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COMIC BOOK NEWS: Featuring Everyone Who Isn’t Marvel!

Yesterday, I gave some thoughts and updates on the current situation at Marvel.  I haven’t done one of these news posts in about a month, and I had too much I wanted to share to fit into just one post.  So, Marvel yesterday and today everything else.

 Both DC and Marvel have released the first issues of their respective Convergence (lots of issue #1s) and Secret Wars events (the first issue of the Ultron miniseries).  Neither were very good, or even all that interesting.  Hmmm.

So what IS interesting in the comic book world?  Let’s find out!

CONVERGENCE: SHAZAM.  Whatever my thoughts might be about DC’s ongoing event (been burned too many times by DC, their events suck, their reboots suck harder, etc.), I’m excited to see what Evan “Doc” Shaner and Jeff Parker do with Captain Marvel.  They promise to include the entire family, talking tiger and all.  Coming April 29.

End bulltets

SO LONG, AND THANKS FOR ALL THE FISH.  Jada Pinkett Smith is leaving Gotham after season one, so no more Fish Mooney.  Too bad.  She’s the second best badass on the show.

FOX STILL PROCEEDING WITH LUCIFER.  Despite the bad reviews and low ratings for Constantine, FOX is continuing forward with their adaptation of another Vertigo series: Lucifer.  They’ve cast Lesley-Ann Brandt, from Spartacus, to play Maze, and Tom Ellis as the lead.

EVERYTHING MARK MILLAR DOES IS A MOVIE.  Image Comics’ Jupiter’s Legacy (with Frank Quietly) and Mark Millar’s latest project Chrononauts, (also for Image Comics) have been sold.  Millar’s a movie machine: Wanted, Ultimate Fantastic Four, Kingsmen, and Kick-Ass have already been made, and we can look forward to adaptations of Marvel’s Civil War, Starlight (his 2014 book with Goran Parlov) and Superior.  I personally am looking forward to that last one the most—it’s a book he made with Lenil Yu about a disabled kid who becomes a superhero (a lot like Shazam), but it’s told in a dark and cynical style with a great twisty plotline.

I KILL GIANTS: THE MOVIE.  It’s been discussed for years, but it looks like the adaptation of the multi-award-winning Graphic Novel by Joe Kelly and J.M. Ken Niimura is really moving forward—with Academy Award winner Anders Walters to direct and Chris Columbus producing.  I am so stoked about this—the graphic novel is absolutely fantastic.

STAR TREK MEETS GREEN LANTERN.  IDW and DC will do a company crossover titled, “Spectrum War,” coming in July. 

LAZARUS GETS A TV DEAL.  Greg Rucka is one of the most interesting writers in comics today.  Artist Michael Lark’s talent speaks for itself, and he has great sense of mood and page design.  Their creator-owned Image Comic has gotten a TV development deal, and Rucka will write at least the first episode.  Couldn’t happen to a better comic, frankly.


MARVEL COMICS (AND MOVIES! AND TV!) NEWS: Featuring Secret Wars, Luke Cage, and More!

So I haven’t done a news post in a bunch of weeks now and lots of little items have stacked up.  Many are probably old news to you, but in case they aren’t—or in case you want to know what I think about them—here’s a news post just on Marvel.  Tomorrow, I’ll finish gathering up DC and everyone else and do another news post on those things.

WEIRDWORLD.  Marvel has released the teaser image (above) for Jason Aaron and Michael Del Mundo’s revival of the old (way, way, very old) Marvel comic about swords and sandals and is that…Arkon on the cover?

SECRET WARS: THE INFINITY GAUNTLET.  So, I’m torn.  The Secret Wars tie-in comic will be a tribute to one of the best Jim Starlin works of all time, and a great chapter in the life of Thanos—who I love.  And it’s drawn by Dustin Weaver, whose work on Jonathan Hickman’s SHIELD miniseries was revelatory.  He’s probably the best artist working in comics today (or at least he’s up there with Declan Shalvey and Sean Phillips).  But it’s written by Gerry Duggan who has never written a single comic book I’ve liked.

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE INFINITY GAUNTLET MOVIE?  The two-part threequel to Avengers won’t be directed by Joss Whedon.  He’d pretty much already said so, and everyone assumed that the Russo Brothers, who directed the second-biggest superhero movie of all time (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) would inherit the mantle.  They will—they’re signed to direct Avengers: Infinity War films, slated for release in 2018 and 2019 (why are you making us wait a year!?!).  It’s also not clear whether the main stars will be returning for those movies.  Robert Downey Jr. has said he came back for Captain America: Civil War, which comes out in 2016–to work with Chris Evans again, but Evans has also said he’s done being Captain America.  So Civil War may be the last one with the current gang, and Marvel will have to decide whether to re-cast the actors or replace the characters.  Bucky Cap?  Rhodey Iron Man?  Girl Thor?  She-Hulk?  I’m in for all that.

