I love DC, and they really do have some great writers telling great stories, but lets face it, their editing team has always been one huge clusterf***. With the departure of Morrison for similar reasons, and other writers like George Perez also giving similar complaints, things on the editing front over at DC seem at the very best, shaky, and that’s putting it as nicely as I can. It does kind of explain why George Perez’s run on Superman was total dogshit boring though, and I’m a HUGE Superman fan. I’m just hoping the same thing doesn’t happen to any of my other favorites like Jeff Lemire, or Scott Snyder. That’d be a pretty huge loss to the company that not even a thousand Geoff Johns writing on a thousand typewriters could fix.
In A Startling Move, Mark Millar Is Not A Horrible Person For Once!
So despite being a terrible comics writer, who shits out bad comics purely to be optioned into films, he still somehow is popular, and has a rabid fan base. This fan base has in turn, made him very rich and successful. In a shocking movie, he’s finally decided to use this fan base for good, rather than more evil. It would seem some horrible, sexist, racist, misogynist, generally all around asshole, (the twist is that it’s not Mark Millar!), has been harassing various female comics writers and artists on twitter for quite some time. The guy has posed as several different names on twitter, and has been doing this for about 2 years, according to Sue from @DCwomenkickingass The tweets, emails and god knows what else, all are pretty lousy, terrible things to say, and the lot of them are far beyond typical “Lol you suck” hater tweets, venturing into downright harassment and outright online bullying. Here are collected few: via [BleedingCool].
@happysorceress Vixen? Seriously? LOL. She’s the most usless black female character in comics. And that’s saying something.
@kellysue Captain Marvel sucks. Just sayin. Put that hot little piece of blonde pussy back in black thigh highs and move on already
@CertainshadesL I’m guessing you wouldn’t be as amused if you were being gang raped by black guys in lois lane masks. Yeah, I’m thinking no.
@ronmarz right, because it’s easier to go after spelling when you’re to f***ng lame to deal with the actual point. Nicely played, cunt face
@gimpnelly and being a liberal, you certainly love to embrace hate. You’re just jealous that you’re too ugly to be in porn, f***ing mutt.
@GailSimone calls Condoleeza racial slur and liar, African American fans shocked at Simone’s uncharacteristically intolerant/cruel comments
@MarkWaid refuses to disavow claims that he called Romney’s wife “white corporate whore”, fans shocked at Waids comment
@maguirekevin Kevin Maguire calles Condoleeza Rice an “ignorant ni**er war monger”. Fans are shocked at artists racist comments
@MarkWaid geyser of lies, you mean like when he said that Mitt gave a woman cancer? Whoops! F***ing hypocrites like you make me laugh Kind of like the time
@laura_hudson said “white people are ruining comics”. Yeah, that’s not irrational, I’m just entitled for not agreeing
@Curicon @valeriegallaher @TheNerdyBird eh…bunch of no talent bitches that need a few hours as the star in a tentacle filled hentai film.
@Curicon @valeriegallaher @TheNerdyBird poor choice of words. Should have said “victim” instead of “star”. The tentacles are the star.
So Mark Millar finally went and used his powers for good, by writing this on his message board: via [CBR]
So I’m asking you guys a favour. I’ve managed to secure this guy’s name and address, but he’s stateside and I’m unsure what the next step should be. In the UK, he would be charged by the police under the Malicious Communications act, but we have a lot of smart cookies on here and I know there’s several US attorneys who post here regularly. If we have his details and copies of his communication, how can he be prosecuted? If any of the pros who have been attacked here would like to make a case against him I’ll personally cover the legal costs. Twitter, I would imagine, can confirm his IP address if the artists make a formal complaint to the police. Apparently several of those he’s harassed took Millar up on the offer, as today he came back and posted: Thank you very much, but I engaged a criminal lawyer in LA yesterday and have one of the women involved co-ordinating with the others today, hopefully. I don’t want to say much more in a public forum just now as it may prejudice the case and between the details we’ve got and the tweets we saved the police have everything they need. Even if this doesn’t go to court the guy should hopefully be publicly outed in California and the shame of this will not only stop him attacking women online, but also discourage others from trying this in future. I found out last night that this idiot had been making sexual threats to some of the women concerned for over two years now. Again, I stress that readers shouldn’t try googling the names he’s using as innocent parties may get targeted. He’s using false names for the most part, as you might expect. His IP address is all that matters and we’ve nailed the clown. This is a police matter now.
