Batman fighting – and beating up – the Gotham police is well-known to long-time comic book fans and even the general public via the movies and other media. But starting in Batman issue #44, the Dark Knight has to unclench his fists as he reflects how both the superhero and philanthropist Wayne personas may have added the all-too real-world problems of racism, police brutality, poverty and societal clash to the fictional city.
There are a few iconic Batman stories that die-hard fans are quick to share with new and old fans alike, but one story stands above the rest as one that not only changed the face of Batman in the decades to follow, but also the rest of the comic industry. The Dark Knight Returns took a dark look at the future of Gotham City, as a retired Bruce Wayne once again dons the cape and cowl, along with a new partner and a renewed fight against crime. While TDKR is never far from any dedicated fans comic shelf, the upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice has brought TDKR back into the forefront, with many of the themes and scenes from the comic set to appear in the film.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you will be aware that Phantoms star Ben Affleck has been cast as Batman in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel follow-up, currently titled Batman Vs. Superman. The internet has been up in arms about the casting, and so far the man himself has remained relatively tight-lipped. However, Ben Affleck appeared last night on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon to promote his upcoming movie Runner Runner, co-starring Justin Timberlake, and the subject of Affleck playing Batman inevitably came up:
Affleck talks about how he was warned about the internet backlash following previous casting choices. “They said, ‘Just don’t use the Internet for a couple of days,'” the actor told Fallon. “And I said … ‘I handle shit!'” Ben fAffleck’s curiosity couldn’t prevent him from having a little peek when the news was made official. “I saw the announcement, I look down the thing. The first comment? … ‘Nooooooooooooo. And I was done! We’re going to be Luddites for a while.'”
Affleck still seems very pleased with his casting and told Fallon:
[quote]It’s so awesome, man. I’m so excited. They called me up and asked me if I wanted to do this. And I said, ‘I’m not 25, man, are you sure about this?’ And they said, ‘Come down, we wanna show you what we’re doing.’ Zack Snyder’s directing it and he has this amazing take on it. Obviously you can’t do what Christian [Bale] did, those movies were amazing. But Zack wants to something different but still in keeping with that.[/quote]
There is mixed feeling over here at Grizzly Bomb over Affleck’s casting, I for one am on team Affleck. He is a solid actor and in recent years has proved his salt both in front of and behind the camera. At least the rumor that pop star Justin Bieber being in the running to play Robin in the movie has now been quashed. The Wrap reported on Sunday that the whole thing was potentially set up for an upcoming Funny or Die sketch.
Affleck will next be seen on the big screen alongside of Justin Timberlake in gambling thriller Runner Runner on September 27. Batman Vs. Superman is aiming for a July 15, 2015 release.
Welcome to Comic Rack! My pick of the top five comic news stories in no particular order…
Marvel’s Infinite Comics Launches New Weekly Wolverine Title!
Digital comics are weird. On one hand, they’re obviously the future of the medium, and I don’t mind them per se, but I’ve always preferred the idea of trades being released digitally, rather than individual issues. The bang per buck of a digital trade makes a lot more sense to me than a single issue for $2 or whatever the price may be. I can appreciate the attempt to give digital comics some added value over the printed page, specifically by utilizing the medium of a digital format in creative ways. That doesn’t mean I like it, exactly, and in my opinion I find it a bit redundant. It’s why I never liked “motion comics” or anything, because to me the beauty and simplicity of comics was the utilization of static images to convey motion and a sense of movement in every scene. It’s one of those things that sounds a bit fluffy when you describe it, but it’s a legitimate complaint, I believe. It’s yet to be seen if Infinite Comics will prove to otherwise be successful, but for not it’s an interesting idea, and this Wolverine comic will probably prove if Infinite Comics has legs or not.
Find out more here.
Chris Sprouse Leaves Adventures Of Superman!
A lot has been said about Orson Scott Card and his planned Superman story. The thing about it is, I truly can’t get behind reading the work of a man that vile and terrible. He’s pretty (obviously) famous for his vitriolic and terrible political opinions, and while at heart I think that shouldn’t affect the work itself, it definitely does. I’ve had a couple of discussions about separating the art from the artist and have generally come to the resolution that it’s amicable to do so, but ultimately impossible. A great piece of art can and will be tainted by the real life nature of the person who created it. It’s the focal point in some cases, as with serial killers and their art that is occasionally sold or displayed in museums. Did I just compare Orson Scott Card indirectly with the likes of John Wayne Gacy? Yes, but you know, F the both of them. A brilliant character who stands for acceptance, love and hope like Superman doesn’t need to be written by a hateful bigot like Card anyway, so good on Sprouse for deciding to leave the story. Obviously he can’t full on come out and admit exactly why, but c’mon, we all know why. A side of me is curious as to what Card’s story would have been though. Curious, but glad it didn’t happen.
