1. Thor and Avengers Movies. According to Ain’t It Cool News, Dr. Donald Blake will not be in the movie. I guess they’re going for more of an “ultimates” thing than a classic Avengers thing. I’m not too sad about that. I never understood why a guy like Thor would ever bother reverting to another identity anyway. Similarly, among the buzz about Jeremy Renner on the shortlist to play Hawkeye—possibly in both movies—is news that the character will be a modern version—again, like in The Ultimates. I always said that Millar and Finch made the greatest superhero movie ever done in comic book.
By the way, I am finally getting around to reading the first Trade Paperback of Stracinsky’s recent reboot of the Thor title, and I have to say, as someone who hasn’t been a fan of the book since Walt Simonson’s run many decades ago, it is freakin’ awesome.
2. The New York Times released it’s list of 2009 graphic books worth buying, mentioning several titles that were included in Berkeley Place’s “Best of the Decade” list. So if you didn’t believe me, believe them that you need to go buy “Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?”, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” Ed Brubaker’s “Criminal,” and the “Scott Pilgrim” series. Not to mention the Zombiecentric “The Walking Dead,” written by Robert Kirkman and illustrated by Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn.
3. The poster for Iron Man 2 is out. And it’s got War Machine and a May 7 release date. I’ve said before that I liked the first one a lot, but the climactic battle lacked tension, and was impossible to follow (too dark!). Here’s hoping they improve the action side of it—I can’t imagine they’ll improve the Tony Stark side of it. Speaking of Iron Man, I had the good fortune of getting the first two trade volumes of Matt Fraction’s Iron Man series. Good stuff. I’ve never been a huge fan of the tin can, but Fraction does a good job weaving Iron Man into the Skrull Invasion/Osborn tapestry. You can see the poster, along with some incredibly hot pix of Scarlet J as Black Widow, here.
4. Anyone who wants to show me how much they appreciate me this Xmas can get me the new Shield boxed set. Out of all the “best TV shows of the decade” lists that I’ve read—which include great shows like The Wire, Sopranos, Arrested Development, Buffy the Vampire Slayer . . . The Shield is hands-down my favorite show all time.
5. My buddy and occasional contributor CD published a bunch of superhero songs recently, and admitted that more than a few came from this very website. I’ve been trying to get together a worthy A to Z for about 6 months now. Still working on it . . . Anyway, CD hasn’t been all that well lately, so he’s delinquent on contributing to this site. If you miss his comic posts, or if you just want to be a nice guy, stop by his site and tell him you hope he feels better.
6. Speaking of comic book posts . . . Here’s an interesting article: Guess how many times Jean Grey has died and come back? Hint: the over/under is 12.
7. Green Lantern/Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds recently said in an MTV interview that the GL movie won’t be all origin—they’ll tell it, but there’s a story after that. More importantly, he said that Deadpool is still “on the horizon.” He also agreed that Deadpool was mishandled in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. But then again, he said that “every line I had in that was stuff I thought he would say. It wasn’t something that a writer said to me.” So, knowing that Ryan is a big part of the potential Deadpool feature, is that supposed to fill us with confidence? I really don’t care too much if they screw with Green Lantern—I agree with Frank Miller’s All Star Batman that GL is kinda dumb and lame—but they better not mess up Deadpool.
8. And, finally, news and stats: Diamond Comics Distributors announced the sales stats for October 2009, and boy is it bleak. Sales are down 1.3 million from October 2008. Of course, that may be due to the ever increasing number of trade paperbacks. I know I can’t afford to buy all the $4 books I want each month, so I’ve been waiting for trades on series like New Avengers and Iron Man. Wish I’d done that with Blackest Night, because that series is turning into a huge disappointment. Good sales news was that Wolverine Old Man Logan, a quality series recently hardbound, moved a staggering 7,341 units. Marvel controls 40% of the market, D.C. 37%–closer to even than they’ve been in a while, I believe, and DC beats Marvel on trade sales—by just 300 books, though. Interested in knowing who is buying what? No surprise, Blackest Night was October’s bestselling book by far, followed by Batman and Robin, Green Lantern, and Blackest Night/GL spin offs. Marvel doesn’t crack the top ten until numbers 7 to 9, with New Avengers, Dark Avengers, and Uncanny X-Men. Spidey took rank 10. If Dark Avengers is such a good seller, how can Marvel really end the series after Siege? It’s not like them to leave money on the table. Just ask the always-bitter Chris Claremont.