Sunday, February 08, 2009
Some random thoughts on some NYCC announcements
(Above: J.H. Williams sure can draw, can’t he? From his upcoming run on Detective Comics, starring the lady with the custom-made bat-boots)
—This is probably the news of the Con. Er, for me at least.
—I don’t understand this concept at all. Robert Kirkman and Todd McFarlane are doing a book about a scary Spider-Man who wears a mask that looks like Spawn’s face, and he shoots…webs? Slime? Ectoplasm? Seriously, what’s that stuff he’s flinging around in that image? It’s pretty gross-looking.
—I read this write-up of the Superman panel, and I’m afraid I still can’t figure out what exactly is up with the Super-books going forward. I have both Action and Superman on my pull-list at the local comics shop at the moment, but I guess I’ll drop ‘em and proceed on an issue by issue basis going forward. I definitely want to avoid any issues of Action with Eddy Barrows’ art, as he’s in the Ed Benes/Tony Daniel neighborhood in my own personal aesthetic estimation.
And what’s with Superman leaving Earth for about a year…again? The first Superman story I read was the one that followed his death, the yearlong “Funeral for a Friend” and “Reign of the Supermen” sequence, which was all about defining Superman by his absence. That was about 15 years ago now, I suppose. About two years ago, Superman left Metropolis for a year of story time (but just a few months of our time) as part of 52, and stories were told defining him by his absence. The ongoing Trinity is all about what the world would be like without Superman (and Wonder Woman and Batman in it) and thus defining him by his absence. I get it, I get it—Superman is very important to Metropolis and to the whole world in general.
This particular storyline, which I guess takes place in a third Superman series, will have a different reason for him leaving, and some different creators involved, but it’s hard to get very excited about a world without Superman story again.
—I’m still not at all interested in the X-Men. Although this image is pretty awesome, in a stupid-awesome kind of way:
—Ditto Star Wars comics. I don’t know what it is exactly; I loved Star Wars growing up, and I love comics now, but I just can’t seem to get into any of the Star Wars comics. I did dig the Star Wars Tales trades and the Tag and Bink trade, but that’s as far as I’ve been able to wade into ‘em.
—What I find most interesting about the existence of a book called Dark Wolverine starring Wolverine’s son Dokken (did I spell that right?), who has two claws on each hand instead of three, is that it’s being co-written by prose writer Marjorie Liu, who is currently writing a low-selling NYX miniseries. Not that her co-writing a Wolverine book with Daniel Way is a negative thing or anything, it’s just not the next place I expected to see her name pop up at Marvel.
—Vaneta Rogers covered the Batman panel, which was full of mysterious and exciting news.
For example, I’m kind of excited about the Greg Rucka/J.H. Williams III Batwoman arc on Detective, which will definitely get me picking up that title again. I am curious why it took DC so long to publish an actual Batwoman story after her high-profile debut in, when was that, 2006?
Also in June, DC will be relaunching Batman(hopefully with the original numbering still in place!) and launchng new books entitled Batman and Robin, Red Robin (A Jason Todd book? I’ll pass, but jeez, they sure did take their time getting around to telling a real Jason Todd story too, didn’t they?), Outsiders (New direction #16), Batgirl (which is pretty damn silly considering they cancelled a semi-successful Batgirl ongoing, then spent a few years doing their level best to wreck the character, and her just-ended miniseries sold pretty awfully), Batman: The Streets of Gotham and Gotham City Sirens.
They didn’t announce creative teams for any of those though, so who knows if any of those will be any good.
If Batwoman is taking over TEC due to Batman’s continued absence, than I suppose Jason Todd is in Red Robin, Dick Grayson reluctantly becomes Batman and stars in Batman and Robin and beyond that…I can’t make any guesses. Streets sounds like it could be a Gotham Central type book, and Sirens sounds like it could be the rumored girl book, which would be a natural place for Paul Dini.
I do hope Batman will be Grant Morrison’s story of Batman fighting his way through time from caveman days to the present.
—Okay, the plans for the Ultimate Universe post-Ultimatum just sound insane. Here’s a few paragraphs from Albert Ching’s coverage of the Cup O’ Joe panel:
Turning to Ultimatum, Quesada showed slides of "Ultimate Requiems." "We're kind of saying goodbye to those books," said McCann. "We're canceling Ultimate Spider-Man," said Quesada to a startled crowd. "We are done professionally!" yelled Bendis to Quesada, emulating the now-infamous Christian Bale rant.