Find out more here.
Scott Snyder and Jim Lee Unchain Superman
In other, much better Superman news, there’s the wonderful announcement that Scott Snyder and Jim Lee are taking over Superman soon with Superman Unchained, a new book coming out just in time to coincide with Zack Snyder’s Man Of Steel. Aside from there obviously being a terrifying conspiracy between all those named Snyder working on Superman projects, this sounds and seems pretty damn amazing. For those who haven’t or aren’t reading Scott Snyder’s work on Batman right now, he’s absolutely killing it. Just balls out, hands down killing it every damn month. Normally I’d be pretty worried by a book with just the mere idea and title of a book called Superman Unchained‘, because let’s be honest, that’s kind of a lame title. But the Snyder’s (Scott and Zack, respectively) seem to understand that you can inject some of that tried and true Gritty Edge™ the kids love these days and still keep the Superman character intact. Hopefully they will, anyway. I have more faith in Scott Snyder because he’s a pretty brilliant writer, and the idea of trying new things with the character is an interesting mission statement for the book. I’m looking forward to reading it in line for Man Of Steel come April.
Find out more here.
Astro City Returns!
I’m not terribly familiar with Astro City, I am pretty familiar with Kurt Busiek’s myriad DC works. He’s written a ton of great story arcs in the past and is one of those names that I see on books all the time. He’s not a super notable stand out for me, but I do know the name and know he means quality. It’s not like you’d jump into a book of his and find yourself reading something awful. That being said, perhaps it’s my own ignorance of Astro City that’s kept Busiek from joining the list of names that I immediately gravitate towards every time I approach the wall at my local comic shop. Here’s the description of the book, via [ComicsAlliance]:
[quote]Astro City began as a sort of anthology series in 1995 and followed the superheroes, supervillains and everyday citizens who lived in the eponymous city. Critically-acclaimed, and the recipient of a number of Eisner and Harvey-awards, the series has been on an indefinite hiatus since May of 2010.
The new series will be available in June, but you can find the original series collected at your local comic shop or public library.[/quote]
It certainly sounds interesting, and is yet another title to put on my increasingly longer list of books to read, when I have the time and money.
Marvel’s New Teasers Showcase New Savage Wolverine Creators!
New teasers from Marvel are no surprise, and lately have been hitting pretty much every other day. These new ones are unique in the fact that they are both promoting a new book with very minimal taglines that are very vague… which actually makes them not unique at all and well in line with the rest of Marvel’s teasers.
So the teasers obviously showcase both Wolverine and Spider-Man, along with the creative team of Zeb Wells and Joe Maduiera. It just so happens that this story, which had been previously teased as a Wolverine/Spidey/Elektra mini-series, will now follow Frank Cho’s arc over in The Savage Wolverine, which is apparently aiming to be a team-up book like Avenging Spider-Man. Wells and mad previously worked together on the opening arc of Avenging, and I am looking forward to this new arc for Savage. Seeing Joe Mad draw Wolverine always takes me back to the 90s X-Men stories like Onslaught that I remember so fondly, and I am definitely interested in this new story. – S. Fraser
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…
The Superman/DC/Shuster Legal Battle Continues
For those who don’t know, basically DC has said that Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel gave up their rights to reclaim their half of the rights to Superman, and the Shuster estate has fought against that argument for a long time. As far as I can understand, the Shuster estate is appealing against a recent judgement made by a federal judge, who ruled they officially gave up their rights in an agreement made in 1992. It’s a little bogged down by legalese, and the complicated nature of who deserves what rights is what makes it even harder. I think it’s mostly a case of DC as a publisher trying to split hairs over what is or isn’t owed, and while I don’t know all the details, I’m sure the Shuster estate has a valid argument. All I know is I wish this whole court thing would get settled definitively, once and for all, either way. Then we could look back and judge the facts. I’m sure somebody more knowledgable than I could make a great argument for either side, but for now it’s a little sad to see yet another legal dispute in the comics world be dragged on further than it ever should have.
Find out more here.
Image Dips Into Time Travel Again with Comeback
I’m a sucker for time travel stories. They’re practically my favorite genre of Sci-Fi stories, if it could even be called a genre. It’s a storytelling trope that’s always captivated me, and hearing about a new miniseries involving time travel certainly captured my interest. In particular this one is by Ed Brisson, who up until now has only been a letterer, but is taking a step into the fray as a writer. His book, called Comeback, is about a time traveling agency called Reconnect, that provides a very special service. For a hefty price, they’ll go back in time and save somebody you loved/cared about/whoever from dying. As with all time travel stories, the price paid for manipulating the space time continuum is more than just monetary, and can result in lots of bad things happening if things should go wrong. Of course the whole thing is very illegal, and there are certain physical repercussions for traveling in time. The book is sold out at the distribution level, so getting a copy of #1, which is currently out, may be hard for the time being, but that’s why digital comics and back issue hunting exist.