Basically, Millar used some old-fashioned Internet Detectives to get the guys details, and had his police goons send him a cease and desist, or a subpoena, or a effin’ bomb, I don’t know, I have no idea what cops actually do. All of my knowledge about them is from The Wire and Breaking Bad. Regardless, screw that guy, and good on Millar for finally attempting to apprehend horrible, sexist, racist, misogynist assholes on the internet. If somebody shows him Reddit though, he might have a stroke and die, and ironically there’d be one less sexist, racist misogynist left in the world. Hmm…. No.. No that’d be murder. Or at least manslaughter, as so McNulty tells me.
Venom Moves To Philly, Says It’s Always Sunny There.
Alright, I haven’t read a Spider-Man book, in about, oh going on nearly 4 years now. I’ve never been a big fan of his, and despite my hope, that his new movie would be good, it was the worst piece of dogshit I’ve seen since Ang Lee’s Hulk. I’ve never really been that big a Spider-Man fan, when it came to the comics. I remember liking him when I was younger, but that was mostly because of the cartoon on FOX, and really, the toys were pretty cool. When it came to comics I was always a Superman/Batman guy. I know, my predilection for DC is showing again, I’m sorry. But stuff like Venom moving, is something I find innately funny. Especially the entire concept of him going to Philly, just makes me laugh. I know the current Venom is no longer Eddie Brock, and has been Flash Thompson for a while now, and the concept behind the move is actually pretty sound. via [Newsarama]
“Now, he’s trying to do the right thing,” series writer Cullen Bunn told the AP. “He’s reassessing what it means to be a hero. And he’s looking for a fresh start. This means a lot of things for Flash. He’s surrounding himself with new people — such as tabloid journalist Katy Kiernan and his new love interest, the Asgardian Valkyrie. He’s changing his approach to being a superhero. And he’s looking for a change of scenery.” Series editor Tom Brennan, a graduate of Philly’s Drexel University, said it’s time Philly had a hero of its own, putting it in the same league as L.A. and New York, among other real-life cities that populate the Marvel Universe. “All the while that I lived there, I wanted a superhero for the city of Philadelphia, a town full of heart, hustle and hope — and I don’t care what anyone says — some of the nicest people I’ve ever met,” Brennan said. “Sure, they don’t suffer fools, and you’ve got to be mindful if you cross against the light, but I found the City of Brotherly Love to be a character in and of itself that I thought more fiction should explore.”
Bahahaha what? Guns? Seriously? Oh man…
I mean that makes sense. Why shouldn’t Philly have its own hero? Superheroes are all around the place in the Marvel U, so lets throw Philly a bone. If Detroit gets RoboCop, why shouldn’t Philly get Venom? But still, the thought of Venom eating Cheese steaks, hanging out on the street, drinking a 40 and singing Biz Markie, just goddamn cracks me up. If they don’t throw in The Gang from It’s Always Sunny In Philadephia in a background panel or something, that’s gonna be a pretty huge missed opportunity.
Scott Pilgrim Creator’s New Project!
If you haven’t read it by now, you owe it to yourself to go and pick up all 6 volumes of the Scott Pilgrim comics, or some collected version and read it. Seriously. It’s one of those things that you wish you could forget about so you could read it for the first time, again. Stunningly, it was turned into a movie that was somehow EVEN BETTER than the comics, by the sheer amount of raw skill in story condensation used, as well as creative filmmaking in general. But I digress, the real hero here is Bryan Lee O’Malley, who really seem to has his finger on the pulse of the current generational zeitgeist, as his work in Scott Pilgrim alone truly speaks to the current generation of young adults. Any project of his is immediately worth noting for this reason alone, and with that, comes the news of Seconds, his latest graphic novel. via [CBR]
“I came up with the general idea for Seconds right after completing the first volume of Scott Pilgrim,” O’Malley says. “I worked in a restaurant in Toronto for a little while to pay the bills while writing the second volume and planning the rest of the series, and I had a few ideas for this other story, a story about a restaurant. So, Seconds is about a restaurant, and the restaurant is called Seconds, and 90 percent of the story takes place within it. Beyond that it’s really hard for me to explain and I’m going to have to work on that so I can talk about it properly when it comes out. But it’s funny and weird and kind of big and crazy despite the mundane setting.” Asked whether Seconds will be “realistic” like his 2003 graphic novel Lost at Sea, or feature more fantastical elements like Scott Pilgrim, O’Malley continued, “Seconds is grounded in the reality of this restaurant environment, and I did do plenty of research, so there’s that. It takes place in a town that is like a kinder, gentler fairy tale version of reality. Then it takes off into a story that is very strange, very mental. So it’s a little of both, I guess. The protagonist, Katie, is a loveable spaz, and she’s in practically every panel; her personality drives the story in a way that’s basically identical to my other work. They’re all very subjective worlds. But this is a new subject, so it’s got its own feeling.”
