That's That Shit: Week of 10/3/2012: Multiversity, Mark Millar, and ABC's SHIELD

A comics news article

That's That Shit

Last Week's News, This Week's Comics for 9/26/2012


Hi. That's That Shit is exactly what it says above -- we talk in-depth about everything that happened in the comics world last week, and then look forward to some notable releases slated for this coming Wednesday.

Your panel of judges are Comics Bulletin Managing Editors Danny Djeljosevic and Nick Hanover, who pretty much have paper and ink in their blood, and CB Columns Editor Andrew Tan, who got his start in comics late in life through Adrian Tomine and is slowly dipping his toes into the broader aspects of the medium. So we deliver the news, Andrew asks the questions and hopefully everyone learns something.

(except this week when Nick Hanover couldn't make it but otherwise...)

Bang on.









Comics Bulletin deflects with jokes out of fear



Danny: Recently, Stan Lee had to cancel a bunch of convention appearances due to an emergency. Which is pretty worrying, as Stan Lee is nearly 80 years old. And, it turns out, we were right to be worried, as Stan Lee's POW! Entertainment revealed that Lee had a pacemaker put in his chest: 


Attention, Troops!

This is a dispatch sent from your beloved Generalissimo, directly from the center of Hollywood’s combat zone!

Now hear this! Your leader hath not deserted thee! In an effort to be more like my fellow Avenger, Tony Stark, I have had an electronic pace-maker placed near my heart to insure that I’ll be able to lead thee for another 90 years. 

 But fear thee not, my valiant warriors. I am in constant touch with our commanders in the field and victory shall soon be ours. Now I must end this dispatch and join my troops, for an army without a leader is like a day without a cameo!



Andrew: Do you think when he returns to Marvel they'll have Yeezy's "Heartless" cued up? Also, let's make morbid bets on how his next movie cameo will integrate this. I'm willing to bet it's him running behind Iron Man and yelling "I can't make your pace Tony!"

Danny: To be honest, I don't think Stan will be doing any running anytime soon.

Andrew: Hahaha but seriously Stan, get better! Also, karma, please don't fuck up my shit.



And he's got the Frank Quitely pages to prove it



Danny: We all know about Grant Morrison's epic DC superhero project Multiversity. He talked to CBR about it a few years ago, but this past weekend the writer, at his very own MorrisonCon (which sounds like it was completely insane), announced that Multiversity will finally happen in late 2013. He even had some art to show off from Pax Americana, the Frank Quitely-illustrated Watchmen-inspired chapter that uses the original Charlton superheroes that inspired Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' characters.

I'm so fucking stoked for this thing you have no idea.

Andrew: I remember the first time I saw the preview for MorrisonCon it referred to Morrison/Quitely to be considered the Lennon/McCartney of comics and that kind of turned me off to him. But man All Star Superman and Batman & Robin are just about the best foray into mainstream comics I can imagine. Consider me jazzed.

I find it interesting they are showing off art this early though, how common is that? Is Quitely at that level of rockstar status that it could look entirely different and no one would say a word?

Danny: It's not uncommon. I suppose it's kind of like showing a still from a movie while it's still in production -- something to whet the appetite and start building hype. And if it looks different, then in Quitely's case it's probably for the better.



At least, 20th Century Fox hopes so



Danny: The Hollywood Reporter, um, reports that 20th Century Fox has hired Kick-Ass creator Mark Millar as a creative consultant on those superhero movies they refuse to give back to Marvel Studios, namely Fantastic Four and X-Men. They already gave Daredevil back to Marvel.

At the moment Fox has a Wolverine sequel coming out directed by James Mangold, a sequel to X-Men First Class called Days of Future Past from Matthew Vaughn and a Fantastic Four film by Josh Trank. Dunno how much say Millar is going to have on The Wolverine since it's already in production -- or, for that matter, how much influence he's going to have over these properties at all.

Andrew:  I know creative consultant can have a pretty wide range of power, especially when Dan Harmon dismissed the power he would have as an "executive consulting something or other." What do you think this says about comics penetrating the mainstream? Does the fact that they reached out to Millar indicate that comics are ready to have a Mad Men-style hour long drama? Also, while we're on that note, can we have Darwyn Cooke do a Mad Men comic book where Don Draper is reimagined as a curtain salesman?