A great interview going into more detail with writer Ed Brisson is here.
A Quick Look at BOOM’s Hellraiser: The Road Below
I’ve been a big fan of Hellraiser for a long time, pretty much ever since I saw the first one as a young lad. Since then that franchise has always held a place in my heart near and dear to me, which is why I was taken by such surprise to see that there was still a Hellraiser comic series going on today. Furthermore, that it’s multiple issues in! I guess keeping up with all the hoopla from the big two, you’ll always have certain titles fall by the wayside, even ones that are based on a franchise you’ve long loved. While I haven’t read a Hellraiser book in years, the comic itself looks pretty interesting from the preview shown. It’s not written or drawn by any big names I recognize, but it deals with Kirsty Cotton dealing with a war between evil forces, and there even seems to be some mention of a Cenobite Queen? Whaaaat? Man, if you’re a Hellraiser fan who is intrigued, (like me), this preview may sell you on picking up this book, and finding it’s older issues to catch up.
Find out more here.
Snyder Wrapping Up His Run On Swamp Thing with #18
If you haven’t been reading Swamp Thing, you owe it to yourself to go and pick up every issue you can find and catch up, along with Animal Man. They’re probably the two best books to come out of the New 52, and Scott Snyder has proven himself to be an incredible writer who can tell amazing stories. Swamp Thing is one of those characters who is criminally underrated, and Snyder has managed to take everything about him and do things with his character that haven’t been done since Alan Moore had his seminal run. Hearing Snyder was leaving the book was certainly saddening, but it’s going to be interesting to see his take on Superman, and for me personally, it’s a trade off I’d make every single time. While we still don’t know who is gonna fill in for Snyder and Swamp Thing artist Yanick Paquette, but whoever they are they’ve got big shoes to fill. I can’t recommend Swamp Thing enough to people, and every time people look at me like I’m crazy, but then come back next week telling me how wrong they were about it, I just tell them don’t thank me; thank Scott Snyder.
Find out more here.
DC Discusses Marvel’s Direct Market Sales
DC and Marvel. Two companies that pretty much define and are synonymous with comics for the general public, but for most comics fans they couldn’t be more different than peanut butter and toothpaste. One thing the two companies, and endless fanboys keep track of, is sales. Recently with Marvel NOW!, Marvel’s been taking the top spot, but that doesn’t mean that DC is doing too shabby either. DC is staying strong, and their books are selling pretty consistently. While it’s interesting to watch DC talk about their marketing strategies, and to formulate your own opinions about what they could be doing better, or are doing just fine, one can’t help but think if all of the competition is a good thing. It’s brought the best out of both Marvel and DC, and we’ve gotten some great books on both sides. As long as they’re both not in a creative lull, the books are selling well, and comics fans are getting great stories, it’s really a win-win for everyone. Comics are more popular now than they’ve been in a long time, and while DC is currently playing catch up over in Hollywood, I have no doubts they’ll be leading the way when it comes to the printed page.
Find out more here.
That’s all for this week’s edition! We’ll see you next time at the Comic Rack!
Welcome to Comic Rack! My pick of the top five comic news stories in no particular order…
Described as “The last love story ever told,” Trillium is a sci-fi story that alternately takes place 1,784 years in the future and 92 years in the past. In the year 3797, botanist Nika Temsmith is researching a species of strange, plant-based life forms on a science station on the outskirts of colonized space.Meanwhile, in the year 1921, a war-scarred explorer named William Pike leads an expedition into the jungles of Peru in search for the fabled Lost Temple of The Incas, which is said to have magical healing properties.Despite being separated by space and time, Nika and William fall in love, and their love leads to the end of the universe.
This Superman story really is the biggest, most epic Superman story I can do. It’s sort of like, I always imagine they’re gonna kick me off right after the story so it’s like everything I love about Superman in one. It’s similar where it really is largely about things that I find most heroic and wonderful about him is his sense of restraint in the way that he’s this super hero who has the ability to reshape the world in the way that he thinks would be best. And yet instead he challenges us to do it ourselves, and he looks to us to be inspired, and to inspire us. The story really takes its structure from that, it has the DNA of a lot of my favorite Superman stories like “What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice and the American Way?” and “Kingdom Come” and “Red Son.”
