While Marvel seems to have the comic movie market cornered, DC’s grip on prime time television is set to strengthen as the CW plans a new spin-off to their already successful duo of Arrow and The Flash.
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”.
Christopher Nolan has been a busy man. He has got the conclusion of the best comic book movie trilogy coming to an end next week. He just got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He is also serving as producer to Man of Steel, the new Superman movie due out next year, which is also getting its big unveiling at Comic-Con later this week. Obviously in doing press, his future plans have been asked along with his producing role on Man of Steel and the enormous success of The Avengers, and his involvement with the Justice League movie. His response?
According to Entertainment Weekly, Nolan says he has zero plans for the Justice League movie.
“No, none at all. We’re finished with all we’re doing with Batman. This is the end of our take on this character.” He also goes on to say he has no intention to be involved with any future Batman movie projects. “Batman will outlive us all, and our interpretation was ours. Obviously, we consider it definitive and kind of finished. The great thing about Batman is he lives on for future generations to reinterpret, and obviously, Warners will have to decide in the future what they’re going to do with him,” Nolan said. “We’ve had our say on the character. I’ve got no plans to do anything more, and certainly, no involvement with any Justice League project.”
Obviously this news is disappointing but at least he is sticking to his guns. I think trilogies are pretty much the way to go because you do not want movies to overstay their welcome and characters to become stagnant. Especially superhero movies where you get origin story, defining moment that results in epiphany on their responsibilities to the world, then the final test that validates their existence… and past that? It’s just retread. There needs to be a beginning, a middle, and an end. The idea of reboots annoys me, but we see it in comic books all the time where people have their take on the characters. It may disrupt what we know but you cannot help but acknowledge that the expansion on the character due to different writing perspectives reinvigorates the genre and the game plan (see: The Amazing Spider-Man movie). You never want to wear out the welcome or be the one getting kicked out of the party. You want to leave while everyone screams how epic that was.
That is how Nolan wants to leave it and while I would love for his take Justice League, it would not make sense for his Batman perspective, something that is rooted in reality, to be mixed with Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern. It is just not in the same universe of his thinking. Plus any original material from Nolan would be gold. Like I said, good job sticking to his guns and Warner Bros. embracing the trilogy idea instead of shoving the same drivel down our throats repeatedly.
*Since publication, the comic has been retitled: JL8
Welcome back to the Grizzly Spotlight. For this edition we are going to take a look at one of my favorite webcomics, Little League. It’s no secret I’m a fan of comics, comic strips, and the internet. So obviously I’m going to enjoy a well written amalgamation. Here’s a bit more on the comic:
With all the news lately regarding different comic book adaptations heading to TV, I couldn’t help but notice a lack of ‘superhero’ content in the shows. Which is fine, some of the stories like 100 Bullets and of course the smash hit The Walking Dead are great without featuring powers, costumes, any of that.
But that’s not what I’m listing today. I understand the problems with bringing brightly colored costumes and powers every week to the general public, which is made clearer by the numerous attempted hero pilots and TV shows, some of the worst ones we listed here. But there are some heroes out there that I think are perfect for TV.
Here’s the Top Ten Superheroes Suited For The Small Screen:
It took a few minutes to sink in before I realized that it was the last time I would hear the Smallville theme song playing at the beginning of a new episode because tonight it happened: the series finale. I’ve been with the show many years, through the highs and the lows. Of course there were going to be terrible episodes I would despise over the course of the show and certain directions they took continuity that I don’t agree with but Smallville still remains one of my favorite shows of all time after ten seasons.
The episode opens with Chloe telling a child a story and then flashes back seven years earlier with Apokolips inexorably heading towards Earth…then the typical commercial break and theme song opening as I wait in anticipation!