Some might say a comic about a restaurant just sounds like a strange setting, but that’d be ignoring the tons of great indie books that take place in normal everyday settings. I’m really looking forward to this book, and you should be too. Now go, go out and read/watch Scott Pilgrim if you haven’t. Seriously. I’ll wait.
Lois Lane And Clark Kent, Not Happening In New 52.
The current big hoopla in DC fandom is the newfound relationship between Wonder Woman and Superman. However, most fans seemed to treat it as unofficial Official canon, that sure, it’s happening, but it won’t count, and eventually Clark will end up with Lois, because c’mon, Lois & Clark. Duh.
Not so says DC, as they seem intent on not going down the whole Lois route once again. via [Newsarama]
In an interview with the Associated Press, Johns and Lee hinted that the other elephant in the room, Lois Lane’s previously-thought destined relationship with Clark, simply doesn’t exist. AP writer Matt Moore even went so far as to say “She’s still around, but the two have never dated, nor are they likely to.” Lee added to the assumption, and noted that this relationship will reach far beyond just the pages of Justice League or just the reactions of other superheroes. “The way Geoff unfolds the story and the implications of 2 of the most powerful characters in the DCU becoming a team is something that goes beyond the question of ‘What about Lois and Clark?” This is a statement to every nation and geopolitical organization in the entire DC Universe giving creative teams ample material to explore this relationship on so many different levels.” Meanwhile, at the New York Daily News, Lee says he likes that this will get people talking. “If you change anything from the length of a cape to the shape of a belt buckle, there’s always some fan that notices and is appalled. “We’re very lucky to have a very passionate fan base.”
That last quote is really kind of a fancy way to say, “Stop whining nerds, geez”, and get away with it. And you know, I’m okay with it. We’ve seen Lois and Clark together for decades, why not let him have a shot at somebody who can, you know, bear the full brunt, if you will? A woman who can take what he can give? Who doesn’t have to worry about his daring exploits? Sex. She can have sex with him without fear of horrible death. Is what I’m saying. Because she’s wonderful. She’s a wonderful woman. Ugh. I’m annoying myself now. Anyhow, I’ll be interested to see how the whole relationship plays out, because holy hell, that break up will be HORRIBLE. Entire cities laid to waste because of emotional outbursts from both parties. Well, maybe not Superman, but possibly Wonder Woman? Maybe? Oh god am I being sexist? Will Mark Millar send after me now? What’s that knock at the door? OH FU-
Welcome to Comic Rack! My pick of the top five comic news stories in no particular order…
A New Justice League In 2013!
Jim Lee and Geoff Johns have been hitting it off pretty hard with the New 52’s Justice League, a book that’s been breaking sales records in an industry that people thought was growing stagnant. Now with a book that’s selling well and a movie that’s in the works, it’s clear that the Justice League is back to the forefront of fans’ interest. Accordingly, Geoff Johns, DC”s head maestro, is looking to re-debut the more traditionally named Justice League Of America, next year.