“What I wanted to do with this book was focus in on a big way on Thor himself,” Aaron said. “I’m going to focus on not one version of Thor but three.” He promised a young Thor drinking and carousing with Viking women, a modern Thor on a cosmic quest and a new future Thor who’s missing limbs and more. Meanwhile, all three will be attacked by a new villain described as, “This is a being who’s been stalking the cosmos for centuries killing gods. We don’t know why, and we don’t know where he came from…At the end of the day, it’s about ‘Who is Thor? What does Thor want? And how has he changed over the years?'”
Several major announcements were made in the course of the panel: “2000 AD” editor Matt Smith will be writing a “Judge Dredd: Year One” miniseries for IDW Publishing, and writer John Wagner, who created Judge Dredd along with artist Carlos Ezquerra, will return as the writer of the “Judge Dredd” series in 2013. Wagner’s last Dredd work was the “Day of Chaos” story.
The idea of transporting the original teenage X-Men to the future is one that’s been floating around Marvel for a while now, and it was the chance to tell that story which initially drew Bendis to “All-New X-Men.” “There was this idea at Marvel retreats called ‘Days of Future Now,'” Bendis told CBR News. “It was literally the idea that the original X-Men would come here, to what would be their ‘Days of Future Past,’ and it would be horrifying and startling for them to see what the X-Universe had turned in to. I loved this idea, but I was on the ‘Avengers’ books. It never stuck to the wall and just as a fan I wanted someone to write it so I could read it. It never happened, though.
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.
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?
Marvel NOW! is still totally not the NEW 52…
Marvel, not content to see DC’s renewed success with their New 52 lineup, is approaching their status quo in the universe with a focus on relaunched titles, renewed book numbering, and reshaping the entire current landscape of the Marvel Universe. The idea, as far as I can tell, is that the new books are meant to jump start things in a new direction, without actually rebooting anything a la DC. All the insistence of the whole thing not being a reboot seems a bit pedantic to me, but I understand that they’re trying really hard to differentiate from DC in their objective. While it sounds fishy at first, the main distinction is that old continuity will NOT be forgotten, effectively making the whole re-launch just a company wide creative shake up. A few notable creative teams being moved around were listed on CBR:
“Uncanny Avengers” by Rick Remender and John Cassaday starring a team composed of Captain America, Wolverine and others from the company’s two powerhouse franchises battling the mutant-hating Red Skull.
“All New X-Men” by Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen realigning the mutant team in the wake of “AvX” as the original five X-Men are mysteriously brought to the present day. This title will launch in November.
“Avengers” by Jonathan Hickman and Jerome Opena, which is light on specific details aside from a roster of 18 heroes in a bi-weekly comic that seems to be Hickman-esque rethinking of the Avengers core mission in the vein of the writer’s “Fantastic Four” run.
Along with that, is also a number of titles coming to a conclusion, to make way for other newer titles, or similarly titled relaunches of the same books. A list of the series ending this October, comes from Newsarama:
Captain America, The Mighty Thor, Incredible Hulk, Invincible Iron Man, Fantastic Four, FF,Uncanny X-Men, New Mutants and X-Men Legacy are all ending in October…
It kinda goes without saying though, that the lot of those will get picked back up by other creative teams and go on. Most comic fans I’ve talked to don’t seem too excited about the relaunch, or what is going on in Marvel NOW. The main sentiment is that they’ve done this re-numbering thing a bunch of times, and don’t see how this is any different. While there ARE certain differences, what with creative focuses being changed, the cosmic characters coming into a larger limelight, and Uncanny X-Men flat out ending, I’m finding it hard to exactly say WHY this relaunch was warranted, other than “DC did a reboot, lets copy it but not really”. Marvel has never really had the weird, long, confusing continuity problems DC had, and while sure, it had it’s share of inconsistencies and retcons, it was nowhere near as broken as DC.
I suppose the good thing is that all the new Marvel fans from the movies will be happy that they’re soon get a solid jumping on point. I remember a friend of mine who loved the Iron Man movie but never read a Iron Man comic before, and when he entered a comic shop, was utterly confused and overwhelmed by the 5 different Iron Man titles going on at that time. And who could blame him? Getting into comics is hard for a newbie, but Marvel better stick to its guns, because you can’t just re-number everything every two years and pretend like you’re making it “easier” for new readers to jump on. Marvel Now! is a good idea, just like the New 52 was a good idea, but they gotta commit.
For more Marvel Now! news, head over to CBR.
‘Chew’ Writer John Layman Brought On For ‘Detective Comics’!