THE AVENGERS ARE COMING…TO TV!  The team will appear on the April 13 episode of Jimmy Kimmel and on Good Morning America on April 24. I’m sure both appearances will be canon and in-continuity.

A-FORCE PRESENTS.  Looks like the promised all-female Avengers/X-Force title won’t be an ongoing series.  (But the A-Force team of women will still appear in Secret Wars.)  The book will be a six-issue anthology series of graphic novels, produced bimonthly, with a price tag of $14.99.  It will feature a Marvel women who currently have solo books: Thor (the girl one), Captain Marvel, She-Hulk, Spider-Gwen, Silk, Black Widow, Ms. Marvel, and Unbeatable Squirrel Girl.  Issue #1 will be all reprints: The first issues of their solo comics.  Is this what Marvel means by “nothing will be the same” after Secret Wars?  Will it be doing more expensive, bigger books and moving away from floppy issues?  Or is this just a way to give an entry point for the growing number of female comic book buyers?  Some of these books have alrady been cancelled (She-Hulk), but others just launched and one—Thor—is selling better than it did before he became a she.  So I can’t imagine they’ll be cancelling all those titles…We’ll see, I guess, won’t we?

LUKE CAGE.  Everybody probably knows that after Daredevil comes AKA Jessica Jones, and then a Luke Cage Netflix series starring Mike Colter.  Well, Marvel is lining up some great talent: Cheo Hodari Coker, a journalist who has experience on two excellent “street level” TV shows (Southland and Ray Donovan) will serve as showrunning and will write at least the first two episodes.

CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND THE MIGHTY DEFENDERS.  I suppose with a Netflix project culminating in a “Defenders” TV show it was inevitable that Marvel would start reviving the team in its comics.  It looks like this will be another post-Secret Wars book starring a new Captain Britain, She-Hulk, and White Tiger, among others.  They’ll be fighting an evil version of Luke Cage.  Frankly, all these world-melds involving versions of the same characters are starting to make my brain hurt.

REMEMBER CRASH RYAN?  Me, neither.  But if Lucifer wasn’t an esoteric comic book, this one sure is.  It was a 1984 creator-owned comic by Ron Harris—one of the first published by Marvel under their Epic Comics banner—about an air force pilot in a fictional 1935 war against a global conqueror called “Doom.”  Seems strange with all the comics out there that this is one that gets optioned….



Unless you live under a rock or just don’t care, you know that in a few months “time runs out” and all of Marvel’s various universes and time periods will collapse inward and coexist on one, giant planet: Battleworld.

What does this mean for “normal” people? What happens to Earth? What about the freakin’ children!?!

We don’t know.

But there’s much to be excited about…


Future_Imperfect 2015Marvel’s universal restructuring will start with a retelling of all major Marvel events, including their first one, Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars in 1985, many focusing on a particular Marvel brand. Oh, and by the way, if the inclusion of no less than 6 mutant events (not including Avengers vs. X-Men) doesn’t calm some of the conspiracy theorists who believe Marvel is phasing out the X-Men from the Marvel Universe, I don’t know what will.

  • X-Men: Days of Future Past, Old Man Logan, House of M, Inferno, X-Tinction (the Genosha v. X-Men story), and Age of Apocalypse
  • Hulk: Future Imperfect and Planet Hulk
  • Iron Man: Armor Wars
  • Avengers: Korvac
  • Spider-Man: Spiderverse
  • Cosmic: Infinity Gauntlet
  • Everyone: Secret Wars, Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies, Civil War, and Avengers vs. X-Men


Before it all ends, several books will have a “last days” banner. Whether this is an actual end or a transformation remains to be seen (but nothing is forever dead in comics, right?). So far, these heroes will get a final tale: Winter Soldier, Magneto, Ms. Marvel, Silver Surfter, Loki, Punisher, the Mighty (aka Black) Avengers, and Black Widow.


