COMIC BOOK NEWS OF THE WEEK starring Neal Adams, Toy Movie News (in time for X-Mas), and more!

VARIANT COVERS NEWS.  Let’s start with some literal cover stories…

  • NEAL ADAMS!  Perhaps the best artist in all of comic book history will be doing 25 variant covers for DC in February, in addition to a Superman miniseries. 
  • 1992!  Marvel will be giving us a retro Christmas present in the form of variant covers for many of their books, which will feature the titular characters as they looked back in 1992—in celebration of their great X-Men ’92 digital comic, one of the best of the Secret Wars books.
  • wwvar49-b8b60Hipppety Hop!  In my best of 2015 awards, I noted the wonderful Marvel variant covers that put their characters in the place of classic rap album covers.

 Well, come January 6 you can get 14 of them for free at your local comic book shop. 

A MICRONAUTS MOVIE?  A GI JOE REBOOT?  BOTH ARE POSSIBLE!  And speaking of remaking the old into the new, Hasbro and Paramount are teaming up, and they’ve hired Akiva Goldsman to develop the properties for film.  The good news: Goldsman won an Oscar for writing A Beautiful Mind.  The bad news: His comic movie creds are uneven: He created the monstrously bad Batman Forever and Batman & Robin; the mediocre (and could have been great) I Am Legend; and the “started good, ended bad” recent Transformers trilogy.

YANICK PAQUETTE TAKES OVER BATMAN.  And speaking of starting good and ending bad, Greg Capullo is leaving DC’s best-selling title, a book that started really good but lately is getting…Stale.  Iron Batman was what put me over the top.  Anyhow, Scott Snyder is staying on as writer, and Yanick Paquette will take over with issue #49.  Seems like DC should have thrown whatever money they had at Capullo—it’s rare for them to have a book that gets good critical reviews, sells better than just about anything else they publish, and maintains a reasonable level of quality for multiple years.  But maybe Capullo can just tell that the team has already done its best work.

AND SPEAKING OF NEW CREATIVE TEAMS…Aquaman will be taken over by Dan Abnett and Vicente Cifuentes; Suicide Squad by Tim Seeley and Juan Ferreyra; and Teen Titans by Greg Pak and Noel Rodriguez.  We haven’t had a good Titans book in about a decade.  Hmph.

IRON FIST WILL STILL COME TO NETFLIX.  There were rumors (wishful thinking) that Marvel had booted Danny Rand in favor of a Punisher series.  Nope.  Marvel TV has confirmed the green light for Iron Fist.  Not that I’m unhappy to see an IF show, but a Punisher show is what everyone really wants.

THE MADNESS IS OVER… Fantastic Four 2 is finally dead.

BUT NOT ALL THE MADNESS: (VIN DIESEL WILL CONTINUE TO WORK).  More Riddick movies.  More Fast and Furious movies (being called “prequels”).  And even a possible Riddick-based TV show.  Sigh.  Pitch Black was excellent.  Every other Riddick movie has sucked.  I have to admit, though, that I’m a sucker for the Fast and Furious films.

RAMBO TV.  And speaking of movie he-men coming to the small screen, Sly himself is producing “Rambo: New Blood,” an action show about the super-soldier and his son, and it looks like Stallone will actually be in it.  He’s a smart guy—first, he spins Rocky into Creed and now Rambo into Rambo Jr.  His kids will be well taken care of.  Plus, he’s maintained the quality—Creed got an award from the National Board of Review this year.  Speaking of which…

I KNOW IT WASN’T A COMIC BOOK MOVIE BUT…Mad Max: Fury Road was awarded 2015’s best movie by the National Board of Review, and I have to say they got that right. 

SUPERGIRL IS EXTENDED.  And in other “getting it right” news, CBS has ordered a full season for the show, which I think took down Gotham as the second-best comic book show on TV.  (Nobody has beaten Walking Dead yet.)  The ratings aren’t stellar—7m a week—but it’s still a lot better than much of CBS’ other programming. 

OKAY, BUT WHAT ABOUT SOME NEW COMIC BOOKS, MAN?  Some very cool new stuff is coming…

  • Barrier by Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin.  Their digital comic (coming to print soon) Private Eye was a very different, very cool thing, and now they’re working together on a book called “Barrier.”  You can’t ask for a better creative team, so sight-unseen I’m saying this is a must-read.

  • Deadpool & Cable: Split Second.  As his movie arrives in February, brace yourself for way too much Deadpool.  But when Fabian Nicieza returns, that might be one of the ones worth getting.  It started as a digital book but hits print this month, with art by Nicieza’s old partner Reilly Brown.
  • Last Gang in Town.  This month, Simon Oliver, cocreator of one of my all-time favorite Vertigo books, The Exterminators, will drop a new Vertigo heist comic that takes place in 1977, and the criminals are a gang of British, punk rocker females.  The art is by Rufus Dayglo, best known for his highly distinctive, stylized work on a Tank Girl.  Sounds like a match made in heaven, and I’m excited to read it.



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