I once had the pleasure of meeting John Layman at my LCS before Chew really blew up as the success it now is, and can say he is absolutely a completely nice guy, and a bit of a nut bar. While he’s known for his sense of humor, what with the very funny Chew and Mars Attacks, I believe a guy like him can definitely hold his own in a dramatic workspace. I’ve long advocated that Comedy and Drama are two sides of the same coin, and that the talent needed to be good at one is the same needed to be good at the other. While some may balk at the idea of a silly, less serious Batman at the hands of Layman, his recent interview with CBR points otherwise:
Layman: It’s not going to be a comedy and I am not going to treat the character with disrespect, but I don’t think it’s going to be as heavy as some of the other series. Scott Snyder does fantastic Batman stories, but he’s got more of a horror writer background and it shows. This is a delicate question. I don’t want it to sound like I am making Batman into a wuss, but I would like to concentrate on more of the detective part of the character. I want to make very smart, surprising stories and make them a little bit more adventure-y rather than horror.
CBR: And if you go back to early Bob Kane Bruce Wayne/Batman, that’s what he was. “The World’s Greatest Detective.”
Layman: But that’s not to say that I’m going to make it goofy. I just don’t think the body count will be as high. I don’t know. I am just going to have some fun and be true to Batman.
Now I love my Scott Snyder horror style Batman, but I’ve LONG loved to see Batman portrayed as the Super Sleuth he used to be. It’s even one of my few criticisms of Nolan’s Batman from the films. Batman’s super power is his mind, he’s there with a plan for everything, and is always 10 Bat-Steps ahead of everyone else at every moment. Too many people focus on his darkness and brooding and forget what range his character can really have, and seeing Layman specifically mention he wants to make surprising, lighter adventure stories, is a breath of fresh air. Plus, if we’re lucky, we’ll get to see Joker be funny again. Darkly humorous Joker is the best Joker, by far. Go Layman!
DC Execs Hint at Vertigo Event!!!
DC right now has a pretty big ball rolling. They’ve got the Third Army/Green Lantern Event, The Swamp Thing/Animal Man crossover, and Before Watchmen all going at once in the concurrent months ahead. Not content to be settled with just that though, they’ve gone and subtly hinted that yet another event is planned, this time to be revealed at the SDCC Vertigo Panel (we’ll have more on this later), which I now really wish I was attending.
Nrama: Are there any plans for an event related to the Vertigo line? It seems like that line is being left out of the excitement with all this New 52 stuff.
Wayne: You should definitely check out our Vertigo panel in San Diego next week. My colleague, Mr. Cunningham, is going to moderate, but I’ll be in the back.
Nrama: So for those of our readers who aren’t going to San Diego, are you saying there’s an announcement about an event coming during the Vertigo panel? And I did say “event,” which you didn’t correct, so you’re going along with that word?
Wayne: We’re not going to tell you any more than that. [Newsarama]
What could that mean? What exactly would a Vertigo event entail? Are we gonna get John Constantine fighting that I, Zombie girl? Or holy hell, is The Unwritten going to crossover into main DC continuity, and create the biggest double reverse mega-meta-mind f*** of all time? I’ve no clue what they could be meaning by a potential Vertigo event, but hot damn am I curious. My mind is reeling with possibilities, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
Black Lightning & Blue Devil Make Their New 52 Appearance!
Supascoot here, treading on other people’s articles again. While there are a lot of characters who have yet to show up in the New 52, news has recently been released that brings two longtime heroes into the New 52. But there’s a twist. it looks like the two heroes are actually going to be a new duo premiering in the pages of DC Universe Presents written by Marc Andreyko with art by Robson Rocha. CBR sat down with Andreyko for the full scoop:
CBR News: I understand you’re using both Black Lightning and Blue Devil. My first question then is the most basic one: what is your story about and why use these two characters?
Marc Andreyko: Well, the story originated after WonderCon; I was at Disneyland with [DC Comics Co-Publisher] Dan DiDio, and we were talking and he mentioned the concept of Black and Blue — Black Lightning and Blue Devil. This was just in passing as we were waiting in line for rides, and then I kept bugging him about it and the ideas just started flying. It’s a grand tradition in entertainment, literature and films of two people who are complete opposites becoming friends in spite of themselves, whether it’s Maddie and David on “Moonlighting” or Felix and Oscar on “The Odd Couple,” or even Bert and Ernie on “Sesame Street!” So the idea of taking these two characters, one who was explicitly magic-based and one who was explicitly not, added metaphorically to the differences they had. The book is taking place in Los Angeles, and we’re not starting with an origin story. We’re starting with these guys having already been established. It’ll leave unanswered questions to how they got where they are, which I always find interesting. Most of us don’t pick up comic books with the very first issue, at least originally. You start in the middle of the storyline and then you fill in the details retroactively as you go. I think that adds to the intricacy and interest of a character.
