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Posts Tagged "Comic Book News"

THE TOP 10 RECENT COMIC BOOK NEWS DEVELOPMENTS

Yes, I went to NY Comic Con. It was fun, sure, but I have to say: Not all that different from Baltimore Comic Con, which is both smaller and more manageable and with more (and better) cosplayers. NYCC outsold San Diego by over 20k people—and you could feel every body crushing into you. Way too crowded. I didn’t go to any panels (I was there for one day and just wanted to see and experience the floor), but lots of news came out of NYCC, and some of it is below. Here they are, ten thoughts, musings, and newsy things about comics….

1. IN 2015, EVERYTHING OLD AT MARVEL WILL BE NEW AGAIN. Marvel released a series of big event announcements for next year, and all of them sound familiar. The vague references to “Civil War” appear to be about Captain America 3—where we’ll see Cap versus Tony. There is no doubting its potential awesomeness. But there were also comic book teasers that retool some of Marvel’s most successful events. The hype ranges from looking stupid to very, very cool…

  • Stupid: Marvel Zombies: Age of Ultron. Robots take over the zombieverse. Nobody is looking for this, are they?  I’m curious, but …
  • Probably stupid: Planet Hulk. A poster shows what looks like Steve Rogers holding a Captain America sword and an axe jumping off Devil Dinosaur’s head into a pile of Hulks and She-Hulks. The original Planet Hulk was great. World War Hulk was pretty good. This looks..Weird. But I’m willing to give it a try.
  • Smack dab in the middle because there’s not enough information yet: Years of Future Past. The classic “Days of Future Past” was a three-issue arc (that’s it!) by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, at the peak of their powers. It was the first time we saw an alternate Marvel future, and it has inspired countless retools, reiterations, reboots, and even a few movie ideas. It’s not clear what this one will be.
  • This is the one that’s cool: Secret Wars. Marvel announced a 12-issue event beginning in Spring 2015 titled “Secret Wars.” They’ve promised it will be “huge,” involving both print and digital comic releases. And, of course, the Marvel Universe will “never be the same again.” The story ties into Jonathan Hickman’s “Time Runs Out” storyline in Avengers/New Avengers. The teaser image, by Alex Ross, features several Captain Americas, Ghost Rider 2099, mutants (including Wolverine, who will be “dead” by then), Avengers, Iron Men, etc.—and Bendis has confirmed that his X-Men time travel storylines will tie into it. In short, it looks like it will fix the fracturing we’ve seen in the Marvel universe over the past several years. If this is in fact the reboot everyone has been suspecting, Marvel is doing it right. DC rushed it and failed to take full advantage. If you’re going to destroy your universe, have fun with it. Like, destroy the Ultimate universe, kill Wolverine, make Iron Man evil, Thor a woman, and Captain America black.

2. SUICIDE SQUAD: THE MOVIE.

A film version of DC’s villains-turned-black ops team is in development. I wonder if James Gunn (the director of the Guardians of the Galaxy) saying repeatedly in interviews that he wants to do a Thunderbolts movie had anything to do with Warner Bros finally moving ahead with this long-gestating project? I just did a whole post on the state of the comic movieverse, so go read it here.

3. ESTROGEN AT MARVEL.

Marvel has announced a solo series for Gamora, the green-skinned woman of the Guardians of the Galaxy, to be written by screenwriter Nicole Perlman. That leaves only Groot and Drax without solo deals. They’re like the bass player and drummer for Bon Jovi. Marvel seems to be making great strides in featuring both female creators and female characters. Black Widow, She Hulk and Ms. Marvel are three of the best Marvel comics out right now, and Secret Avengers (which has become my favorite Avengers book) has a female-led, female-dominated team. Mmm. Femdom.

And speaking of women, Marvel announced a new series based on the Gwen Stacy Spider-Man introduced by Jason LaTour and Robbie Rodriguez in Edge of Spider-Verse #2. I’m not loving all the Spider-Verse tie-ins, but the Spider-Gwen one was far and away the best so far. Marvel also announced an ongoing series for Silk, the female version of Spider-Man who is currently running around with Peter in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man. I don’t know how Dan Slott can still be writing that book so well—he’s (ahem) amazing at it.

