This is the greatest article on Aquaman ever. And one of the greatest articles about DC, too.
Here’s my favorite quote: “In the DC Universe, rebooting a character means squeezing it until every last drop of fun has been excised so that you can replace it with mopey symbolism. Thus, Aquaman got some powder blue underwater camo and an origin that involved cursed blonde hair (?), before eventually growing out his hair and his beard in case you forgot he was supposed to be King Arthur and replacing one of his hands with a hook in case you forgot he lived in the ocean.” And then there’s this quote, too, which sums up how I feel about most of the new 52 but especially Aquaman: “Aquaman’s reintroduction in the increasingly inaccurately named “New 52” is just mind-blowing in how little sense it makes, because it is nothing but a reaction to the Aquaman Sucks joke. Everyone in that comic who is not Aquaman or sleeping with Aquaman is constantly telling Aquaman how awful he is, despite the fact that there is absolutely no reason for them to think that. Aquaman is presented as a superhero who is reasonably capable, but he’s constantly being reacted to by people who apparently have the same jokes in a world where Aquaman actually exists and helped save the world from an alien invasion by brutally stabbing Parademons with a trident as we do in a world where Aquaman was a character on a stupid cartoon thirty years ago.”
Hit the “more” break for some actual news about Wolverine, the JLA, comic book movies and TV shows…All kinds of fun.
ULTIMATE WOLVERINE ORIGIN. Remember when Wolverine was really, really cool? I mean, back in the Chris Claremont days, when we knew nothing about him. Then remember when Joe Quesada realized Marvel was leaving money on the table by not marketing the character more aggressively? That was in 2001, when Marvel really, really needed money. So they hired Paul Jenkins and Bill Jemas to write a 6-issue hackneyed, stereotypical and unsurprising origin story that sold like gangbusters and took all the mystery out of the character? Well, Cullen Bunn is getting ready to that for Ultimate Wolverine. But not really. UltiLogan is dead, so he’s doing it with Jimmy Hudson—son of Wolverine (but not Ultimate Dakken). I blow hot and cold with Bunn. I don’t like his big, celebrated western comic The Sixth Gun, but I do really like his work on Venom. So, we’ll see. One thing is for sure: The title will make money for Marvel.
AND SPEAKING OF BUNN’S “GUN.”
NBC ordered a pilot for a show based on “The Sixth Gun” comic, to be produced by Carlton Cuse who worked on the “Lost” TV show (which included several comic book writers). Several comic book folks are attached, since Oni Press has it’s own TV arm. It’s one of those comic book publishing houses that’s aggressively marketing its products for adaptation.
MAN OF STEEL. You all probably already know this, but the Zack Snyder Superman movie has been given a PG-13 rating for, among other things, “intense sequences of sci-fi violence, action and destruction.” Plus, Jimmy Olsen is a girl.
MANHUNTER. No, not the absolutely wonderful book about Kate Spencer by Marc Andreyko and Michael Gaydos—a new series of JLA back-ups by Matt Kindt and Geoff Johns featuring the green man. You had me at Kindt, but kinda lost me at Johns. Plus, you kinda had me at Manhunter, but lost me at Martian. If they trade collect just the backups, so I don’t have to suffer through the godawful Justice League book, I’ll be tempted.
TRANSFORMERS 4. The best thing about T4 is that it is preventing Mark Wahlberg from making a sequel to “Ted.” Seriously, I really like many of Marky Mark’s movies, but Ted was awful.
I admit, I didn’t care for the first issue of Matt Fraction and David Aja’s solo series. I thought he was too much like Bullseye. But they quickly retreated from that posture and have turned Hawkeye into one of the best Marvel series on the market. Francesco Francavilla
has signed on for a two-issue arc (#10 and #12). Can’t wait.
PUNISHER AND BLACK WIDOW: THE MOVIE. Kind of. Direct to DVD animated movie. Some Pun is better than none.
GODZILLA BY FRANK DARABONT. How did it get by me that one of the best living horror directors is taking on Godzilla as his next project? I can’t wait to see what the guy behind The Mist and Walking Dead does with this one!
SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #1. I know I badmouthed the 5#!+ out of this one, but it’s actually pretty damn awesome. I also loved Daredevil i#20, which featured the “evil” Spidey and was written by Mark Waid—one of my favorite Spidey writers. Kudos to Marvel for taking this risk and turning it into gold. Now, let’s see how long they can keep it from getting tired or clichéd, and how they handle the inevitable return of Peter Peter.
MARVEL MAX NOW ON COMIXOLOGY. Not all MAX titles, but the one that matters most: PunisherMAX.
THE WALKING DEAD. Producers are already hyping more death when the show returns. But comic fans already have a good idea about at least one of the folks who dies. And it’s no great loss. I won’t spoil it for you, though.
FREE KYLE BAKER. By which I mean that his creator-owned comics are now free to read on his website.
That includes his influential and critically acclaimed Cowboy Wally Show and Why I Hate Saturn graphic novels.
SEAN MURPHY’S BATMAN. If you failed to read last year’s Punk Rock Jesus, you missed a fascinating creator-owned work that touched the meaning of terrorism, religion, authority and parenting. Truly a great work of art. And the brilliant work of Sean Murphy will soon be featured in another Vertigo series titled The Wake but what I’m really excited about is to see what he does with Batman. His actual Bat project isn’t announced yet, but I’m betting it’s the big Detective Comics #600 (the new 52 book will revert to pre-52 numbering for just one issue).