Now you said that the two are essentially an odd-couple pairing — how do they work as foils for each other?
In the story, personality-wise, Jefferson Pierce is an Olympic-level athlete, so for him the training and discipline begets power, whether that’s athletic power or honing his lightning skills. Magic to him is kind of foreign because magic tends not to be from A to B to C — magic is sometimes A to C and then all around. So Blue Devil’s very powers are contrary to the way Jefferson thinks and the way Jefferson lives his life. Jefferson is a very focused guy. You have to be to be an Olympic athlete. You have to have discipline and training. Dan comes from a Hollywood family and has always been this kind of guy who glides through life, taking jobs when he needs them and then, when the money runs out, taking another one. Magic sort of extrapolates on his persona. The conflict there is both personality-wise and super-powers.
The original Blue Devil was a Hollywood stuntman who was magically fused to his suit. In your take on him, are you losing the lighter, comedy aspect to his character?
Oh no, not at all! These guys are definitely Riggs and Murtaugh from “Lethal Weapon.” No, Dan is definitely the lighter one, the jokey-er one. Once again, going back to another pop culture reference, he’s Bruce Willis to Black Lightning’s Cybill Shepherd — without the romance!
Then what is the tone of the story overall? Is this going to be a light-hearted buddy comedy? A more serious superhero story?
The answer to that is actually yes to both. I don’t think one excludes the other. For me, the best dramas always have moments of comedy in them because they allow you to diffuse some of the intensity and dire things that happen. If something is too grim all the way through, it becomes white noise, and if it’s too comedy, it feels superficial. The comedy in these stories comes organically from the characters and the situations they’re in; there aren’t going to be pratfalls and cream pies or that sort of thing. It’s not putting jokes in and reverse engineering a story out of them — it’s the jokes and comedy coming out of story itself. There will definitely be stakes and high drama and there will definitely be tragedy involved, but once again I think having lighter moments only add to the intensity of more serious moments.
Definitely an interesting take on the characters, and it leads us to believe that with the de-aging of Black Lightning his two grown up hero daughters (Thunder & Lightning) will have no place in the New 52. I was never a huge fan of Blue Devil, but Black Lightning has certainly always been at the forefront of the DC Universe, and I am looking forward to reading more on the new versions.
A ‘Death Of The Family’ For Batman?
One thing that even the most avid anti-DC fan has to admit, is that they’ve been pulling off entertaining Batman stories. You could argue about which are the best, but generally I think everyone agrees that as of now, Scott Snyder has been knocking Batman out of the park. His run on Batman has been gripping, creative, and really creepy with each issue, and it only looks like it’s gonna ramp up considerably with his planned Joker centric story arc, “Death Of The Family.” Back in Detective Comics #1, we saw Joker willingly lose his face to the Dollmaker, and in subsequent issues be kept as a bizarre relic, pinging with ominous foreshadowing every time It was shown again. Now we’re going to finally get some payoff from that incredible moment, and Scott Snyder’s excellent blend of creepy sauce and creativity is gonna give us a Joker that we’re all dying to see. Snyder talks about his take on Joker, over at CBR:
CBR News: The last we saw of Joker in the New 52, he had literally gotten his face peeled off by Dollmaker, and the promo image for your storyline showcases his skinned face. Is the peeling off of the Joker’s face going to be touched on and explained in your story?
Scott Snyder: That’s an element you’ll definitely see addressed and explained and built on in this story. When Tony [Daniel] was working on that, he brought it up to me and I knew there was a story that I wanted to tell with Joker that would trail out of that. So that’s something that will play a big part in terms of Joker’s look, but also his whole psychology.
CBR: Let’s talk about that psychology, because Joker’s been everything from an evil mastermind to someone who is absolutely, clinically insane. What’s your take on the Clown Prince of Crime?
Snyder: For this story, we really wanted this to be Joker at his most unleashed and vengeful; this Joker has an axe to grind and a point to prove. He’s gone away for a year for a very deliberate reason. During that year, he sort of set all of his traps and sharpened his knives and he’s ready to come back to Gotham and make his point to Batman and the Batman family. He has a very strong mission in mind and he’s very passionate about what he wants to prove to Batman this time around, and it’s really twisted and dark and unpleasant.
While that’s one of the more interesting parts from the interview, the whole thing is totally worth reading. The story arc’s title is also certainly ominous as well, as the ‘Death Of The Family’ probably isn’t a literal title, but more figurative. Will the Joker drive a wedge between the established pantheon of Batman and Co? I imagine if so, it’ll cross over into Batman Inc as well. The whole thing has me asking questions and eagerly anticipating the book to come out already, so I can get my grubby mitts on it and read it. All in all guys, it’s looking like a great year ahead for Batman fans.
