The main headline: Joe “Avengers/Godland/X-Men” Casey and Charlie “The Walking Dead” Adelard’s amazing, gritty, superhero crime book just got a re-release as a “definitive edition.” Buy it. Trust me. It’s as good as Sleeper.
And in other news….
JUNE 2012 SALES NUMBERS. Bryan Wood’s new X-(wo)Men title and Batman took the number one and two slots, respectively. The rest of the top 10 were basically Age of Ultron, Justice League, and Superior Spider-Man books. Marvel is crushing DC in market share these days, taking 37% to DC’s 30% of overall comics sold. DC does better on the trades, capturing 30% of all the dollars spent to Marvel’s 27%. But the best-selling trade was the latest Adventure Time collection. Go figure.
GHOST RIDER’S RIGHTS. More specifically, Gary Friedrich’s rights. Gary created Ghost Rider for Marvel Spotlight #5 [link to my post on this] in 1972, and then in 1978 signed a work-for-hire contract with Marvel to work on a GR comic. In 2007, Gary sued Marvel over the rights to the character. He’s been losing every case, but recently he won an appeal sending the case back to the trial court to determine as a matter of fact whether anyone else at Marvel helped Gary create the iconic character. If he ultimately prevails, the implications could be significant: Gary’s 1978 contract was boilerplate and signed by many contractors in the late 1970s—a time when Marvel was creating new characters at a rapid clip. If the contract is held not to convey to Marvel the right to renew ownership of characters, we’re potentially looking at a major change in the value of Disney’s recent corporate investment…
TRIAL OF THE PUNISHER. A two issue series. Marc Guggenheim will write it and Leinil Yu will draw it. Let’s hope it’s not a courtroom drama. I can’t imagine that being interesting as a comic.
TERM LIFE. Vince Vaughn has bought the rights to star in a film version of the Image comic about a guy who everyone wants to kill, so he buys a life insurance policy and has to stay alive for 21 days for it to take effect.
TEEN TITANS GO! RENEWED FOR SEASON TWO. The terrible reboot of one of the greatest comic book cartoons ever is renewed. Apparently, it’s scoring nearly two million viewers a night. I guess there are worse things to watch out there.
CATALYST COMIX. If it’s got Joe Casey’s name on it, I’m more than likely going to check out at least issue #1, but the premise for the new Dark Horse miniseries titled Catalyst Comix is great: What if the world ended, and the superheroes couldn’t save it? The series will be told from the points of view of three different super-powered people: A “superman” type, a politician, and a “Nick Fury” type. Each storyline will have a different artist. There are a million books right now trying to put a spin on the “super” genre, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard a pitch like this one before. It is on my pull list.
MAN OF STEEL 2. I haven’t even been disappointed by the first one yet, but apparently Warner Bros. has locked down Zack Snyder
(director) and David S. Goyer (writer) for a sequel and two other “related” projects. Obviously, everyone assumes Justice League.
MIGHTY AVENGERS. The team was revealed last week (Luke Cage, Superior Spider-Man, Blue Marvel, She-Hulk, White Tiger). Now we know the creative team will be writer Al Ewing (best known for his work on Judge Dredd) and artist Greg Land. We’re also promised appearances by Monica Rambeau, Falcon, and a new Ronin. This actually sounds like the best Avengers lineup in years.
JOCK DOES WOLVERINE. The Savage Wolverine title didn’t move me a whit. But Jock taking over the title? That might get my money. He plans a futuristic sci fi story with Marvel’s best known feral.
SONS OF ANARCHY COMIC. Christopher “Hellboy” Golden will write a series for BOOM! Studios, illustrated by Damian Couceiro, based on the best junk TV show on FX. Who’s going to buy this? Anyone?
LOKI WILL NOT BE IN AVENGERS 2. And I won’t miss him. I’m looking for something new. Plus, he’ll be in Dark World.
BATMAN: ZERO YEAR #1 (Batman #21). I know I’m not stupid, but this comic made absolutely no sense to me. When did it take place? Why does Gotham look like New York in I Am Legend? And, worst of all, why is it that I really don’t care about any of it? Scott Snyder’s take on Dick Grayson Batman was excellent. But ever since the return of Bruce Wayne, his stories have gotten slower and more ponderous.
On a more universal note, am I the only one who is SICK AND TIRED OF TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHETHER MY FAVORITE DC STORIES ACTUALLY OCCURRED IN THE NEW 52?!? It’s a tedious Easter Egg hunt with no payoff whatsoever. In fact, it’s gotten so bad that I’ve given up. I pretty much don’t read DC anymore.
DAREDEVIL: DARK NIGHTS. Did you read #1, written and beautifully drawn by the great Lee Weeks? Shame on you. It’s truly excellent. True fans of the hornhead know that Weeks made his bones on the Daredevil series in the 1990s, with an artistic style that hearkens back to one of the greatest Daredevil artists of all time, Wally wood.
PRETTY DEADLY. Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios’ Western comic told by a dead rabbit (no joke) will be published by Image soon. I can’t wait. I’ve been watching their Tumblrs closely, and I’m excited as hell.
VALIANT COMICS’ RETURN. Yeah, it’s already returned, but it has a lot of stuff planned this year. A reboot of “Quantum and Woody” by James Asmus and Tom Fowler; the great Matt Kindt taking over Bloodshot; and a H.A.R.D. Corps team book by Christos Gage and Joshua Dysart—two of the most underrated writers in comics. I never got into Valiant, and I don’t know the characters—I wonder if new readers will be able to jump in easily? Valiant creators have said a resounding “yes,” but I don’t see a clear jump-on point.
AVENGERS ARENA. Is damn good. I’m pissed for what they just did to my favorite member of The Runaways, but I forgive them because it’s such a good comic. It’s like an extended version of Battle Royale with a bigger cast and a lot more room for character development and interaction. My only beef: I’m having a hard time believing that the many, many deaths will be permanent.