“This is a very different kind of team book,” says Geoff Johns in a DC blog post. “On first glance, people might think the heroes of the JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA stand in the shadows of Superman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the JUSTICE LEAGUE, but [they] thrive in the shadows. They’re underdogs who have everything to prove and something to lose. They’re a team of unlikely heroes who will help one another discover they’re as A-List as anybody — yes, even Vibe. Though getting there won’t be easy. Why they’re formed, why each member joins, what they’re after and who the society of villains is they’re trying to take apart will all be clear in the first issue when it hits early 2013. David and I are really focused on delving deep into what it’s like to not be a member of the big seven and why, sometimes, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.”
The roster of heroes to be joining will be Green Arrow, Katana, Martian Manhunter, The New Green Lantern (Baz I presume), Star Girl, Vibe, Hawkman, and Catwoman. Which really does sound like an… eclectic team to say the least. But if there’s one thing that Geoff Johns is good at, it’s making lesser, forgotten, or wayside characters shine and pop like they’re brand new again. Case in point being Aquaman, which is one of my favorite DC books right now, and that in and of itself is a sentence I never thought I’d type. So I’m looking forward to the new JLA, since at the very least, it’ll be interesting to see Green Arrow try to hit on Catwoman.
Invincible’s Spin-Off Finally Looming Into Becoming A Reality.
For a while in 2010, Invincible was probably the best superhero book on the shelves. Not that it’s gotten bad or anything, just the opposite, but back then the Viltrumite War was happening, and that story arc was really kind of the climax of the entire story that Invincible had been building up to. Now it’s rebuilding it’s world, and it’s heroes to that effect, and in doing so, is expanding it’s actual line up by bringing back the Guardians Of The Globe, who fans of the book will remember as the Justice League analogue in the book. A few months ago,the book’s writer, Phil Hester, spoke about the book, and where it falls into place regarding the Invincible Timeline:
“The Invincible Universe has outgrown its parent title and I’m very excited about being able to tell larger, more in depth stories with some of the key players from that book in this series,” said GUARDING THE GLOBE creator/writer Robert Kirkman, “Phil Hester and Todd Nauck are well known to fans of superhero comics and I think people are fully aware that they’re going to knock this book out of the park.”
I’m interested to see where he takes the heroes we’ve come to know and care about in the Invincible/Image universe, and the idea of seeing Brit back in action sounds pretty great. Best of all, you can even check a 6-Page preview of the book right here.(link)
The New Green Lantern, Baz, Is Arab-American.
I know, for some of you, this shouldn’t mean anything, and good on you for thinking it doesn’t, because it shouldn’t. However, it unfortunately does, and a small section of xenophobic comics fans, whether they want to admit it or not, will have a problem with this.
“The confirmation comes from an unlikely yet reliable source: Green Lantern writer and DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns is appearing on Sept. 8 at the Arab American National Museum in Detroit to mark the hero’s debut, according to a story in the Detroit Free Press.
The article, which called the hero the “first Arab-American Green Lantern,” is also the first DC confirmation of the character’s name — ‘Baz’.”
Believe me, I want to say that this kind of story should be no big deal, but the fact is that some people will make it out to be. A similar thing happened a long time ago when they had Nightrunner back in 2011 for Batman Inc. Nightrunner was a Muslim character who lived in France, of all places, who was taking up the mantle of Batman there. Unfortunately, the mere fact he was Muslim led people to thinking he was “Terrorist Batman”, (which is literally what Mark Millar does, but that’s neither here nor there), and people judging the character before even reading anything or knowing anything about him, and that’s without that character even BEING Arab or anything. Hopefully, I’m over-speculating, and it’ll be no big deal at all, but I do have to give kudos to Geoff Johns for trying to expand the idea of an establishing the idea that a superhero doesn’t need to be a white person, and having a representation in the book there for the plenty of Arab-American comics fans.
Uncanny Avengers Spearheads The Lineup of Marvel Now, Marvel Insists It’s Not A Reboot.
Fans of Marvel will have a lot to look forward to in the coming months, as we’ve previously detailed here at GB. But what’s interesting is the basic idea of trying to unite the two different sides of Marvel fandom. One being the Avengers/Marvel U fans, and the other being the longtime X-Men fans. This summer’s big event AvX was an attempt to start this, and really has kicked things off for them to cancel, revamp, and re-begin (I’m trying to avoid the word “re-boot”) certain main titles in the effort to make all X-Men fans, Marvel fans, and vice versa.
