That's That Shit 06/20/13: Super makin' outsA comics news article
Last Week's News, This Week's Comics for 06/20/13
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.
BUT FIRST SOME MUSIC
NOW WE’RE ON AGAIN NOW WE’RE OFF AGAIN
Marvel Cancels Morbius, Gambit, X-Factor and Journey Into Mystery
Well, that sucks
Nick Hanover: After a deceptively cheerful week last week, Marvel kicked off this week’s worth of news with a whole slew of cancellations. At the forefront was Peter David’s X-Factor, which we already knew was ending because David had stated in April that his plan was to conclude with issue #262, the finale of the “End of X-Factor” arc. As David points out, X-Factor enjoyed “solid but not huge” sales and the writer just felt like it was a good time to wrap the series up. Morbius, on the other hand, is more surprising, as Joe Keatinge’s series had received plenty of critical accolades, even if its sales numbers still had a ways to go, with May’s data indicating it sold a little over 15,000 units. Similarly lukewarm in the sales department was James Asmus and Clay Mann’s Gambit, which performed slightly better than Morbius at 18,000 or so. These series may not have survived the year, but I’m sure we’ll see more great stuff from Keatinge, Asmus and Mann soon.
But perhaps the worst news is that Journey Into Mystery will end with issue 655, something that was confirmed by writer Kathryn Immonen on her tumblr. As that post points out, the deck was stacked against Immonen when she took over from Kieron Gillen, and it looks like poor sales are once again the reason for the cancellation.
Danny: This is the state of comics in 2013 -- a series gets cancelled seemingly the moment it gets pitched and readers who complain about the same old crap don’t support that new shit. Journey into Mystery under Kathryn Immonen and Valerio Schitti was just as good as it was under Gillen (and the art was more consistent) and I was really enjoying seeing how Joe Keatinge’s first mainstream ongoing was turning out. What I’m saying is that I’m better and more open-minded than the readers who didn’t pick-up Journey or Morbius.
Andrew: Actually I was recently lamenting with a friend about how video game IPs can basically get stuck in purgatory because a developer gets bought up by a rival developer or the publisher just kind of gets stuck in a limbo where the games never get made. Does Marvel canceling Journey mean that the series basically will never get a second life?
Nick: Technically, Journey was kind of already on its third or fourth life, depending on how you look at it. But this is why Marvel’s graphic novels initiative could be hugely beneficial for works like this, as the pressure of maintaining single issue sales that are consistently over 30,000 units each month would be gone and more risk taking would be possible.
Danny: I mean, all these characters are part of the same universe owned by one company, so the characters in a cancelled comic may likely show up somewhere else. Since Journey follows Thor characters, they’ll definitely resurface.
Battle for Ghost Rider Rights Begins Again After Appeals Court Hearing
Nick: An appeals court has sent the Gary Friedrich vs. Marvel lawsuit over the Ghost Rider copyright back to trial, which is great news for Friedrich since that previous ruling would have forced him to pay Marvel close to $20,000 for his use of the character at conventions. One of the key components of the appeals court decision is the court’s opinion that Marvel’s original contract with Friedrich is “vague” and “ungrammatical” and that the company’s argument that the statute of limitations had expired was not correct. There’s still a chance this could go in Marvel’s favor, particularly since Friedrich’s ownership of the character is equally in question due to the existence of a prior Ghost Rider at Marvel (he had a horse instead of a motorcycle and looked like a Klansman, but whatevs), but it’s also likely that the parties will settle due to the poor record keeping Marvel kept in the era in question and the bad publicity that could follow.
Danny: I love that cowboy Ghost Rider. I think they call him “Phantom Rider” now? I think Sam Whatshisname plays him in the movie? The dude with the mustache? Ghost Rider’s cool. I’m not really the one to talk about legal battles.
Andrew: [Nicolas Cage] + [Underperforming Ghost Rider movie] = [Standard joke to insert here]
Tom Taylor Will Now Take Over Earth-2
Will presumably be forced to add in more situations involving wives getting punched into space
Nick: Everyone’s favorite writer of fighting games instigated by dual wife murder and infanticide, Tom Taylor, is all set to take on the full writing duties of Earth-2 now that James Robinson has departed. The Injustice scribe of course also wrote The Deep, which is reportedly getting developed for a tv show, and he has penned some Star Wars comics over at Dark Horse. This is arguably his highest profile gig since Injustice, though, and it will be interesting to see how the book works out for him with Robinson’s departure looming over it.
Danny: Creatively, it’s not a bad choice -- Earth 2 is a comic about an alternate DC Comics universe, and so is Injustice, pretty much.
Andrew: I, I just don’t understand why we need to explain the concept behind Injustice. Like does “It’s Super Smash Bros. in the DC sandbox” not suffice for people?
Nick: I can’t handle Batman and Superman fighting unless it’s for a reason, dude! Without a reason it’s basically just two parents quarreling and then I’ll have to go cry myself to sleep while hiding cookies under my pillow so I can eat my sorrows away.
Andrew: These cookies?