Marvel Pulling A New 52?
A post-AvX Marvel world is beginning to be planned out, and with any major plans the Big 2 make, they inevitably will find ways to copy each others successes, sometimes subtly, sometimes not so much. Marvel has been shaking things up in it’s Universe with a now confirmed “relaunch”, rather than a hardcore reboot, ala DC. Over at CBR, they detail some of the title’s changes as such:
Uncanny Avengers: (Oct 2012) written by [Rick ]Remender. It is going to be the new flagship marvel title and will have among others Cap, Thor, Wolvy, Rogue and Havok in it and both sides will still have some AVX tension.
Avengers (Dec 2012): Bi weekly with more then 18 avengers on the team. Written by [Jonathan] Hickman with one shot stories and longer galaxy spanning multi-issue arcs
X-Men: (Nov 2012) hold on to your hats…… Bendis!!! about the original five x-men time-travel two the present in a Pleasantville style story and who are not going to like what they see once they are in the present and will find it unacceptable. Bendis says the time travel aspect of the story is not as important as the character based drama.
This teaser pic was recently leaked from Entertainment Weekly‘s Comic-Con issue, which supposedly features a mixture of characters from the new line-up. Newsarama reports:
Further details from Entertainment Weekly’s promised article on the post-Avengers vs. X-MenMarvel Universe may have leaked online late Monday night, including a reputed scan of the full version of the Joe Quesada piece featuring Jean Grey in her original costume.
The image, which appears to have originated on Tumblr, surfaced Monday on message boards including CBR’s Marvel Comics forum, and shows what appears to be new costumes for characters including Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Iron Man and Cyclops, along with a prominent place for Guardians of the Galaxy team member Rocket Raccoon and what appears to be a floating helmet.
It’s still early to get any information on his this will affect other flagship Marvel titles like Spider-Man,Thor, Captain America or Iron Man, but I’m imagining their intent is to have the relaunch be more similar to their past habit of re-numbering certain titles and releasing them as their own run. This time it will be on a much bigger scale, and we’ll have to wait and see if it’ll be a numbers only change, or a reconfiguration of the Marvel Universe status quo. Personally, I haven’t read Marvel comics in years, but I’m sure many a Marvel fan is eager to see what will happen to their beloved characters in the future months.
GL Corps Event Showcases the Rise Of The Third Army
Being a Green Lantern fan has always been tough. With the myriad of colors and powers, plus the effects, meaning and differentiations between them all has been difficult to explain to non-comic book readers as to why all of it is so cool and interesting, and not nearly as dumb as it sounds on first impression. Add to that it’s complicated story line that has been brought through in a kinda-sorta way to the New 52, and it can get daunting. But despite all that, to Green Lantern fans, it’s still a great book that spans a wide selection of titles that can be hard on the wallet. Soon it will only get harder, with another event on the horizon.
Over at The Source, Geoff Johns himself speaks about the “Third Army” and what that will mean for our favorite ring slingers. You can read an excerpt here and check the link for more from the other GL series writers:
“Absolute power corrupts absolutely–and the Guardians time is finally here. The Lantern titles spent the first year of DC COMICS-THE NEW 52 re-establishing themselves, but it all comes back together with year 2 starting with GREEN LANTERN #0 and leading into October’s #13’s – which share an amazing cover by Ivan Reis. In October, the Guardians’ Third Army rises to replace the Green Lantern Corps – but how is horrifying and why will change the Guardians and their ancient mission forever. As we discover what the Third Army actually means, our strongest Lanterns are targeted for absolute destruction. From Atrocitus to Guy Gardner to our newest Green Lantern from Earth – who may have been wrongly chosen – all their darkest secrets and failures will come to light. What is Sinestro’s ultimate fate? Who is this new Green Lantern and why was he chosen? What is the Third Army? What with Atrocitus sacrifice to take on the Guardians? What will Larfleeze give up to find the one thing he wants? What happens to Guy Gardner when he’s targeted after Hal Jordan? And, most importantly, who is the First Lantern?”
I think the entire concept of Green Lantern is one that works best in its medium, and the concepts of Will and Fear being actual sources of power, are hard to grasp for general audiences. In my opinion, this makes it the perfect litmus test for how much a comic nerd you are, because if you can get into and follow Green Lantern, you’ve broken the threshold and can officially call yourself a comic book fan. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE me some Green Lantern, but I do recognize it is pretty intimidating for new readers to jump into. For the rest of us though, this event sounds like another slam dunk in the Green Lantern oeuvre.
