Let’s face some harsh facts here, Dredd fans. As much as we want it to happen (and we really do), it’s becoming more and more unlikely that we will ever see Karl Urban suit up in the Mega City One gear again. But Dredd fans shouldn’t be too disheartened. There is a plethora of Judge related videos out there, a lot of them made by fans that are keen to keep the adventures of Joe Dredd alive and kicking.
Recently it’s come to my attention that both Spider-Man and Superman have gotten new costumes. Regardless of their semi-permanence or not, the first thing that comes to my mind is always: Why? For Spider-Man, dude has had probably an entire closet full of costume changes, anything from the infamous (and creatively sound) Black Suit, to the stunningly forced and ugly Iron Spider suit from Civil War. You know, the one that was somehow bulletproof yet could be torn by glass. Superman on the other hand, seems to get a suit change every once in a while, until the editor who approved it realizes how stupid they were being and switches back to the iconic, perfect original suit.
Well anyhow, they’re at it again, this time Spider-Man gets a new suit for his debut in the brand new Spider-Man title, The Superior Spider-Man.
Picture via [Newsarama]
Spider-Man is pretty much the poster boy for superfluous suit changes. Every couple of years he seems to get a new suit change so I’m not surprised really. It’s no secret here at GB that I’m not the biggest Spider-Man fan, but even so I still have to say this new suit is just kinda weaksauce. It more or less seems the same, with the exception of a color palette swap, and maybe a few more minor changes that either aren’t visible or I haven’t noticed. At least with the Black Suit that was noticeably different, and worked on its own terms. On top of that, it had a good creative argument behind it. Spider-Man is inherently kind of stealthy character, and why would a guy like him wear such bright colors? Follow it up with the suits excellent reveal of actually being the living Symbiote that would create Venom, and you’ve got more than enough justification for a suit change. In that case, a writer had an idea that made sense, was new and interesting, and helped tell a good story. Time will tell as far as for the storyline implications of this new suit, but I don’t think it’d take much to successfully predict it’s not a fully creative decision. The new suit, the cancellation of Amazing Spider-Man and launch of this “Superior” Spider-Man, reeks of executive business decision. It looks and feels like something that was decided solely to try to get more readers and/or mainstream press about this sudden “new” suit change.
I think the problem with Spider-Man, in my opinion is that he’s a character ruled and governed with such executive care. Everything about him seems so obviously handled by a suit, making sure their cash cow isn’t somehow accidentally caught doing something original or daring. It’s the main reason why we keep getting endless origin stories of him, and sensationalist gimmick stories that don’t really do anything interesting. One More Day, his identity reveal/pro-reg siding in Civil War, and of course that most recent terrible movie, are all plagued by this. It’s one of the main reasons I hate costume changes in general, because it actively reminds me that the guys running these businesses, (and that’s what they are) are just trying to maintain IP security. Make sure people are talking about our character, no matter what! Any press is good press! Who cares if we color him in terrible red and gold and give him lots of useless extra limbs!
It’s like staring into a giant dumb lens flare. Or a J.J Abrams film. HEYOOOO.
But as much as I’d love to keep hating on Spider-Man all day, DC is also to blame for this same stupid tactic. In a lot of ways, Superman is victim to the same company paradigm that Spider-Man has. Protect the IP, raise character awareness, etc. The difference is, he generally gets far fewer costume changes, and due to his ironic modern lack of popularity, ends up with better stories. The people who writer Superman generally get to tell the stories they want to tell, and don’t have to follow any company mandates TOO hard, although occasionally you’ll end up with some real stinkers like the Superman Red/Blue outfits from years back. Of course, we’re talking about Superman’s most recent costume change, and really, it’s literally nothing we haven’t seen before.
Picture via [Newsarama]
Compare it the old black suit he wore from Return Of Superman, and a bunch of other things, and you’ll see it’s not a new design at all. They just added the red cape to it.
DC has always had trouble with Superman’s outfit in one way or another. It seems like every once in a while some idiot comes along and thinks they can improve it, or give him an outfit that will supersede the original in some way. As I mentioned earlier, the most egregious example of this is the Blue/Red suits, which were an embarrassment that DC and nearly all Superman fans would like to forget. So understand it brings me no pleasure to re-live this horrible outfit again by showing them here.
My eyes! The goggles do nothing!
Those costumes were from a TERRIBLE old storyline that involved Superman going into the sun, getting supercharged (whatever that means), and then needing the new suit to “contain” his powers. Then he split into two for… reasons. One was evil or something, and that’s about all I can remember before blood starts to violently leak from my nose and I pass out.
This isn’t the first time DC has made superfluous and needless costume changes. They did it very recently pre-New 52 with Wonder Woman, and gave her an idiotic, tacky 90’s jacket and some pants:
Damn the man!
Or the time they did that whole Azrael/Batman thing, after Knightfall happened:
But the thing is, we’ll keep getting new costume changes, because people will still buy the comics to see them, if only out of curiosity. We’ll have to deal with all of the slutty Invisible Women:
Stupid mohawk Storms: [Editor’s Note – Mohawk Storm was badass!]
And asinine Mr. Fixits:
Seriously, this happened. Hulk in a suit and fedora. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?
Because it’s a tactic that works. Very rarely is there ever any true creative incentive to actually change a long-established character’s costume, and when there is, it’ll still be met with controversy, and likely sales no matter what. In terms of a gamble, it’s kind of no brainer, because if it’s good, it’ll sell and fans will like it. A good example is Carol Danvers AKA Ms. Marvel, who’s had plenty of costume changes as written about here on GB. She ended up with a new costume that fared far better than her original costume, and is now arguably more iconic and representative of her than the one she started with. However, if the costume is bad, you’ll end up with a Superman situation, where the book sells but it ends up damaging the character, and the whole thing is looked back on as a huge mistake. In the short-term though, it all generates sales, and this is the main problem with the whole costume changing concept. Executives will just demand a costume change any time they see sagging numbers, and short of actually trying to tell a good story, will simple implement a costume change to see those numbers go up. It doesn’t always have to be a costume change, sometimes it’s a gimmicky story element, but more often than not it is.
It’s easier to get an artist to draw up a new suit, print a couple thousand comics with him on the cover, animate the tv show with him in it, license the look to an action figure company, and switch back later when the heat dies down. For every Ms. Marvel, we’re gonna get 10 other totally craptastic costume changes we’ll have to live through. Such is the life of being a comics fan.
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 back to the Hero Express, your one-stop totally SPOILER filled shop through the top five stories in comic based Film & TV news!
Never to be outdone by the competition, DC and Marvel both premiered some interesting footage at E3 that showed off some of their new games.What’s interesting is they are both fighting games, though pretty different from each other. Let’s start with Marvel, who premiered The Avengers: Battle for Earth. First stop is the teaser trailer: