2. SALES FIGURES. Diamond released its April 2010 sales figures, which led me to ask: “Why?” The top three are Brightest Day tie-ins: BD#0, Flash #1, and Green Lantern. Now these are okay books, but are they really the best April had to offer? Grant Morrison’s Batman and Robin was in the fourth slot, deservedly, but then we see New Avengers, Uncanny X-Men, Thor (Siege tie-in), Green Lantern Corps . . . These are all as mediocre as the top three. Meanwhile, some books that are really breaking new ground are pretty low in the list: Jonathan Hickman’s S.H.I.E.L.D. is #38, American Vampire is at #72, Walking Dead is at #81 (even with an AMC T.V. series in development), and The Boys is way down at #88. Other books worth better than their ranking are Daredevil (#42), Wolverine Weapon X (#59), and Brave and the Bold (#89). It’s a sad comment on what we all buy. And yet, I’m part of the guilty group because I’m waiting for the trades on most of the titles I’m lamenting about.
3. POWER PACK. I also want to toss in another plug for the kids-oriented Thor and the Warrior’s Four. It’s far and away the best Power Pack series ever—the second issue even starts with an extended dialogue based on the song “I Will Survive”! And #2 has the funniest cover of the year, hands down . . .
4. MARVEL DOWNSIZING? The rumor is that because sales figures are so bad, Marvel is going to shrink their books down to the “mini-size” that they used on Free Comic Book Day. Has anyone else heard this? If they do, I’m out most definitely. If they do it to the trades, too, I’ll be so pissed I’ll stop reading a ton of the books I currently buy.
5. X-MEN. If you still care about the Uncanny muties, Fraction killed Nightcrawler and you can read about it in Uncanny X-Men #524. But don’t say I told you to. Instead, I’m suggesting that X-Men Forever has (finally!) gotten a sense of direction, with the introduction of Iron Man as the primary villain. Chris Claremont is definitely one of the best “idea men” in the biz, but his writing is usually too verbose (show, don’t tell Chris!) and clunky (“I’ll teleport behind him and disarm him!”). Those flaws, combined with unimaginative but perfectly serviceable art and design have kept this book from being all it should be, but it does seem to be picking up speed more. The ideas of a blind Sabertooth joining the X-Men, an evil Storm and a good baby Storm from the future, dead Wolverine (so he doesn’t dominate every storyline), Kitty with claws, the X-Men as an arm of Nick Fury, and the afore-mentioned bad-Stark, are all good ones,
and could develop into something great. Claremont needs more editorial guidance. Either that, or he needs to accept more editorial guidance. Hard to tell if Marvel is ignoring him here or if he’s ignoring them. Anyway, the title is ending soon and will relaunch in a mach 2 form. Seems like a good place to jump in.
6. MARVEL 3-D MOVIES. In the ugh department: Thor may be converted to 3D in post-production, and Cap and Avengers may be filmed in 3D. Kill me now, because they just made me not want to see three movies I’ve been waiting years to see . . .
7. BRIGHTEST DAY #1. Since Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi (the Blackest Night team) have brought us two issues (#0 and #1) of their next D.C. eventipic, you’re probably wondering: Should I be buying these issues, or waiting for the trade. I’m here to say, you should wait for the trade. From Blackest Night, we learned that the first half of this story will probably be exposition, which is best read in big chunks. It’s like the first half of a superhero origin movie: You just want it to get done so you can get to the good parts. That said, Brightest Day #1 did clear up a bunch of things from Blackest Night that either I was too dumb to understand or that Geoff didn’t tell us clearly the first time. I am wondering why, now that Aquaman is back, he’s bulletproof. Did I miss something, or could he always do that?