"We are introducing Ultimate Comics," said Quesada. Bendis talked about Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, starting with a new #1, with David LaFuente as the new artist. "You can tell it's going to be good because it has the New Avengers lightning bolt on the cover," said Bendis.
Of LaFuente, Bendis said "This is his first ongoing series. He's awesome." Bendis said it's a fresh start, but not a reboot, though some time will have passed between the series. "Some new characters, maybe someone new in the costume," he continued.
I really like LaFuente’s art—he did the Peter/MJ sex life annual, and the Hellcat miniseries—and I’m sure I’ll continue reading Bendis’ new version of Ultimate Spider-Man, but I’m pretty surprised that they’re relaunching it, as doing so is kind of anathema to the whole line’s original concept. And Stuart Immonen didn’t end up sticking around all that long after all, did he? (Of course, New Avengers, which he’s taking over, sells better, so I can’t exactly blame the guy).
I love the way LaFuente draws Spidey's head, by the way.
They also announced Ultimate Comics Avengers—these kinda sound like Japanese titles using English words, don’t they?—by Mark Millar and too-slow-for-a-monthly Carlos Pacheco, continuing the proud tradition of ridiculously late Millar Ultimate Avengers books, I guess.
—This kinda sorta excited me. From Albert Ching’s DC panel coverage:
DiDio asked Giffen what his post-Reign in Hell comic will be. "Two words: Doom Patrol," said the veteran creator. Giffen then asked how many of the crowd were fans of the Grant Morrison Doom Patrol. Many cheered. "You're going to be really disappointed," said Giffen. "How about the original Doom Patrol?" Slightly less cheers, but still positive. "You guys are going to be really disappointed," said Giffen, playing the audience. He said that they were going to make the Doom Patrol accessible to people.
"So what's your problem with Justice League International?" asked Giffen in DiDio's direction. "Does anyone really think I have a problem with JLI?" DiDio snapped back. (Apparently, much of the crowd did.) This led to an announcement that the classic JLI team — Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire — will be doing Metal Men back-ups in Doom Patrol.
—I don’t know what to make of any of the Final Crisis Aftermath books without hearing the names of any creators attached, but only the Super Young Team seem to naturally extend from FC and show any glimmer of the possibility of maybe being a minor hit. It also scares me to hear Ian Sattler say of Final Crisis Aftermath: Escape, "Dan described this book as a combination between The Prisoner and Saw.” I thought all DC books were now a combination of something and Saw.
—Fellow Blog@ contributor David Pepose covered the Radical Publishing panel, of which the most interesting news to me was this:
In addition, Levine said, after this Comic Con, Radical would no longer publish 22-page single issues, instead collecting six-issue arcs into three 48-page books. “It's just so much easier for readers to invest themselves in 48 pages rather than 22,” he said. “We'll keep it at $4.99 so it’s cheaper than two issues.”
Hey, yeah, that is great news. A five-dollar bill gets you 48 pages, whereas Marvel and DC charge you six bucks for 44 pages.
Assuming that there are prices associated with the production of individual books that would be involved with the production of a bigger book with two books’ worth of pages inside (i.e., making two covers, laying out the ads twice, etc.), that would be a way to save money, right?
If industry leaders DC and Marvel are really thinking they need to move to a higher price point, as Marvel’s already in the process of doing, the Radical model sure sounds promising. Currently, Marvel’s charging $3.99 for 22 pages of New Avengers; a pretty rotten value when put up against $4.99 for 48 pages, isn’t it?
The downside for the Big Two transitioning to double-length books would be publishing each one less frequently, which means potentially getting those customers into the shop less frequently, but smart publishing schedule planning could alleviate that.
For example, if Marvel’s publishing 20 X-Men books a month, they could simply schedule five a week. People! This could work! Try this before you go charging $3.99 per chapter of New Avengers!
—Hey, look at this!
Lockjaw and The Pet Avengers, apparently.
DC, your pets are like more numerous and much cooler; I can’t believe you let Marvel beat you to the punch on an all super-pet team book.
—Kevin Maguire will also be drawing Spider-Man: The Short Halloween, which is being written by some guys from that Saturday Night Live show I used to watch in high school. That’s still on, huh? Anyway, a lot of upcoming Maguire comics is good news