“It’s a team of characters comprised of characters coming both from the Marvel heroes, Avengers side of the fence and characters from the X-Men side of the fence,” said Brevoort. “It’s our cats and dogs in the same pen book.”
Alonso added that part of the major appeal of “AvX” is that it spans the entire Marvel Universe as opposed to just the Avengers, Spider-Man or the X-Men segments — something he hopes will continue with “Uncanny Avengers.” “With ‘Uncanny Avengers,’ you’re going to see a book that’s going to be relevant to both types of fans: the fans who gravitate towards the Avengers and the larger Marvel Universe and fans who are all about the X-Men.”
That’s just one of the main focal points that they’re trying to get across to their fan base, but along with that is their plans to with Marvel NOW! Point One, which is a collection of stories by big name Marvel Creators such as Brian Michael Bendis, Steve McNiven, Jeph Loeb, Ed McGuiness, Nick Spencer, Matt Fraction and more.
“Marvel NOW! Point One’ is sort of the kickoff of our entry into Marvel NOW! and also gives a new setup and little taste,” said Brevoort. “Completely all-new stories that are not the first eight pages of the individual books that are involved of a number of new titles that are coming out in the context of a full story. All — I think it’s 50 pages of this thing — are new content by the biggest creators.”
There’s a ton more in the article where they even mention the New 52, and it’s switching of creative teams early on, as an example of what they will NOT be doing. Along with that, there’s the brief mention of digital content codes being included in books priced at $3.99, and a few other tidbits that are all very enlightening about the longterm goals of this re…launch. Ahem. Anyhow, make sure you go back to CBR and read the whole thing, because there are loads more interesting anecdotes from the Marvel VP of Sales and Marvel’s Editors on the whole shebang.
In Case You Didn’t Know Or Forgot, This Week Was Jack Kirby’s Birthday!
August 28th was the day, and if the man was still alive today it would have been his 95th birthday. If for some sick reason you don’t know, Jack Kirby is the one who many believe to be TRULY responsible for the myriad Marvel characters you enjoy, and that the credit is unfairly balanced towards Stan Lee in his stead. Personally, I’ve always loved both, but it is pretty prevalent that Kirby, outside of the comics world, has never gotten the recognition for his work that Lee has. Regardless, Kirby has contributed to the comics landscape with unforgettable, imaginative characters and worlds that are timelessly evocative and creative. He was the guy who brought us Captain America, many of the X-Men, The Fantastic Four, Hulk, Thor, Darkseid, The Fourth World, The Anti-Life Equation, The New Gods, and so many others that we love.
I’m not hating on Stan Lee, but there’s a reason he’s Stan “The Man”, and Kirby is “The King”.
Welcome to Comic Rack! My pick of the top five comic news stories in no particular order.
New DCu Event Unites Animal Man & Swamp Thing
In case you didn’t know, Animal Man and Swamp Thing are two of the best new books out in the New 52. Arguably, for a while at the beginning, Animal Man was by far the best, but things have certainly balanced out a bit by now. As it would progress however, both Swamp Thing and Animal Man began to slowly seed connections to each other, and the new DCu as a whole, by mentioning the vaguely defined threat of The Rot. As the books continued, we found out more about The Rot, its counterpart The Red and The Green, and the very important impact they’d have on the status quo of the DCu. Now that both books have taken time to explore those respective places/ideas, its culminating in an event that I’m actually looking forward to, called Rotworld. Scott Snyder, the writer of Swamp thing had this to say about Rotworld and its prelude:
Via [The Source]
To say this is the culmination of our year-long stories on these books would be an understatement. This moment is the culmination – the Rot, Arcane, The Hunters Three all have led us here – but it’s also the start of something even bigger. Because in Rotworld, you’ll get to see the DCu completely transformed by the Rot. You’ll see which of your favorite heroes and villains survived the Rot’s invasion (not many, we’re afraid). And you’ll get to see which have been overtaken and transformed by the Rot. You’ll get to see Gotham, Metropolis – this is the whole DCu, but rotten.
