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Posts Tagged "Spider-Man"

IS THERE ANYTHING GOING ON OTHER THAN SPIDER-MAN? LET’S LOOK AT THE LATEST COMIC BOOK NEWS!

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.
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MY 30 FAVORITE COMIC BOOKS OF 2014

So this year, I’ve done my own little awards show.  I’ve told you about the best debuts/#1s of the year.  I spent a little time on horror comics, which underwent a mini-renaissance this year.  And of course we talked about movie and TV adaptations.

Now it’s time for the big one, the main list, the books that I loved this most this year.

The problem with a list like this is usually not with what’s on it, but what’s not on it.  And several omissions may be glaring.  East of West isn’t here because somewhere along the line the book seemed to fall in love with itself too much, and as a reader I felt I wasn’t getting enough for my four bucks each month.  Sex Criminals, which was my second favorite book of 2013, isn’t here because it clearly loved itself too much, taking an interesting premise and, somewhere around the sixth issue, devolving into Matt Fraction’s personal sex fantasies.  Using writing as personal therapy is fine, but not everybody wants to read that. 

Also, I read a crapton of comics.  Now for the countdown….

THE BERKELEY PLACE LIST OF THE BEST COMICS OF 2014

30. Bitch Planet #1 (Image).

I was not expecting to like this comic.  I am not a rabid Kelley Sue DeConnick fan–there are many of them out there.  But this debut had depth and weight, masked as a simple prison exploitation comic.  This is the kind of thing that can turn casual lefties into full-blown feminists–it’s a political book on one level, and on the other it’s a raunchy, violent remake of Sugar Hill: Escape From Women’s Prison.

I am almost certain this book would place higher on the list but there’s only been one issue as of this writing, so this is as high as it goes.  For now.

 29.  Rasputin (Image).  

Rasputin #1

I’d never heard of writer Alex Grecian or artist Riley Rossmo before, but they won me over with this odd, supernatural take on a Russian legend.  The first issue was largely wordless, but managed to convey so many things with just a movement or story beat.  And the art was tremendous.  A great launch for what appears to be a highly experimental book.

28.  Hip Hop Family Tree (Fantagraphics)

It’s a freakin’ encyclopedia of awesome, if you’re a hip hop nerd.

Last Year: This is a new book, so it didn’t make the 2013 list.

27.  Beautiful Darkness (Drawn and Quarterly).

Fabien Vehlmann and Kerascoët created a magical book that on the surface looks like its for children, but the themes are terrifying.  Yes, there are fairies, but they pop out of a dead girl’s body into a dying world.  It’s like a fairy tale, but it’s designed for the kids of today who are older and much more savvy and cynical.  Also, it’s oversized and absolutely beautiful to look at.  Last Year: This is a one shot, so it didn’t place on my 2013 “best of” list.

26.  Genesis (Image)

There were two great comics about the afterlife this year.  One appears later on this list, and the other was this one.  Genesis was a one-shot by Nathan Edmondson and Alison Sampson, with Jason Wordie doing some of the best coloring I saw this year, about a guy who dies and is reborn with infinite power—the power of God, essentially—and becomes so consumed with it that he forgets what gave his life meaning in the first place.

25.  Secret Avengers (Marvel).  

Lots of people loved this book from the start, but for me it was a grower not a show-er.  It took me time to warm up to Michael Walsh’s rather unique artistic style, for one thing.  But for another, there are so many tepid Avengers books out there right now that I wasn’t going to easily embrace this one.  But I was warmed over by the scenes and the wild, out-there ideas.  MODOK on a beach blanket
looking at the sun go down.  A pregnant Terminator 2 style robot.  A sentient bomb that wants to taste Carmel gelato.  The hits keep coming. 
Last Year: The 2013 Secret Avengers were…Not good.

24.  The Massive (Dark Horse). 

Bryan Wood’s post-apocalyptic tale is heading for a big finale.  It was still a damn good comic this year—with the highlight being an issue about a shoot out in a desolate wasteland—but the “mystic” nature of how it is all wrapping up doesn’t fit with the rest of the book, which was generally a neorealistic tale of environmentalists in a natural disaster, not a supernatural one.  Last Year: Did not rank in top 20, but deserved an honorable mention.

23.  Outcast (Image).  

When I heard Robert “The Walking Dead” Kirkman was launching a new series about exorcism, I thought I’d pass.  I’m not interested in the topic, and other than Walking Dead I’m not all that interested in the writer.  Then I found out Paul Azaceta would be doing the art so I gave it a try.  I’m glad I did.  Rather than focus on little girls masturbating with crucifixes, Outcast is about a man who seems to be able to cast out demons, but he can’t escape being haunted by his own past.  The book has remarkable complexity, and the narrative moves along at an appropriate pace: Creepy, but not creeping.  Last Year: N/A

22.  The Names (Vertigo).  

Peter Milligan and the great Leandro Fernadez are crushing this new series, which seems to be part action movie, part spy novel, and part conspiracy theory.  It starts out with a shady death, and then quickly moves to the widow, Katya, who is one of the only strong African American female leads in any comic on the stands today.  In fact, she may be the only one.  But don’t buy it to support diversity, buy it because it’s excellent.  Last Year: N/A

We’re just getting started, hit “next” to continue the countdown!

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