4. ARCHIE VS. PREDATOR. That’s not a joke. Archie and Dark Horse will team up for this comic.

5. CROSSED: DOA. Garth Ennis’ miniseries about a disease that turns people into homicidal sadomasochists has lead to multiple books and has basically becomes Avatar’s tentpole title. They’ve announced upcoming Crossed projects with luminaries like Alan Moore and Kieron Gillen, and now … A TV show. Kind of. “Crossed: DOA” will start out as a web comic and will then turn into a series of webisodes written and directed by Ennis. The first Crossed web comic, “Wish You Were Here,” went on for several years and, at times, was truly brilliant.

6. DARK HORSE NEWS FEATURING BRIAN WOOD. Dark Horse announced “Rebels,” a new book by Brian Wood and Andrew Mutti about the American Revolution. Think “Northlanders” (Wood’s terrific book about Vikings) but set in the 1700s. The first story will feature Ethan Allen’s militia group The Green Mountain Boys. Sadly, when one door opens another closes: Wood’s post-apocalypse book “The Massive” will end with issue #30. I’ve been loving that comic, but I know not many people other people are reading it.

Dark Horse also announced a sequel to Donny Cates’ miniseries, “Buzzkill,” about a recovering alcoholic who gets super powers when he drinks. It will be titled, “The Paybacks.” The story will focus on heroes who get their powers from technology that they can’t afford to pay for. Sounds good.

7. THE FANTASTIC FOUR’S DOOR CLOSES, BUT OTHER DOORS OPEN… The Fantastic Four is being cancelled—not rebooted. At least not any time soon. Marvel still denies that this is at all related to the fact that Fox owns the movie rights and appears to be planning to remove all traces of Lee and Kirby from their 2016 movie. But as the saying goes, when one door closes, another opens:

  • ORIGINAL S.I.N. Peggy Carter gets her own TV show when SHIELD goes on hiatus, and these days that means she also get s comic. The good news is, it will be written by the highly underrated Kathryn Immonen and illustrated by Rich Ellis. Immonen wrote one the great unsung female-titled comics in Marvel history: Patsy Walker, Hellcat. She also had a decent run on Runaways and wrote a fabulous original graphic novel titled, “Moving Pictures” about the Nazi’s destruction of art during World War 2. So she’s comfortable with period pieces. This new book will also take place in the 1940s. It will be a prequel to the underwhelming Original Sin event, so we’ll learn about the guy who did Nick Fury’s cosmic assassination work before Fury came along.
  • HAWKEYE. Everyone with any sense at all is sad to see Matt Fraction leave Hawkeye’s solo title, but his replacement is interesting: Jeff “Sweet Tooth” Lemire. Lemire’s corporate writing hasn’t been anywhere near as good as his indie stuff, but I’m rooting for him here. Hawkeye is the kind of quirky title he seems well suited for. Lemire promises an intimate book along the lines of what he did in Essex County, and says it will focus on Clint Barton’s childhood and will split screen time between Hawkeye and Kate Bishop, the “other” Hawkeye, who is kind of like his adopted little sister.
  • ANT MAN. And in news that’s no surprise to anyone, given his upcoming movie deal, Scott Lang Ant-Man gets a solo book early next year, under the creative team of Nick Spencer and Ramon Rosanas.

8. COMICS ON TV: IT’S MARVEL VS. DC, AND MARVEL IS LOSING.

Despite the fact that Ming-Na Wen seems to get hotter with every episode, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD show is just not resonating with me. I’m still watching it because I can’t stop hoping it will do what it should be doing, and because I occasionally get rewarded (Absorbing Man was awesome), but the central narrative is lacking tension. I want to blame Coulson, because his character is so…drab…but I don’t think that’s fair. The show has too many dark, broody sequences that don’t have any real sense of danger. In fact, there’s really no danger at all in the show. It all feels kind of random, and when we do get to see something or someone interesting (like Deathlok or Patton Oswald’s character), the story quickly veers away and we hear nothing about it for several episodes. It’s baffling to me why this isn’t a better show.