The whole “dark reflection of the universe” story trope has been done before plenty of times, but the uniqueness of The Rot, and the talent of both Jeff Lemire and Scott Snyder, (seriously, go read ANYTHING they’ve written, it’s amazing), has me optimistic and downright anxious to read this crossover event. Animal Man has been one of my favorite books for a long time, even back when Grant Morrison wrote his seminal run on the character, so getting to see his newfound unique world come into play in a major way is really exciting.
New Green Lantern’s Name Is Revealed!
In Green Lantern’s Annual #1, we learned a bunch of details, but one of the more puzzling ones was that there is a new Green Lantern for Earth, only he’s masked, and his identity, at the time anyway, was a mystery. Well coming soon with Green Lantern #0 and #13 (numbering in DC is weird), we’re going to find out some more info about him, but a solicitation of #13 from Diamond Comics Distributors, has revealed his name is Baz. Yup. BAZ.
Here is how the copy originally appeared in DC’s October solicitations released to the pubic and currently on their own website:
“• Earth’s new Green Lantern battles The Justice League!”
And here is how it now appears on the Diamond retailer site according to a retailer:
“• Baz, Earth’s new Green Lantern battles The Justice League!”
It’s funny, I know an artist named Gaz. While I don’t think he’s a HUGE Green Lantern fan, I’d like to think that somehow, he put his influence out there into the Mind-Ether, and willed his name into the collective consciousness of Geoff Johns, in a roundabout way to eventually seduce Johns into hiring him as the new artist for that book, thus leading him into a new plateau of success in the comics industry. If you knew Gaz, you’d probably agree with me. Then again, I have been re-reading The Invisibles and a lot of Grant Morrison comics in general, so maybe my whole tertiary-world/psychedelic mind melding/spirit consciousness obsession is getting a bit out of hand. But hey, Baz! That’s fun to say right! BAZ!
Marvel’s Civil War Adapted Into An Audiobook.
First off, I didn’t even know Civil War was adapted into a prose novel, that was a surprise on its own, but then to find out it’s gonna be an audiobook? Well that’s just damn wacky if you ask me. Not to say it’ll be bad because of being an audiobook, it’ll just be bad because it’s an adaptation of Civil War. Oh snap!
Marvel Comics’ new prose novel, CIVIL WAR, will be adapted to GraphicAudio®…A Movie in Your Mind® audio productions. The Cutting Corporation and Marvel Entertainment have entered into a licensing agreement where four of Marvel’s prose novels will be released in the GraphicAudio®…A Movie in Your Mind® unique audiobook format. GraphicAudio® audio productions are six hours on average of action packed audio entertainment with sound effects, cinematic music, narration and a full cast.
So poor source material aside, this does sounds kind of cool. It sounds more like an old timey radio play than a boring old audiobook read by Stan Lee huffing and puffing his way through each paragraph. Presumably, they’re even going to get voice actors, and hearing, oh I don’t know, Clone Thor will be interesting.
On a side note, I thought this would be a good moment to mention WHY I have my particular… let’s call it… Avoidance, of Marvel comics. It all started with Civil War. For a while, I had been out of the loop in the comics industry, the 90’s boom had past, and I had closed my pull list for a solid half a decade, until Sin City came out, and reinvigorated my interest in being up to date again. A year or so later, Civil War came out, with its fascinating concept. A Civil War between some of my favorite superheroes? It’s like the Keene Act from Watchmen! How brilliant!
Then, it turned out that every single month would bring new, stupider, lamer things to the table with each issue. First dumb things like Spiderman unmasking himself, then the previously mentioned Clone Thor (any comics fan from the 90’s will have a Pavlovian hatred of clones), then the ultimate retardation of making Tony Stark an Asshole Fascist Supreme™, and Captain America a die-hard liberal quitter. The fact that Captain America, you know, the guy who never quits, or gives up hope, GAVE up the war because of some destruction, really irked me as lame and a cop-out to a story that wasn’t thematically planned well, or executed with real love at its core. Unfortunately, this can all be attributed to Mark Millar, so I forgave it and followed on to the next Marvel event.
And the next. And the next. And as my dollars dwindled, and my stack of event books I really didn’t like grew larger, I found myself experiencing what many fans named as “Event Fatigue”. Add to that, Marvel’s editors and runners kept repeating this mantra of “This matters, this matters, nothing will be the same again”, and at the end of nearly every event, everything went the same again, It really seemed disingenuous. This attitude in general, along with the (IMO) the poor quality of the majority of their books, made it easier for me to take them all off my list, and be done with their universe for a long while. By no means am I done with Marvel forever, but my sabbatical from that universe is one I don’t see ending particularly soon.
