Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Some ads from some recent comic books.

Strange to see ads for the upcoming Batwoman monthly appearing in DC Comics from the last few Wednesdays, including the above house and and a five-page preview from the first issue, with both types of ads announcing the book's release in April of this year.

Apparently Batwoman, which has already been delayed more times than the opening of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, has since been delayed again, and thus won't be coming out in April after all.

This delay seems particularly strange, since artist and co-writer J.H. Williams III assures fans that the creative team is several issues into the series already (they certainly seem farther along than Grant Morrison and company were when DC published Batman Inc #1, and farther along than David Finch was when DC published Batman: The Dark Knight #1), but that the new deal "was was not our choice, and as to why, I'm not at liberty to really discuss."


And, unfortunate.

Remember, this Batwoman was created and first appeared in 2006, and plans for an ongoing monthly starring the character were announced at that time. She'll therefore be right around five years old when Batwoman #1 ships, if it does ship within the next few months.

Whatever the reason for the latest delay is, the book has been in some form of comic book development hell for almost five years now, and it therefore would seem that either the Batwoman book is cursed, or DC is reluctant to publish it (They did give her the first 22-pages of Detective Comics for a while, as well as a #0 issue). When one stops to consider what is unique about the character vs. all of the other super-characters headlining DC comics, the obvious answer is that she's gay. That may not (likely doesn't, hopefully doesn't) have anything at all to do with all the delays, but that doesn't mean that DC doesn't have to worry about the perception that they don't want to or are extremely nervous to publish a comic featuring a gay character.

And jeez, six-pages of a 32-page comic book is an awful lot of real-estate to give over to an ad that's not even relevant anymore.

I was also really surprised to see this ad in a DC comic book. It's for the LA Times' superhero/nerd pop culture blog, with the star of the upcoming Green Lantern film and an image from the upcoming Batman video game prominently featured. I repeat, this is a full-page ad in a comic book for a newspaper's blog.

That's pretty unusual, isn't it?

Here's a Marvel house ad for their latest comic book starring their Hercules, whose been starring in an ongoing story by the same writing team since 2008, although the titles of the books keep changing. First he took over Incredible Hulk, then they changed the name of Incredible Hulk to Incredible Hercules, then he was in a one-shot called Assault on New Olympus, then a two-issue miniseries called Hercules: Fall of An Avenger, then a four-issue Prince of Power mini, then a Chaos War mini (and sundry tie-ins) and now this. (Thank God for modern marvels like trades and Wikipedia; Pak and Van Lente's Hercules saga would have been damn near impossible to read via back issue bins in the old days).

The tone of the ad seems almost defensive to me, as the Pak/Van Lente Hercules stories have been fun and humorous, while still delivering relatively straightforward supehero adventure and melodrama, and this not only downplays that element, but seems to be suggesting the latest series will be the opposite of that.

Yet it's still by Pak and Van Lente, so it will certainly have a great deal of relation to what came before, and the fact that it's called Herc instead of Hercules also suggests a lighter tone—lighter, certainly, than the blood and rain and angry face and urban environment suggest. Like, if they started publishing a book called Spidey or Wolvie or Subby or Aunt Petunia's Favorite Nephew, I would assume it to be a lot more light-hearted than a book called Spider-Man or Wolverine or The Sub-Mariner or The Thing.

That's the nature of nicknames, right?

Oh well. I bailed after the Hercules' funeral issues when his adventures went from the $2.99/22 price point to the $3.99/22, so I'm waaaaaaay behind, and won't catch up with this particular chapter for a few years.

I've seen the costume that the Ultimate Punisher has been wearing since Mark Millar returned to The Ultimates, now a series of miniseries with different titles and artists on each, and I guess it's just a variation of the post-Civil War "Capunisher" costume.
I guess I've never seen the bottom half of the costume before, though. It's...not a very good costume. He apparently wears a girdle made out of pouches, and has weird metal armored shoes.

That probably won't be the way Ultimate Spider-Man dies in the "Death of [Ultimate] Spider-Man" story, will it? Shot do death by Ultimate Punisher? Because if so, that's a rather spoilery ad for the storyline.


LurkerWithout said...

I think that cover is just an homage to the original cover for the Spider-Man issue where Punisher debuted...

Caleb said...

Oh yeah, I recognized the poses, I was referring to the text portion of the ad...

Will said...

Looks like Ult-Punisher has Robocops's feet