The Joker Returns
Back when the New 52 started, one of the most immediately arresting images in the entire lineup was the final page of Detective Comics #1. It featured the Joker’s face, freshly flayed and pinned to a wall. Even more disturbing was that he seemingly let this happen willingly. The new Batman titles certainly started strong, and really only gained steam as they continued, especially with Scott Snyder’s “Batman” title carrying some really great stories, utilizing Batman in creative, fairly new ways. But the question remained, what happened to the Joker?
Well it seems the questions from Detective Comics will be picked up by Snyder starting with BATMAN #13.
“Joker is my favorite villain of all time,” Snyder told The Source. “Not just in comics. In everything – film, books, TV. He’s the greatest, hands down. So this story is something extremely important and personal to me – something I’ve been building in my head ever since I started working in Gotham. Basically, this is my big exploration of the Joker, my ARKHAM ASYLUM or THE KILLING JOKE, only bigger in scope. Bottom line: it’s the biggest, baddest, most shocking Joker story I could tell. This is Joker completely unleashed. He has been away for a full year planning this revenge, watching, plotting, setting things up. And now he’s back. He has his traps set, his knives sharpened… And wait ’til you see him. Greg’s sketches literally gave me chills. Point blank: This is Joker like you’ve never seen him before. He has a mission. He has a secret. And he has a serious axe to grind with Batman. It isn’t going to be pretty, but it’s going to be a wild ride. Thanks for taking it with us.”
Holy crap does that sound awesome! I had to stop reading the Batman books from DC because my wallet was threatening suicide on a daily basis, but this may have to make me add Batman back to my pull list. Check out the promo art below, how great is that? I can’t wait to read this thing.
Morning Glories Shows Us Their “Truants”
Morning Glories is hands down the best book Image is putting out right now. I know, even better than Walking Dead. There is no other book that each week I cannot wait to immediately grab, sit down and read, curse loudly when I get to its last page, and then read again. I can get why people may not like it, because it’s dense, ambiguous, very weird and chock full of symbolism and mysticism. It’s also juxtaposed pretty brilliantly with an average HIgh School Drama, and that can be jarring for some. For me, the mixture of the fantastical and the mundane is something I always rabidly enjoy, and seeing any new information about the series and its many mysteries is always welcome.
CBR had an interview with the book’s writer, Nick Spencer, where he had this to say about the new additions to the comic’s cast, currently referred to as “The Truants”:
“These characters that you see on this page are key parts of the fourth arc. We’re a long way from having seen all of the cast of the book, but these are some big, important additions. Beyond that, it’s exciting because some of these are characters I’ve had in mind since the series started. So to get to finally bring them into the open is a big deal for me. We’ve laid some groundwork for them in past issues that I think will make it even more exciting.”
Morning Glories is a comic you’ll probably either love or hate. I love it, since it fills the wanton lust for mystery and bizarre WTF-ness I became addicted to from Lost, that I now crave like a struggling heroin addict. Who are the Truants? Man I cannot wait to find out.
New Flash Origin, Speculation on Flashpoint and an Upcoming War Event?
As most DC fans know, The Flash is one of the more pivotal characters in the spectrum of the New 52’s creation, and his connection from the Old Continuity’s Flashpoint Event, to The New 52’s current lineup, is one that has yet to be explicitly touched on again. However, the current writer/artist team of Manapul/Buccellato had a lot of very interesting hints to give in this interview with Newsarama. In the interview, they touch on developing a new origin for The Flash, but more interestingly, they hint towards a connection with Old DC Continuity:
Nrama: In issue #8, Barry actually said out loud that you can’t go back in time and mess things up, and you told Newsarama that you were giving a nod toward Flashpoint in that line. Now that you’re reinforcing this “forward-moving” idea in his origin story in issue #0, is that also a nod toward Flashpoint?
Buccellato: Somewhat, at least for those readers who might understand it on a deeper level.
Manapul: But it’s more from a meta-standpoint.
Nrama: By “meta,” you mean that this is from you as writers, instead of the character himself referring to learning a lesson from Flashpoint?
Manapul: Right. Brian and I had specific emotional goals for Barry that we needed him to go through in order to explain who he is and the things that he does, including the fact that he’s forward-moving”
Perhaps in the future, we’ll get further hints as to the direct nature of The Flash’s connection to the “timeline” of the DC continuity, and while I may be reaching, maybe even the relationship he could have with the mysterious “Pandora” character we all saw in the background of every Issue #1 so long ago. Towards the end of the interview, they also mention a new Flash related event that ties in the Rogues gallery, and will introduce a “War” that is coming to Central City. Which sounds great if you ask me, but mostly, I just wanna know who the hell Pandora is!
Well, that wraps up this edition of Comic Rack!
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