This week, details started to come out about Marvel’s second comic book Civil War (no relation to the first movie Civil War). And there will be tie-ins. Lots and lots of chances for you to part with your money. And among them will be the return of some folks/teams we haven’t seen at Marvel in a while: Night Thrasher, kids team Power Pack, and rumored-to-be-featured-on-TV, Damage Control—the crew that cleans up the city after the superheroes fight. The comebacks will be featured in an anthology book titled, Civil War II: Choosing Sides. Running through all six issues will be a story I wouldn’t even write about if it weren’t for the fact that it will be drawn (and written) by Declan Shalvey, perhaps the most talented new artist in a decade. His story will be about Nick Fury Jr. I’m looking forward to the art on that, even if I can’t stand the new Nick. I’m also looking forward to the Damage Control story, which will be written by one of my favorite comic columnists, Chris Sims, who also worked on the great digital comic, X-Men ’92.
They’ve also announced Civil War II: Gods of War, a Dan Abnett miniseries drawn by Emilio Laiso, which will feature Hercules. This on the heels of Abnett’s failed and cancelled Hercules ongoing series. Moral of the story: If you ain’t Bob Layton or Greg Pak, don’t do Hercules. All other comers have failed.
GRAPHIC INK: THE DC COMICS ART OF GARY FRANK. DC is soliciting a hardbound tribute to artist Gary Frank’s work for DC. He’s a great artist, so if you don’t mind reading random issues thrown under a hardcover, your eyes will thank you.
SUICIDE SQUAD RESHOOTS. Having seen the (way too long) previews, I’m not surprised that Suicide Squad is undergoing costly reshoots to make it less…Bleak. And the crazy fun of Deadpool’s flick also influenced the outcome, I’m sure. I hate to say this, but the movie just looks…Bad. I don’t agree that a bad BvS indicates that the Superhero genre is on its last legs (if Civil War sucks, then I might agree), but DC’s really needs to get their cinematic act together. How can they do TV so right and get movies so wrong?
THE BOYS IS IN DEVELOPMENT…AGAIN. Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s look at superheroes and the governments that hunt them is back on track for a live-action adaptation, but this time it’s as a TV show on Cinemax—and it will be produced by the same team (led by Seth Rogen) that is adapting Preacher for AMC. Haven’t seen Preacher yet, but the pilot looks…Not much like the comic. The Boys could easily make an amazing and edgy TV series if its done right, but we’ll see.
IMAGE COMICS’ EXPO: WHAT’S TO COME. Image has easily surpassed every other publisher out there by the number of monthly comics that it produces and that are worth reading: Saga, The Walking Dead, Velvet, Dark Corridor, Lazarus…So when they announce their publication slate for the next year, I pay attention. Here’s the ones I’m looking forward to:
- vs by Ivan Brandon and Esad Ribic. Set in the future, when war has become a televised event, this book promises to focus on technology, combat, and, I’m sure, more than a little man-bites-dog stuff. I’ll check this out based solely on Ribic’s involvement, as I don’t know Brandon’s work.
- Surgeon X by Sarah Kenny and John Watkiss sounds interesting to me, even if it’s hard to say why. It’s another “the future sucks” story—this time, because the world is ravaged by antibiotic-resistant disease—in which a basement doctor uses back-alley treatments, in the face of legal and police repression. It could be an interesting commentary on access to health care, so I’m curious enough to buy on sight based solely on the premise—knowing nothing about the creators.
- The Black Monday Murders by Jonathan Hickman and Tomm Coker. I listened to their Expo presentation twice and I still can’t figure out what this is about. Something about black magic and the financial markets. But I trust Hickman enough to check out at least the first two issues.
- The Divided States of Hysteria by Howard Chaykin. A “realistic” book about terrorism—no werewolves, no sci fi. It takes place today, and the hero will be a young CIA agent. I know Chaykin is a legend, but I blow hot-and-cold with his stuff. Since this sounds pretty close to what I consider his greatest work, American Flagg, I’ll be checking it out.
- Moonshine by “100 Bullets” creators Brian Azzarrello and Eduardo Risso. I would buy the phone book if these guys wrote and drew it, so it doesn’t even matter that this is a comic set during the U.S. Prohibition era about whiskey runners, mobsters, and something supernatural that is undoubtedly moon-triggered. Probably hairy and full of claws.
- Kill or Be Killed by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. Anything by the Criminal team is buy-on-sight. This one will be a street-level vigilante story. I can’t wait for this one. It WILL be one of the best comics of the year.