But look at DC, knocking both The Flash and Gotham out of the park! I expected Flash to be good but silly, but it turns out it’s both fun and exciting, and I expected Gotham to be a total downer but it’s actually good as a standalone show—even if you ignore all the Bat-references.

Of course, there is one that rules them all: The Walking Dead.

9. CAPTAIN CARROT. Any of you reading Grant Morrison’s Multiversity? I’m really enjoying it, and not just because he brought back Captain Carrot. But in recognition of that revival, DC has issued a reprint of the old 1980s series: “Showcase Presents: Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew!” It’s a little dated by today’s standards, but still holds up as a fun, all-ages comic.

10. PEOPLE REALLY LIKED GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. It’s now made over $700 million worldwide. It’s the only Marvel movie to do that that wasn’t either a sequel or The Avengers. It’s also the best popcorn movie of all time.

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AXIS, EVENTS, AND THE TEN BEST MARVEL COMICS ON THE STANDS RIGHT NOW


There are so many Marvel “events” and “crises” these days that it’s hard to keep them all straight. The Uncanny Avengers is telling about the end of the world in a story I can’t understand at all. New Avengers (which his actually, finally, getting good) is telling a ridiculously complicated time-travel story that promises a complete shake up of the Marvel Universe. In six months. The X-books are all time jumbled and time jumped, to the point where time and continuity seem to have little meaning. Spider-Man is entering a whole Spider-Verse. And all of this is on the heels of the “Original Sin,” line-wide event.

It’s not that any of these are bad (well, okay, Uncanny is pretty bad), it’s just that it’s all too much. It’s impossible to keep it all straight.

The next big event will be helmed by Rick “Uncanny” Remender, and will bring the X and A teams together, and promises to “flip” villains into heroes. And the key villain in all of it will be Tony Stark.

Sound familiar? It’s because Brian Michael Bendis already did this, brilliantly, in the “Dark Reign” era.

Personally, I wish Marvel would settle down a bit and just tell good stories. Remember how great the Avengers was under Roger Stern, when it was focused on the interpersonal relationships of people like Janet Van Dyne and Hank Pym, who didn’t even have solo books? Or how great the self-contained Uncanny X-Men title was under Chris Claremont, when the threats they faced were way out in space or just involved Magneto being a dick? The level of stress and tension is so high that it has become meaningless—if everything is a global threat event, then nothing matters.

I’m not saying I hate events. I actually kind of liked Original Sin—it was small enough to be self-contained, but offered lots of screen time for relatively minor characters to meet with the holy trinity (Cap, Iron Man, Thor). I’m just saying it can’t all twist time into knots and threaten to destroy everything. And I really like The Death of Wolverine, which, again, is self-contained and feels “small” (even if it’s telling a really big story).

These are the ten most consistently good Marvel books on the market right now, and none of them are “big”:

10. Rocket Raccoon
9. Storm (just a few issues in, but so far, so great)


8. Secret Avengers
7. Moon Knight (giving the new creative team the benefit of the doubt, but the six issues by Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey were magnificent)
6. Black Widow
5. Daredevil
4. Superior Foes of Spider-Man
3. She-Hulk
2. Amazing Spider-Man
1. Ms. Marvel


If you buy just ten Marvel books a month, buy those. If you need a few more, I didn’t include Hawkeye or Avengers Undercover (because they are both ending in the next month)—get them in trade. Also, Captain America is pretty good. But I’m a sucker for Cap.

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GREAT NEWS ABOUT MOVIES ABOUT MARVEL CHARACTERS (BUT NOT NECESSARILY MARVEL MOVIES), DC’S MEDIAVERSE, AND MORE COMIC BOOK NEWS


I haven’t been posting news posts weekly anymore because I’m not sure how many people are reading them.  There are plenty of sites that “break” news.  That’s not what you’re here for.  So instead, I’ve decided to wait until I have a bunch of items that interest me, and then blast out a healthy essay.