But I probably will listen to that audiobook adaptation, because radio plays are pretty awesome.
Jonathan Luna Of Luna Bros Fame Working On Solo Project
For those of you who haven’t heard of The Luna Bros, I highly recommend you go out and pick up any of the 3 books they’ve done together. They’re a highly imaginative creative team who have taken conceptual comics and really run with them in amazing ways. Their first book, Ultra, is a really well done exploration of femininity and superheroes, that manages to balance a grounded, emotional,realistic story about relationships, with the fanciful nature of a superhero yarn. Their follow-up, Girls, turned the isolated zombie like horror story on its head, by making the looming threat a bunch of identical, alien, beautiful, naked women, with violent homicidal tendencies towards the women in a small farm town. Their most recent project was The Sword, which was a fascinating blend of revenge story and fantasy, that ended perfectly or disappointingly depending on who you ask, but everyone will agree getting there was amazing.
So after The Sword, they’ve taken a break, but have now come back with each taking their shot at solo projects. This year we saw Joshua Luna with his EXCELLENT ‘Whispers’, which is a book that I don’t even want to tell you about, because half the fun is even finding out what it’s about, and now Jonathan Luna, is going to be releasing his own storybook. It’s a 72 page collection of his original story, combined with his own watercolor paintings accompany the narrative. [CBR] has a great interview with him, and you can read a neat excerpt here:
CBR News: How long have you been kicking around the idea of doing a storybook-type project like this?
Jonathan Luna: I kind of surprised myself with the decision to make a picture book. After “The Sword” ended, I took a two-year sabbatical, but I was still creating. I played with photography and film, and I learned how to paint with oil, acrylic and watercolor. For the past decade I’ve wanted to make an art book — which I still might do — but as I got into it, I questioned its meaningfulness. I realized it was missing the story element I was used to working with in comics. So I decided to do a fairy-tale picture book. I’ve been working on “Star Bright and the Looking Glass” since December 2011.
There’s definitely been a certain kind of imagery in my head I’ve been dying to put on paper. I’ve been into pop surrealism for many years, so I wanted to incorporate that kind of art into my new work. I wanted it to be ethereal and a little dark. That may not completely come across in the work, but it’s at least inspired by it. Also, the theme of beauty runs throughout my other works with Joshua, and it’s central in this book. But, ultimately, this is a story about friendship.
Also, I don’t think I’m going to call “Star Bright and the Looking Glass” a “storybook.” The term implies it’s more for children. I’m hoping anyone of any age will read it.
The whole interview is really worth a read. Head on over to [CBR] to read the entire thing.
Aurora, Colorado Comic Shop Schedules A Benefit Event.
I know this isn’t technically a comics story, but it’s something that I thought was important, as well as good gesture to share and express to others.
All C’s Collectibles, the only comic book store in Aurora, has scheduled Aurora Rise for Aug. 25 and 26, with billed in-store appearances from creators Matt Fraction, Mike Mignola and Steve Niles.
Additionally, several items — including original art and signed merchandise — have been donated for a silent auction. Due to demand, the silent auction has been moved off-site to a nearby Embassy Suites. According to store manager Jason Farnsworth on the event’s Facebook page, “All proceeds from the event will go directly to the victims, their families and/or designated charity or foundation.”
It’s comforting and rewarding to be reminded that comics fans aren’t all the crude, anti-social, jaded blowhards that they are sometimes stereotyped out to be, because a gesture like this is one that goes a long way towards making the world a better place. Again it’s easy to be cynical about something like this, but what has cynicism ever brought to a situation like this that was positive? I know if I was in Aurora right now, I’d be at that benefit, and I’d gladly help contribute donations and proceeds for the victims and their families, or whatever designated charity they wished to receive funds. I’d like to think that people who read comics, if anything, should have a good moral compass. That’s what superheroes are there for, to reminds us to be good people, and to take care of each other. What’s more heroic than helping another who is in need?