This week, I decided to break our little update into buckets…
Let’s start with “rebirth” news because in a few months nobody will be talking about DC again until their next reboot…
DC CHALLENGE. In what feels like a desperate move, DC is reviving it’s 1985 DC Challenge title as part of their rebirth initiative. One year of stories about Kamandi, the cave boy. Each issue will be by a different creative team, and there are some very big names attached, including some that aren’t part of DC’s regular roster (and many that are), like Dale Eaglesham, Neal Adams, Bill Willingham, Kevin Eastman(!), and Walter Simonson(!!). Too bad I actively dislike Tarzan stories.
YOUNG ANIMAL. DC Comics may be trying to rebirth its major characters, but much more exciting is a new imprint publishing line, “Young Animal,” led by Gerard Way—the former My Chemical Romance singer who wrote The Umbrella Academy (a comic I haven’t read, but it’s on my list). The imprint will feature “mature” comics and the launch titles will include Gerard Way revamping Doom Patrol and Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely doing a sequel to their utterly brilliant Flex Mentallo miniseries, which was banned and legally challenged for many years. We’ll also see the gender-reversed Shade, The Changing Girl by Cecil Castellucci and Marley Zarcone, DC silver-age detective Cave Carson by cowriters Way and John Rivera and artist Michael Avon “Powers” Oeming, and Mother Panic, a Gotham City crime book by Way and Jody Houser, with art by Tommy Lee Edwards.
WONDER WOMAN REBORN. Okay, as I read about Greg Rucka’s upcoming “not a reboot” rebirth of Wonder woman, I’m getting more and more excited. Rucka promises to reconcile all of the many origin stories she’s been given over the decades—there are many, and each have very different implications for what she stands for. The comic will double-ship and will have a back-up story in each issue that looks at her first year as a superhero in the world of men—drawn by Nicola Scott (who works with Rucka on the Image Comic, “Black Magick”)! Rucka promises Cheetah and Ares, among others, will make appearances. I don’t think there is any way even DC can make this suck…Unless, of course, they screw Rucka over again like they did on Gotham Central.
DEADPOOL REBIRTH(!) Deadpool #13 will have a “rebirth” variant available to retailers who order more than 52 (ha!) copies of the issue. I think this is a funny, good-natured way to tease your competitor while simultaneously helping to hype DC’s latest (non)-event. The important thing about Deadpool #13, though, is that it will cost ten bucks and will be four comics in one: Two issues of Deadpool, and original, not-reprints, issues of Daredevil and Power Man & Iron Fist, for a three-way crossover between the characters-with the creative teams of each issue writing the included story. It’s an interesting way to do a comic cross-over, and almost gives you a trade paperback in a single issue, but I have to say I’m a little pissed because it means I have to buy a Gerry Duggan Deadpool issue. But I hope it helps boost the sales of DD and PM&IF, two of my favorite Marvel books right now. Coming in June. Oh, and they greenlit the Deadpool 2 movie—of course. No surprise to anyone.
ADVANCE REVIEWS OF NETFLIX’S LUKE CAGE COMPARE IT TO HBO’S “THE WIRE.” Early buzz is that the series will be comparable to one of the greatest TV shows ever produced. Of course, that comparison was made by executive producer Cheo Hodari Coker. I loved The Wire, but it was a dense, hard-to-follow show full of subtlety and neo-realistic social commentary. Is that really what we want from Luke Cage? Not sure. I guess it’s fine…As long as there’s plenty of ripped yellow shirts and punching.
DISTURBING NEWS ABOUT THE SPIDER-MAN MOVIE. Funny thing about the internet culture: Civil War isn’t even here yet, and we’re already forming opinions about a Spider-Man movie. And getting lots of facts. Like, it will be titled, “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” and other members of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be in it, indicating that the Marvel/Sony partnership will be deep and extensive. It will be directed by Jon Watts, who directed a very good indie film called Cop Car, but really hasn’t done much else. Fine with me: New(ish) and indie directors seem to do very well at Marvel Studios. And now there’s a rumor that Michael Keaton will be in it to play a Birdman of another sort: The Vulture!!! Oh, yes. I promised you some disturbing news: Marisa Tomei will play Aunt May. I’m going to want to f__k Peter Parker’s mother figure.
Newly minted cable channel Freeform (which used to be ABC Family) has ordered a full run of a Cloak and Dagger TV show, based on Bill Mantlo and Ed Hannigan’s teenage runaways who get superpowers from bad dope and decide to take on the drug trade. Sounds like a milder version of a Marvel Netflix show, but I’m on board. Wonder if it will tie-in to the rest of the Marvelverse?
MORE JESSICA JONES! No, not season two of Netflix (although production is underway on that front, as I understand it)—more comics! The original creative team of Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Gaydos, and David Mack (cover artist) will return. It’s not clear when. Alias, the original series about Jones, was both groundbreaking and artistically phenomenal. I’d love to see what the creators have to say about her now, married with a kid and a husband who keeps running around with Iron Fist. (Check out the 2016 reboot of Power Man and Iron Fist, by the way. It’s one of the best Marvel books out there right now.)
DARK HORSE, IMAGE, DYNAMITE AND THE REST…
DARK HORSE NEWS. At Emerald City Comicon, the publisher announced a few crossover projects that seem to be no-briner “hasn’t someone does this already” type projects. The first will be a crossover with BOOM! Studios: Tarzan in the Planet of the Apes, cowritten by Tim Seeley (Revival) and David Walker (Shaft, Power Man and Iron Fist), with artist Fernando Dagnino. That’s a powerful creative team—so this should be worth checking out. They’ve also announced a badass crossover: Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens, to be written by John “Chew” Layman and drawn by Chris “Five Ghosts” Mooneyham.
DICK TRACY 2. And speaking of sequels, Warren Beatty is apparently trying to revive his Dick Tracy flim.
MORE WARREN ELLIS BOND. If you didn’t read Warren Ellis and artist Jason Masters’ recent James Bond comic for Dynamite, you’re not too late. In June, the team will start another story about the most famous secret agent in history. It’s good stuff—fun read, and as always quality writing from Ellis.
KINGSMAN 2. If you missed last year’s Kingsman movie, you missed one of the best comic book action tributes to the B-movie genre I’ve ever seen. Just a fantastic film. And the sequel has recruited Channing Tatum, Pedro “Game of Thrones” Pascal, and is courting Elton John. So, it will be bigger. I’m also hoping for better.
AND LAST AND MOST DEFINITELY LEAST, DC MOVIES
BATFLECK. If you suck, they will come. The BvS movie wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be, but wasn’t nearly as good as it ought to have been. Now, Ben Affleck will direct, star, and help write a Batman solo movie.
AND IF YOU NEED MORE PROOF THAT DC’S FILM UNIT HAS NO IDEA WHAT THEY’RE DOING, THEY COULD HAVE HAD DEADPOOL! Director Tim Miller, who had a huge hand in the extraordinarily good Deadpool film, originally met with DC about launching a Lobo movie. As many know, Deadpool was partly created as an answer to Lobo.
SUICIDE SQUAD 2: BECAUSE WE HAVEN’T HAD TIME TO HATE YOU YET. Despite the expensive reshoots and the fact that the trailer looks…Bad…They’re already talking sequel and, worse, an R-rated sequel. Deadpool, what did you do!