But before I launch into the main story, there’s two fantastic pieces of news from FOX studios.  First, the Fantastic Four reboot has been postponed.  Sure, it’s only two months (June to August of 2015), but I appreciate any time between now and the horrid destruction of Jack and Stan’s most important cocreation.  Seriously.  It’s not that there are minorities cast in main roles, that doesn’t bother me.  It’s everything I’ve read about it, from the cast being told not to read the comics to the fact that based on their ethnicities it appears they will not be a family anymore.  And family is at the heart of F4.  It was the whole basis for the team’s creation!

But there’s much better news: DEADPOOL IS A GO!  Put in your leave requests from work now: On February 12, 2016, we’ll get the movie, to be directed by newcomer Tim Miller.  Miller did visual effects for Blur Studios, which is the company behind the Deadpool test footage that leaked over the summer.  No word on whether Ryan Reynolds, a longtime advocate of the film, will get the lead, or whether they’ll be using the script written by the folks behind Zombieland, which got stamps of approval from Reynolds, Rob Liefeld, and the great Guillermo Del Toro.

And in other news…

THE ROCK IS BLACK, AND D.C.’S MOVIEVERSE STRATEGY.

the rock as black adamDwayne Johnson will play the villain in a Shazam movie coming some time after 2015, to be written by Darren “Shrek Forever After” and “Goosebumps” Lemke.  Yes, it’s being written by a guy who writes kids’ films.  DC has said it will have a different “tone” from the Batman/Superman movies.  Frankly, I think DC’s attempt to create a shared movieverse is a mistake.  Marvel owns, really, only one iconic character: Spider-Man.  And they don’t even own the movie rights to him ‘cause they sold them back in the 1990s.  When you’re relying on characters that many people have never heard of (Black Widow, Hawkeye) or most only know of from a show they watched as a kid (Hulk), a shared universe brings a sense of importance and consequence to each movie.  Sure, Captain America is an icon now, but ten years ago?  And Iron Man was at best a B-lister before Robert Downey, Jr., got involved.  At least compared to Batman, Superman, and even Wonder Woman.  Hell, even Green Lantern!  Since DC’s characters are already iconic, there’s no need to create a shared universe: These characters can stand alone.  Batman did it recently for a trilogy that was appreciated by critics and most fanboys.  By doing this, DC can have a different character for its movies.  Frankly, if it were me, I would have introduced Batman 2.0 (aka Baffleck) in his own movie, with Robin, and maybe only brought Wonder Woman into the next Superman movie.  Then, they could have released Wonder Woman solo, Teen Titans, and then Batman vs. Superman.  I’m not saying tying Batman and Superman together is a mistake (but I do think it’s way, way, waaaaay too soon), but I am saying keeping Shazam separate is a good idea.  And I think it would be a good idea if they did the same for some other lesser characters, like Hitman, Lobo, Aquaman, Manhunter, or Sinister Six.  All those would make great movies, but each would be a unique kind of film that would suffer if it were knit too closely with the bigger franchise.

DC ON TV.  DC’s movieverse may still be a confused and rushed mess, but there may be hope for its TV verse.  In addition to the generally well-liked Arrow, there’s its spin-off, Flash (coming 10/1, and I’m extremely optimistic), and Gotham (coming next week, and I am extremely skeptical).  And there’s even more arriving:

  • Supergirl by the guy behind Arrow and Flash is in development, and of all of them, I think this one has the most potential.
  • ConstantineComing October 24th, a TV series that is sure to suck.  But DC is very interested in its “dark” universe.  Which is ironic, because Marvel seems to proving that hope and light sell.  In fact, Thor: The Dark World was the worst Marvel movie to date.
  • Lucifer.  Speaking of dark stuff, this one is based on the Vertigo series about Lucifer Morningstar from Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman (Sandman is also being developed, for the big screen)
  • Titans.  See, it might be cool to see a show about Nightwing, Raven, and Starfire.  But it’ll be on TNT.
  • And to heat up the internet, Machinima is partnering with DC for a series of animated shorts called, “Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles,” leading up to a 2015 full-length animated film produced by the geniuses behind “Batman: The Animated Series.” It’s another “dark” take on DC heroes.