All Marvel comics will end. All of them. And then we’ll see their publishing slate gradually build back up. And along the way there will be a bunch of one-shots and tie-ins. It’s not entirely clear which are limited series and which are going to be new ongoings (and it will probably also depend on how much interest there is in these books), but here’s what we know about the Marvel slate looking beyond Secret Wars, and what you should (and shouldn’t) look out for:

The Good (starting with the best on top):

  • A-Force. Ms. Marvel’s G. Willow Wilson gets a second ongoing, an all-female Avengers team, with art by Jorge Molina. This isn’t just good, it’s excellent.
  • Where Monsters Dwell. Garth Ennis hasn’t written a Marvel comics in years—maybe even a decade(?)—and he is one of the industry’s best. Plus, this is barely a Marvel comic. It’s about a Golden Age pilot hero in a land of dinosaurs.
  • x-men 92Ultimate End. The guys who started it all, Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley, end it all.
  • The Return of Grant Morrison’s New X-Men. Trapped on a world where mutants are the majority, the Morrison team (sans Fantomex) will find themselves no longer persecuted but, instead, large and in charge, in “E is for Extinction” by Christos Gage. New X-Men is one of the two X-Men runs I’ve actually re-read more than once (the other is Joss Whedon’s), so I’m in for this one. Plus, the art is by Ramon Villalobos. Very, very excited.
  • Renew Your Vows. There’s gonna be something related to Spidey’s wedding, which was undone by J. Michael Straczinski years ago in the “One More Day” storyline—probably the most controversial event in Spider-Man’s past (and that includes when Doc Ock took over his body in 2012). It will be written by Dan Slott, who is the architect of all things Spidey at Marvel, so I’m there. I’m so there.
  • X-Men 92.  The early ’90s team is a fan favorite, and this is written by Brian Michael Bendis.  Is that a good thing?  Not sure.  His latest X-works started strong but didn’t stay that way.
  • Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars. Cullen Bunn’s Deadpool miniseries have mostly been good, so we’ll assume this one will be, too. The idea is great: It’s actually about the 1985 Secret Wars, telling a story about how Deadpool was actually there, even though we never saw him.

The Meh (also starting with the best on top):

  • giant_size_little_marvel_avx_1_coverGiant-Size Little Marvel: AVX. Cartoonist extraordinaire Skottie Young gets a book that will be cute, without a doubt. But will it actually be funny? Time will tell.
  • Guardians of Knowhere. Brian Michael Bendis with art by Mike Deodato Jr. tell a “mystery” story starring Drax and Gamora. Bendis’ Guardians work has been Meh for many months, but Deodato elevates this to a potentially good buy.
  • Master of Kung Fu. Wasn’t a fan of 2014’s Elektra, also written by Haden Blackman, but I really, really want this to be good. Art by Dalibor Talajic.
  • M.O.D.O.K.: Assassin. If MODOK is in the title, I’ll buy it. Even if it is written by Chris Yost. But I recognize the major meh potential here.
  • Thors. So Jason Aaron’s Thor work has been very uneven—some of it has been terrific, the rest boring. This one will have spaceknight Thor and Beta Ray Bill, Ultimate Thor, girl-Thor, Odin, etc., and art by Chris Sprouse. None of that makes this a must-buy for me, but it does make me very curious.
  • Runaways. We’ve waited over a decade for a follow-up to one of Marvel’s most loved comics of all time. But what we’re getting is essentially the same story: A group of kids in High School find out that their parental units are actually evil. So it remains to be seen whether this will be worth anyone’s time. Created by Noelle Stevenson and Sanford Greene.

  • Weirdworld. Jason Aaron and Mike Del Mundo telling a “kind of Conan” stry. Not my genre, but I’m open to it if it gets good word of mouth.

The Bad (all bad–no amount of hype will get me to buy any of these):

  • Ghost Racers. I wasn’t a fan of Felipe Smith’s Ghost Rider reboot. This one will include the Western Ghost Rider and a bunch of others.
  • Mrs. Deadpool And The Howling Commandos. If it says written by Gerry Duggan, stay away. Far away.
  • Inhumans: Attlian Rising. I don’t’ get how Charles Soule can write a comic as magnificent as 2014’s She-Hulk, and turn around a mediocre snoozefest like “Inhuman.” He’s continuing his work here with the latter, not the former, so…No.
  • Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde. If you like Sam Humphries work on the current Star-Lord book, you’ll probably like this. I don’t.
  • Secret Wars 2099 (including Avengers 2099). It’s unclear if this is a miniseries or a new ongoing that will launch after the “event” ends, but either way, there hasn’t been a good 2099 book in decades. But at least it will be written by Peter David, so it’s got a shot at being worth reading. By someone other than me, though.


Okay, so the big news is Spider-Man, but I’m sure all of you have heard it already. Over and over. He’ll show up in Captain America: Civil War, and then he’ll get his own film in 2017—which means Black Panther is bumped back a year. But it also means T’Challa gets a summer release, making him officially a “tentpole” in the Marvel Studios schedule. Sony is also still going ahead with a Sinister Six movie to be directed by Drew “Cabin in the Woods” Goddard, but it won’t be coming out in the next few years. Probably not even in the next decade.

