1. The lead story has to be the indefinite hold put on Spider-Man 4. Various reports indicate that Sam Raimi wanted to use The Vulture as the lead villain, but Sony wanted to young it up and was foisting a Black Cat storyline on the project. You may remember that Raimi had also sought to use Vulture in SM3, but Marvel’s Avi Arad convinced him to use Venom. Raimi apparently isn’t oblivious to the serious decrease in quality from SM2 to 3, and must be viewing this project as a way to redeem the franchise. Stick to your guns, Sam, we trust you. This has forced Sony to push the release date back, and Marvel’s movie house is scrambling to fill the void. Thor is now scheduled for May 6, 2011, the date previously occupied by Spidey. In response, Disney moved up the next Pirates of the Caribbean toy commercial, I mean movie, to May 20th (the date that had been occupied by the thunder God). Read that last sentence again. It’s the last time you’ll read a mention of Pirates on this ipage. (I’m not a fan of the franchise, just the first one.)  BY NOW, YOU’VE ALL HEARD THAT THE FILM IS OFF.  I’ll report on that next week.

2. In the useless information that you might be curious about, Barack Obama’s guest shot in Amazing Spider-Man was the bestselling comic of the entire decade. Too bad it wasn’t a better comic overall, but as far as celeb shots go, it was a decent one.

3. Siege has begun. All signs point to it being great–Brian Michael Bendis is teaming up with artist Olivier Coipel again—and it looks like the story will be Norman Osborn’s attempt to extend his jurisdiction beyond HAMMER and Earth, all the way to Asgard. Readers of this page know that the Thor book stayed out of Marvel continuity at the request of its brilliant author J. Michael Straczynski who later quit when he was told to be a part of Siege. Matt Fraction will be taking over the reins on Thor on or about the time of Siege, so I’m hopeful the Thor book will be able to maintain its staggeringly good level of quality. As for Siege itself, it promises to be more dynamic than the dark and sad Civil War or the all-talk/little-action House of M, and better thought-out than the slapdash Secret Invasion. So, again, I’m optimistic. My only complaint about Siege is that Spidey should take down the Green Goblin. As it was and should always be. Oh, well. However, the timing of all the various tie-ins has me confused. Can anyone tell me this:

– The Captain America one-shot that leads into Siege–It seems to take place after Captain America Reborn #6, which isn’t out yet. Should I read it?

4. In anti-Deadpool news, there are reports that Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool in the Woverine movie, and titular star of the upcoming Green Lantern flick) is being considered for the lead in a new Flash Gordon movie. Not only do we not need another FG flick, but this means that he’d be attached to three franchises. And out of those three, Deadpool is clearly the least commercial and, therefore, the most likely to fall to the axe. Especially since Warner Bros. recently hinted that the movie will begin filming in New Orleans in two months, and has a 2011 tentpole release date. Another recent GL development: Kilowog will be in the flick! Awesome. On the other hand, the writers of 2009’s amazingly brilliant film, “Zombieland,” are being paid to write a Deadpool script. So, there’s hope yet.

5. I’ve been re-reading my old Swamp Thing books so I was happy to read that Alan Moore will be returning to comics next year, and teaming up with one of the best indiebook artists out there–Jacen Burrows. The book, Neonomicon, will be some kind of Sci Fi book. Those old Swamp Things he did were recently bound, and I recommend you all go pick them up. Moore was doing things there (in 1987) that seem progressive even by today’s standards. In fact, I’ll be writing about it. Soon.

6. And just to end with what probably should have been the first story . . . At the end of this month, Apple has scheduled a roll-out of it’s version of the Kindle. The iPod changed music forever, the iPhone revolutionized telephones, and this may do the same for the print world . . . Including comics! It will be digitalized full-color, high resolution, and will have the ability to use iPhone apps. I’ve never subscribed to Marvel’s digital on-line collection because there’s no convenient way to read it. This may change all that.

7. Postscript: They have a lot of balls to charge me four bucks for the latest Blackest Night and then fill it with 10 pages of covers of other comics on sale. Fuckers. They haven’t drawn this even out long enough that they have to bleed me dry?

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