BUT WHAT ABOUT D.C.’S COMICS?  WELL, IF THERE WAS EVER A REASON TO READ THEM, IT’S GAIL SIMONE.

I read about twenty Marvel comics each month (but granted, only about twelve are really worth the read), about the same number of indie books, and only two DC comics: Batman (because when it’s good, it’s very good) and Superman (because I’m enjoying Geoff Johns and J.R.Jr.’s work).  But now they’ve announced a reboot of Gail Simone’s brilliant Sinister Six book—a comic so good I’ve featured it here on my blog.  The revised team will include Black Alice and Catman, members of Simone’s previous SS teams, and we’re promised that Catman will, finally, be overtly bisexual.  The rest of the cast has not been disclosed.  Like I said, this may be reason to increase my DC reading by one title.

MARVEL COMICS ON THE OTHER HAND…

…Are generally still good, cape-based corporate fun.  Most don’t break a lot of new ground (notable exceptions being Ms. Marvel, Hawkeye, and She-Hulk), but they’re comforting to my childhood soul.  And here’s some neat stuff coming soon:

  • Spider-Man and The X-Men: In which Wolverine, who’s dead by December, is replaced by a non-mutant.  It will be written by Elliott Kalan (a writer for The Daily Show) and drawn by Marco Failla. Mutant cast will include Jean Grey, Shark Girl, Hellion, Rockslide, Jubilee, Glob Herman, Eye Boy, No-Girl, Ernst, and others.  Hmm. A few Grant Morrison creations getting the spotlight—about time!
  • Powers: On Marvel’s creator-owned Icon imprint, a new ongoing by series creators Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming—presumably to capitalize on the coming TV show.

MEANWHILE, AT MARVEL STUDIOS…

Scott “Silence of the Lambs” Glenn will play Daredevil’s ninja mentor, Stick.  Aside from David Carradine, I can’t think of a better person for the role.

AND FINALLY, IN THE WORLD THAT ISN’T MARVEL/DC….

A NEW ALAN MOORE COMIC THAT HE WON’T OWN THE RIGHTS TO SO HE’LL PROBABLY SHIT ALL OVER IT IN A FEW YEARS.  But that would be strangely appropriate, as the book in question is a new “Crossed” miniseries.  Six issues of profane, disgusting, and completely offensive violence from one of the best writers in the industry.  It will take place 100 years after the first cases of the crossed disease.  Moore did Neonomicon with Avatar Press a few years ago, and is publishing a sequel (“Providence”) with them as well.  And that book had explicit demon-on-human rape.

THE GHOSTBUSTERS CINEMATIC UNIVERSE.   The Hollywood Reporter quoted Dan Aykroyd as saying that the Ghostbusters franchise should get a bunch of movies and TV shows, saying: “I’m thinking what does the whole brand mean to Sony? What does Pixar and Star Wars mean to Disney? What does Marvel mean to Fox?”  Dude.  You’re comparing a franchise that was only good once (in the first movie) to the Star Wars movies?  The Marvel movies?  Pixar?

GHOST IN THE SHELL.  Last but not least, Margot Robbie, best known for teasing us with her crotch in Wolf of Wall Street, may be starring in a movie verison of Masamune Shirow’s manga, Ghost in the Shell.

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TURNS OUT A HIT MOVIE CAN GET PEOPLE TO READ (aka Comic Book Sales in July 2104)….

In the wake of Guardians of the Galaxy’s stellar opening weekend, Marvel’s Rocket Raccoon #1 was the best-selling comic book in July–moving over 300K units! (comics usually do well if they sell 100k)–partly because Loot Crate bought 150k copies.  Star Lord also did well.

Bubbling under the top 10, The Walking Dead #129 placed 12th.  It seems to kick ass both in pamphlet and trade format.  More proof that moving pictures can help sell comics.  And perhaps unhappy news for those who like their money, books with a higher price place higher in terms of dollar sales and thus are actually more profitable.  Harley Quinn (the Comic Con special), Archie (the one where he dies and the one after it), and Robin Rises: Omega (the one where they start to undo what Grant Morrison did) were among those that didn’t rank in the top 10 (although Harley was 16th) but, were in the top 15 for sales dollars.