Charles Soule and Tony Daniel Bring Superman & Wonder Woman Together
All super makin’ outs, all the super time
Nick: DC will launch a new Superman & Wonder Woman series in October, presumably because a Batman & Superman title where they occasionally experiment with one another in the Batcave’s super HD mancave porn theatre wouldn’t fly off the shelves as quickly. 27 and Swamp Thing writer Charles Soule has the unenviable task of writing the comic and receiving oodles of letters from fanboys wanting to know if Larry Niven’s hypothesis that Wonder Woman is the only female that can handle Superman’s sperm is true. Even better, DC’s favorite Jim Lee substitute Tony Daniel will be handling the art duties, so you know this thing is just going to be a beautiful rendition of two capes in love, full of subtlety and grace and random removals of one’s own face.
If only there was some way to make me care about this.
Danny: It’s a no-brainer idea, just like Batman & Superman. It’s cool that an indie guy like Charles Soule is doing this one. I’ll check the first out, but I’m an idiot. Team-up books are generally fun, and hopefully DC takes a more enjoyable approach to a superhero book where the two main characters are fuuuuuckin’. They won’t make it fun, but it’s nice to dream.
You win this round, fan ficcers
Andrew: I’m just curious as to what the hell they did to explain why Lois Lane is somehow irrelevant. Is the assumption that Lois Lane is only Clark’s crush and that Supes does only want to make-out with Wonder Woman?
Nick: I don’t know how to break this to you, Andrew, but in the New 52, Lois Lane is essentially an unremarkable bit character.
Spider-Man Gains a Sibling in New Graphic Novel by Mark Waid, James Robinson & Gabriele Dell’Otto
What arachnid will she get bit by?
Nick: In an interview with USA Today, Mark Waid broke the news that he and James Robinson are penning a Spider-Man graphic novel called Family Business, with painted art from Gabriele Dell’Otto. The graphic novel, which is part of a new initiative by Marvel to launch original stories that forgo the single issue format, introduces Peter Parker’s long lost sister while revealing other new details about Peter’s parents’ past. While it makes perfect sense to go straight to trade, I’m a little concerned that the opening salvo on this venture is a story that seems like it could easily have fit in pre-Superior Spider-Man rather than being a true standalone. Hopefully we’ll see more creative ventures soon.
Danny: Smart to lead their OGN initiative with an Avengers book and a Spider-Man book. It’d be in their best interest to expand what they do with this program but we’ll see.
Andrew: Considering the vast majority of comics I engage in are in the trade format, do you guys think there’s anything that gets lost when it’s not in floppy format?
Nick: It depends on the series. A work like the new Hawkeye series, for instance, is written specifically for the single issue format and functions extremely well in that format. Same with Waid’s Daredevil. But whatever Bendis is writing these days honestly works much better in trade, where his “NOTHING HAPPENS FOR THREE MONTHS WORTH OF ISSUES!” schtick is a little less frustrating.
Friend of Comics Bulletin and all around badass Rachel Deering posted a free 12 page horror comic called Famine’s Shadow and it’s great. Here’s a sample page:
THAT NEW REAL NEWNESS
X-Files Season 10 #1
(Joe Harris, Michael Walsh, Jordie Bellaire; IDW)
Danny: Blame Joss Whedon -- like Buffy Season Whatever the classic sci-fi detective show gets new life as an ongoing comic from that guy who did the spontaneous combustion comic and the art team behind that time travel crime comic. I haven’t read any of Harris’ stuff, but I know this comic is gonna look tiiiiiiiight. The other day I found out The Walking Dead’s Charlie Adlard drew some X-Files comics for Topps back in the day. Those looked pretty good.
Nick: Seriously? You still haven’t read Spontaneous? I not only started reading Adventure Time, I also reviewed it for you and you can’t read Spontaneous, Djeljosevic? WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO?! But yes, that Topps series was the shit.
Andrew: I was going to suggest that another Sci-Fi series get a second life in comics, and then I realized WE’VE MINED THEM ALL OUT.
Danny: All they need to do is The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. and Firefly Season 2 [they kind of already have, Danny- NH] and every nerd on Earth will burst into flames and human progress can resume.
Andrew: I’d love it if Mitch Hurwitz announced the next iteration of Arrested Development would come in the form of a Building Stories style comic.
Danny: They should make Dilbert-style Mad Men strips.
Age of Ultron #10
(Brian Michael Bendis, Brandon Peterson, Carlos Pacheco probably, Neil Gaiman I think?; Marvel)
Danny: Marvel’s big non-X-Men event of the year ends with this tenth issue, which is supposed to debut Neil Gaiman’s legally acquired Angela character that he created for Spawn, unless Marvel was fucking with us and that was just a big joke. Either way, this thing got kind of wack when Bryan Hitch stopped drawing it.
Andrew: Man Danny, your problem is that you only see the wackness. I see the dopeness.
Nick: I can’t believe we’re recommending Age of Ultron. The only wackness I see is this choice.
Danny: Wait, I was supposed to recommend stuff? I thought I was just talking about notable releases? If I was going to recommend stuff I would just tell people to read my comics.
Extinction Parade #1
(Max B, Raolo Caceres; Avatar)
Danny: The only comic book written from prison, Avatar’s latest new ultraviolent series has the rapper behind such hits as “Blow Me a Dub” writing something with a really awesome title that’s probably about zombies or something, but I’m sure it’s going to be verrrrry wavy. Hold up, it’s by Mel Brooks’ son? Is that the joke?
Andrew: I think the joke is something about World War Z: The Movie.
Nick: I think you mean World War Zzzzzzzzz, Andrew. Because sleep.
Andrew: AW, SHIT. YOUR MOVE PITT (stain).