But the question everyone is asking is: Does this mean we have to see another origin story? I think it’s clear that Peter Parker will be Spider-Man, not Miles Morales, but since he’ll be introduced as one of an ensemble in Civil War, does that mean his solo film will build on that and be in Marvel Cinematic Universe continuity? Or do we get another reboot? I know I’ll be in the theater either way (I think I feel a cold coming on for July 28, 2017—I can’t make it into work!), but I do think they should stay away from another origin. I don’t think anyone will ever do it better than Sam Raimi.

Sony still retains control of the Spider-Man franchise, so it’s not entirely clear what all the details of this might be, but one thing seems certain: Goodbye, Andrew Garfield. At last.

And in other news….

COMICS ARE GOOD FOR YOU! The America Library Association gave This One Summer, by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki (First Second) both Caldecott and Printz honors. I told you it was good! Also, Cece Bell won a Newberry Honor for her autobiographic novel El Deafo—it’s the first time they’ve givin a Newberry to a comic (they traditionally go for pictureless stories). It may mean the awards group is ready to recognize comics as a valid form of literature.

DC FOR THE KIDS, MAN! Warner Bros is bringing back animated shorts of the classic Super Friends line-up to help promote the new toy line of the same name, and a Batman: Unlimited cartoon movie for another new toy series.

MODOK: Assassin. Everyone’s favorite encephalitic will get a solo series under the Secret Wars’ Warzones! banner of books. See? I just started reading every appearance of the little bastard for an upcoming series on this site.  I am ahead of the trends. And there’s more evidence of my comic nerd hipness below…

IT LOOKS LIKE THEY’RE SERIOUS ABOUT A LIVE-ACTION TEEN TITANS ON TNT. Nerdist reports that the team is confirmed to include Robin (not Nightwing), Barbara Gordon (wheelchair version), Hawk and Dove, Raven, and Starfire. This is all rumor, but it would be very interesting to see Robin and a team of women. The pilot is scheduled to begin production this year.

SUPERMAN HAS A NEW POWER. He’s like a human super-nuke. Because he wasn’t powerful enough already. I do like Geoff Johns and John Romita, Jr.’s current run on Superman, but things like this are what make him a completely unrelatable character. Focus more on the story and the person, less on bigger powers and fights. The Geoff Johns everyone used to love knew this when he worked on Teen Titans and Action Comics—almost a decade ago.

SUBSCRIBE TO COMICS! When I was a kid, I subscribed to at least 10 Marvel titles a month. Even though they didn’t always arrived undamaged (but they were mailed “flat!”), it was cool to come home from school and find the X-Men in the mailbox. Now, Retrofit is bringing that back: For $75 ($65 if you order quickly), you can get all twelve of their 2015 roster of original graphic novels which will include new books by Box Brown (who created the best biography GN of 2014, Andre the Giant: The Life and Legend), Kate (Kate or Die) Leth, and Harvey/Ignatz award nominee Steven Weissman; and a translation of Ollie Schrauwen’s Mowgli’s Mirror.

GARTH ENNIS RETURNS TO MARVEL! Yes! Yes! Ennis hasn’t written for Marvel in a long time, but he’s been recruited to write a “Where Monsters Dwell” miniseries as a Secret Wars tie-in. It will be about World War One pilot (and Golden Age hero) Phantom Eagle fighting dinosaurs and giant monsters.

AND FINALLY, CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL YOU WINNERS! The following have gotten movie deals:

  • Scott McCloud’s The Sculptor. Sony just bought the film rights to the latest graphic novel by the creator of the well-regarded nonfiction works “Understanding Comics” and “Making Comics.” The OGN was just released (I haven’t read it yet)
  • Dreadstar. Wow. I’ve been meaning to re-read Jim Starlin’s space-pirate series for years, and possibly feature it here on my blog—and last weekend I got my old bagged-and-boarded issues out of the closet. No sooner had I re-read “The Price” than a movie deal was announced.
  • The Descender by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen. Another Sony purchase, and the creators will get executive producer credit. The Image Comic hasn’t even hit the stands yet.
  • Patrick Stewart. Although he won’t be in X-Men: Apocalypse, he will return as Professor X in the next Wolverine solo film.
  • Morena Baccarin. Jim Gordon’s girlfriend from Gotham and Brody’s wife from Homeland will next hook up with Deadpool in the 2016 movie starring Ryan Reynolds.



If you’re not catching the current X-Men arc by G. Willow Wilson (“Ms. Marvel”) you’re missing the first really good X-Men comic since Bendis took over in the relaunch.


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