Archie was also the second-best-seller that wasn’t from DC or Marvel.  Congrats to the Riverdale crew!

The full top ten were:

1. Rocket Raccoon #1
2. Batman #33
3. Amazing Spider-Man #4
4. Original Sin #5
5. Spider-Man 2099 #1
6. Original Sin #6
7. Justice League #21
8. Grayson #1
9. The Legendary Star-Lord #1
10. Harley Quinn #8

In the graphic novel category, congratulations are due to Rick Remender, whose latest book came in third overall for the month, and Brendan “Scott Pilgrim” O’Malley whose original graphic novel placed fifth.  It’s also nice that Greg Rucka’s powerful, female-centered series Lazarus is doing well.  But overall, few surpises here: It’s 50% Image Comics…

1. The Walking Dead Vol. 21
2. Avatar: The Last Airbender Vol. 8
3. Deadly Class Vol. 1
4. Saga Vol. 1
5. Seconds
6. Deadpool Vol. 5
7. Saga Vol. 3
8. Star Wars: The Lucas Draft
9. Batman Vol. 1: The Court of Owls
10. Lazarus Vol. 2

Hmm.  All the DC books in the top 10 either starred Batman or spun off from the Batverse.  If DC didn’t have Batman, they’d be screwed.  But take away any one of Marvel’s biggest selling characters and they’ve still got a universe to choose from, as their top 10 franchises included Spider-Man, Guardians, and a standalone miniseries.

Anyway,  I didn’t go to Comicon, but I heard some cool stuff happened…And I’m waaaaaaaay behind in reporting to you all due to health issues and “paying job” nonsense that has been taking up my time. But do any of you actually read this column anyway?

If you do, here’s some news…And look how much of it has to do with TV and movies, and how little actually involves comics.  We’ll start with my personal favorite company, and then move down to the depths of DC….

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ANNOUNCING YOUR 2014 HARVEL AWARD NOMINEES (DC basically shut out!) , AND OTHER NEWS YOU CAN’T USE BUT MIGHT ENJOY


Geek Magazine #4 cover by Andrew Robinson

Recognized as the comic book industry’s version of the Oscars, the Harvey Awards are given out at the Baltimore Comic Book Convention. The 2014 awards nominees have been announced, and, as I do every year, I’m giving you my thoughts. But since nobody ever comments on my Harvey Award posts, I’ll abbreviate the commentary this year to a couple paragraphs…Don’t think y’all are all that interesting.

Fun (and appropriate) fact: DC got only one nomination this year, for best inker on Batman. The quality of DC comics is now officially … Nonexistent. You’d think that most of the awards went to Image Comics, but you’d be wrong. BOOM! Studios is the clear winner…Wow! In the major categories, you can’t lose. You’ll find Daredevil, Saga and Hawkeye in the best writer, artist, and continuing series categories (along with a nod to Matt Kindt’s Mind MGMT for best writer—which would get my vote). DD and Saga also appear in the best covers category.

Best new series nods show the incredible variety of books on the market: Afterlife with Archie (reimagining retro nerd as something hip and dark); Quantum and Woody (rebooting something once great into something more better); Sex Criminals (risqué and hilarious, and definitely for adults); Six Gun Gorilla (madcap lunacy); and Suicide Risk (dark and mean). But no superheroes! Nice to see, though, that Paul Pope’s Battling Boy and The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story both got two nods. Great books that deserve more press.