Danny: For one thing, I think it says that, in the face of The Avengers, Fox is finally willing to step up their game with their Marvel properties, which they've mostly treated like garbage since the first X-Men movie. Which isn't to say that Millar's going to level the playing field, but hiring a tested talent -- in other words, a guy who's had several movies made from his material -- and who knows the material to have a hand in their creation certainly bodes well for their intentions, even though it's a divisive figure like Millar.

And I don't know if comics warrant a Mad Men-style drama, but I'd sure like to see somebody try. Maybe it would have to be an complete fiction/alternate history where fictionalize the Stan Lee '60s Marvel era and have the superhero movie boom occur 40 years earlier.

...what am I doing here?



Look at that.



Danny: So, Wonder Woman is on the cover of Ms. once again, and it's amazing because Michael Allred drew it.  It's funny, with this and the MAC Wonder Woman line Allred is now, I guess, the designated non-comics Wonder Woman artist, and thank fuck for that.

Andrew: That is a wonderful cover. How often has Wonder Woman been used to illustrate women's issues?



Danny: Well, Ms. used her on the cover of its first issue in 1972, and for a couple anniversary issues. And, weird fetish stuff aside, Wonder Woman creator William Moulton Marston did envision her as a symbol of female empowerment and liberation. But to get into the nitty gritty of all that is problematic, because, no matter how awesome she is, DC Comics won't let her wear pants.



And they're not who you think



Danny: We're all wondering what Joss Whedon's S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show will be like. Badass Digest is reporting that some casting breakdowns for the series are out, describing five characters that will be in the series:


SKYE: This late-20s woman sounds like a dream: fun, smart, caring and confident – with an ability to get the upper hand by using her wit and charm.

AGENT GRANT WARD: Quite the physical specimen and “cool under fire,” he sometimes botches interpersonal relations. He’s a quiet one with a bit of a temper, but he’s the kind of guy that grows on you.

AGENT ALTHEA RICE: Also known as “The Calvary,” this hard-core soldier has crazy  skills when it comes to weapons and being a pilot. But her experiences have left her very quiet and a little damaged.

AGENT LEO FITZ and AGENT JEMMA SIMMONS: These two came through training together and still choose to spend most of their time in each other’s company. Their sibling-like relationship is reinforced by their shared nerd tendencies – she deals with biology and chemistry, he’s a whiz at the technical side of weaponry.


Andrew: Oh man, I can't wait to be inconsolable after Grant Ward dies because a Whedon character that grows on you may as well be drinking hemlock every day.

Danny: It's funny, I bet a lot of readers are going to be a bit baffled to see a bunch of character names they don't recognize. I do seriously wonder how many Marvel Universe ties the show will have. I know it's tempting to save Spider-Woman and Falcon for movies, but it'd be cool to take the risk and throw in a couple superhuman characters. Which they might do anyway, considering only four characters have been revealed.

Andrew: I kind of like the idea of the show experiencing these superheroes from a distance. Like news reports and rumors on them but rarely, if ever, having one on one contact, e.g. Captain Hammer. That definitely feels like it could be really awesome

Danny: You're prolly right. It's just that the idea of a Marvel Universe TV show kind of gets the brain working to consider all the possibilities.





New York Drawings

(Adrian Tomine; Drawn and Quarterly)



Andrew: Admittedly, I buy every single thing that has Adrian Tomine's name on it, but this one promises to be great just as a collection of art and for a likely self deprecating introductory comic. But, probably the best part for many casual readers of Tomine will be all the beauty of Tomine's work in full color without the crushing loneliness that usually comes with reading Optic Nerve. Plus this way you don't have to accidentally ready some boring/pretentious New Yorker article.

Danny: You hear that, New Yorker? YA BURNT


A Wrinkle in Time

(Hope Larson; Farrar, Straus and Giroux)



Danny: Hope Larson is the bee's knees and criminally underrated (go read Chiggers right now f'real). Madeleine L'Engle is pretty great. So, Larson adapting L'Engle's classic kids adventure is probably going to be amazing. And maybe I'll finally have a chance to read it, because the only installment of the Time Quartet I ever read was Many Waters.

Andrew: Oh man I haven't read A Wrinkle in Time as a novel so I'm super jazzed to read this one. Especially since I'm coming off a high from Darwyn Cooke's take on the Parker books.