IN OTHER NEWS…There’s a pretty big Con going on right now. I’m not there. I’m sure I’ll hear stuff, though. And I’ll pass along what I found interesting next week. As for this week…

MAJOR CHANGES FOR MARVEL’S MAJOR CHARACTERS. And “major” characters means the ones in The Avengers. Thor’s becoming a girl, because, you know, Girl Power and all. Captain America is now black—and I can’t help but wonder if Marvel put Sam Wilson in the Cap costume because Chris Evans has said he wants to retire. It’s like saying: Yeah, try to renegotiate with us. Go for it. You’re not even black. I hope I’m wrong—I hate that Hollywood can now drive my comic book content. I mean, I was okay with X-Men turning Xavier’s school into one with tons of students back in the 1990s (a direct rip from the first X-Men movie), but I hate Nick Fury, Jr. And as for Iron Man…Tony Stark will become “superior” this October in “Superior Iron Man #1.” I’m assuming that there won’t be the kind of body switch that turned the Amazing Spider-Man into the Superior one, but I’m guessing either Tony starts drinking again or something else makes him snap and he gets all evil(ish) and stuff. It’s going to be written by Tom Taylor, who did fantastic work on evil(ish) Superman for DC’s Digital First “Injustice” comic—one of the best DC books of the last five years. This should be a lot better than the current Iron Man book, which kinda is…Inferior.

MARVEL ANNOUNCES RELEASE DATES FOR UNANNOUNCED MOVIES. Marvel occupied territory for six opening dates between 2016 and 2019, without saying what the films might be. What will the movies be? Well, they say they want one sequel and one new franchise per year. Based on current announcements, we’ll see Avengers 2 and Ant-Man next year; 2016 will offer Captain America and Doctor Strange; and then we’ll get two in 2017 and three in 2018. (Why wait until ’18 to do three in a year?) I’m betting they’re waiting on the fourth Iron Man movie until they see if Robert Downey, Jr., will renew his contract. If he doesn’t, the new Iron Man probably won’t come until 2018—in which case we’ll see a Thor sequel in 2017. We’ll definitely get a third Avengers film, and my guess is in 2018 (every two years seems a safe bet on that kind of a huge movie). And if Guardians of the Galaxy kicks ass next weekend, we’ll see more from those dudes as well. Pretty full sequel slate. For “new” characters, Black Panther or something with a female lead (Black Widow or Captain Marvel?) are safe bets. Marvel also has the rights back to Ghost Rider, and those crappy movies made mad money, so we could see a reboot there. My fantasy is none of those. I’d love to see a Runaways, Power Pack, or Punisher movie. And, of course, a MODOK solo film.

AND IN LIVE ACTION D.C. NEWS, SO NOW CAN HE WEAR THE SUIT? The main problem with DC’s Smallville TV show was that, as the series dragged on, relentlessly, to its end, not seeing Clark wearing the cape became stupid and frustrating. Perhaps to resolve that problem, Geoff Johns has said that the DC TV universes of Arrow and Flash will not connect to the (still conceptual) DC Movieverse of Justice League. I think that’s a damn fine decision. But he also said that main characters won’t overlap: Batman and Superman won’t appear on TV. But it’s a fair bet that Flash will be on both media, so maybe we’ll see Wonder Woman and/or some of the villains in both forums. Also…

THE ROCK IS SHAZAM. Or at least it seems like it. Dwayne Johnson tweeted “just say the word” in the context of his role in an upcoming DC movie.

KINSKI COMING TO IMAGE. Gabriel Hardman’s wonderful, quiet comic (published digitally by MonkeyBrain) will be collected and released on paper by Image Comics in November. Maybe that means he’ll finish the story, finally? I love this little book about a small-time hood and a lost dog.

PAINKILLER JANE IS A MOVIE. The Jimmy Palmiotti/Joe Quesada has already had a couple TV shows that failed, but it’s headed for the big screen now to be directed by horror directors the Soska sisters (“American Mary”).

XBOX ENTERTAINMENT IS DONE. The fledging original-programming network vows to finish their “Halo” show, but it looks like the live-action version of Chuck Dixon’s “Winter World” comic will be put (ahem) on ice.

SIMPSONS WORLD. FXX will make available to its subscribers a searchable library of every Simpson’s episode ever, and will enable users to mark clips and post them to social networks. The cable network is also airing every single episode in marathon form starting on August 21.

FIGHT CLUB 2…THE COMIC. And speaking of triumphant returns, my favorite author Chuck Palahniuk has finally written the long-promised sequel to Fight Club—as a comic book with art by the great Cameron Stewart! But Dark Horse won’t publish the first issue until next year…
And that’s it for the week!

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