Danny: Isn't it great that quality comic adaptations of novels are a thing now and not just some cheap cash grab? All it takes are creators using the medium to re-envision the source material.

Andrew: Exactly! And it says something wonderful about the medium. This is so much better than having some terrible "Novelization of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" that makes it seem like we need to have a book with only words in it for the work to be legitimate.


Doctor Who Vol. 3 #1

(Andy Diggle, Mark Buckingham; IDW)



Danny: Doctor Who has had a decent run in comics -- better than many properties that have made the transition into sequential graphic storytelling. I think it's because on TV Doctor Who generally consists of highly imaginative standalone adventures and short-form comics is an equally good place for that kind of thing. Plus, the comics have had such talents grace their pages Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, Grant Morrison, Paul Grist and Comics Bulletin's very own Tony Lee working on them.

Now we've got veteran Who artist Mark Buckingham joining newcomer Andy Diggle on a new series to coincide with the new season of the BBC TV series. Lovely! And a few issues down the line we're promised an arc by Witch Doctor writer Brandon Seifert and (amazing) artist Philip Bond, which is pretty exciting too.

Andrew: I'm a recent Who convert thanks to you Danny and you made the great point of looking out for writers. That's what really attracts me to Steven Moffat's Doctor is the constant challenging of the character, which always gives the show a particular comic book feel to me. There are great stories and adventures, but usually the strongest ones are the ones that push the character to his/her limits. Ahem. "The Doctor's Wife."


Avengers vs. X-Men #12 (of 12)

(Ed Brubaker, Olivier Coipel, Adam Kubert; Marvel)



Danny: It's the last issue of Marvel's major summer event, the result of which will pave the way for the next several months of comics in the form of the publisher's Marvel NOW! relaunch. Chris Kiser, Shawn Hill and Jamil Scalese will have a review of it on Sunday, so look for that.

Andrew: I really hope this ends with an Avenger saying in his/her last breath, "We. Will. Be. Avenged."

I have no idea what's going on in this comic.

Danny: Me neither. I'm gonna read the whole thing now that it's complete, and I imagine I'll find it pretty enjoyable. These things generally read better in huge chunks anyway.


Daredevil End of Days #1 (of 8)

Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev, David Mack, Klaus Janson, Bill Sienkiewicz; Marvel)



Danny: Brian Michael Bendis made us all love him back when he wrote Daredevil as a crime comic that followed Matt Murdock's downward spiral in the Frank Miller tradition. Now he's back with some of his previous Daredevil collaborators (and others) for a look at how the character's story ends. Seems like this was supposed to be part of Marvel's "The End" series that envisioned the potential ends of their characters' stories, but since it's coming out so late they just released it under a different title. I'm hoping this is the kind of book you read right after Bendis' initial DD run as a capstone on the story, if you're into finality.

And, if you're some asshole who was hoping DD would return to grittiness instead of Mark Waid and Co.'s transcendent Daredevil run, this should placate you for eight months.

Andrew: I was going to make an insensitive joke about Daredevil's blindness but instead I'll just hope this works out well and that I can read it without constantly waiting for Kevin Smith's cameo.

Danny: Any comic without Kevin Smith is a comic I want to read.



Danny Djeljosevic is a comic book creator, award-winning filmmaker (assuming you have absolutely no follow-up questions) and Co-Managing Editor of Comics Bulletin. Follow him on Twitter at @djeljosevic or find him somewhere in San Diego, often wearing a hat. Read his comic with Mike Prezzato, "Sgt. Death and his Metachromatic Men," over at Champion City Comics and check out his other comics at his Tumblr, Sequential Fuckery. His webcomic The Ghost Engine, with artist Eric Zawadzki, updates twice a week. 



Andrew Tan spends his days working on a bunch of different stuff he can't really explain here. Before that, he majored in Journalism at the University of Florida, where he worked for a few newspapers. He loves comics (obviously), sad music, duck confit and San Francisco. He also has a sentence published in McSweeney's that he is proud of. He was also mocked in Gawker for said sentence, which brings him roughly the same level of pride.

Andrew is one of the many people on the internet vying for the moniker of Tandrew. Some are him, some are not. You can find him on Twitter at @TandrewTan.

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