Hero of the Week: Marvel for removing its policy about gay characters only starring in adult-targeted comics.
Hero: Ed Brubaker for sharing. As much as I like Ed’s stuff (and I do; I really do), I was gonna pass on Immortal Iron Fist. I’ve never been a big fan of Danny Rand. When it comes to kung fu superheroes, I like mine Chinese and in red-and-gold pajamas. But then I read closer and learned that Matt Fraction is going to be co-writing it.
Brubaker calls Fraction “one of the more developed and unique voices coming out of the indies,” and I agree. If you don’t want to plunk two dollars down for a copy of Casanova, just read one of his interviews and you’ll get a taste. I mean, just hearing Fraction talk about what’s been wrong with recent Iron Fist comics (“the Awesome was missing”) and how he and Brubaker plan to fix it (“There’s… a lot of dudes that need to get kicked in the face”) tells you a lot. I’m on board.
Maybe they’ll even give Shang Chi an appearance or two.
Villain: The folks keeping the Adam West Batman series tied up in litigation so that we’re still waiting for a DVD collection. Will no one think of the children?
Hero: Joe Quesada for not letting Alpha Flight rest in peace. In the a recent Joe Fridays column, a fan asked Joe about the ammunition that S.H.I.E.L.D.’s been using in Civil War. “In Civil War #1,” he asks, “it was said that the capekiller teams would be armed with tranquilizers, and not real bullets. But in subsequent issues, it seems like they’ve been using live rounds (against Cap in New Avengers, and against Patriot in Civil War #2, before they knew he was bulletproof). Even in Civil War #3, after Wiccan and Cloak are tranquilized, the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent talking to Spider-Man seems to be aiming a gun with real ammunition. So my question is, what brought about the escalation from ‘tranq and retain’ to ‘shoot to kill?’”
Joe’s response is that the fan is reading into things. “‘Seems to be aiming a gun with real ammunition’?” he asks. “In Civil War #2, the order is very specifically given and followed through on in regards to Patriot: tranquilizers, and minimum force. Similarly, there’s not one word in New Avengers #21 that indicates that the shots the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are firing are actual rounds.”
Now, what does that have to do with Alpha Flight? Absolutely nothing, and that makes Joe’s next comment (“Which of course brings up the question whether or not Alpha Flight is really dead?”) all the more weird.
Of course, it’s just Joe stirring the pot and trying to make sure that fans keep talking about Alpha Flight. And you know what? I’m all for that.
Hero: Thomas Jane for learning from mistakes. In a Wizard interview, Jane clears up a thing or two about the status of Bad Planet, the comic he’s writing with Steve Niles. The first issue came out last year and was really darn good, but so far: no second issue.
Jane says that the series “had a little setback because our artist got sick. We have a great new guy now named Jim Daly who’s finishing the series with us. I’m going to reissue #1 with a new cover and a 3D poster inside. Then I’m going to resolicit the entire series in January. I think I’m going to do it biweekly so I can get all six out there. The problem with independent books is that you get one issue out and then it’s “Where’s the book?” People wait months and months, and I learned the hard way that it’s best as an independent publisher to get all the issues in the can and then solicit the book. Then it all comes out like clockwork. So that’s what I’m doing with Bad Planet.”
Villain: Marvel for not learning that same lesson.
Hero: John Byrne (?!) for a rationale perspective on the lateness of Civil War. While acknowledging that not every artist can keep a monthly schedule, Byrne reminds us that not every book needs a monthly schedule and historically, many comics haven’t had one. Byrne’s beef isn’t with creators who can’t produce on a monthly schedule, unless those creators claim that they can. He’s angry at the editors who solicit books as monthly when there’s every reason to believe that it’ll take longer than that to get them out.
Hero: Tom Brevoort for creating a fun-to-read reality game where two contestents get to see what it’s like to be an editor for Marvel comics. There’s probably some educational value there somewhere, but mostly it’s just really entertaining to watch two fans (i.e. “backseat editors”) take the wheel for a while and get picked on by other fans (i.e. “backseat backseat editors”). ‘Cause you know… we could all do that job perfectly if we were just given the chance.
Hero: The Whereof One Can Speak blog for a needed dose of perspective. Katherine has an interesting article up about whether or not the serial nature of comics is a positive or negative trait, but the best part is a quick sidebar in which she writes, “A lot of the comics-oriented punditry that focuses on the DM and how eeeeeevil it is annoys the hell out of me because it doesn’t acknowledge that other artistic media have economic models that are just as eeeeeevil, if not more so. I mean, there was a thread on the Engine about ‘getting comics into the mainstream,’ in which somebody defined ‘getting into the mainstream’ as artists being able to make a living from making comics. Uh, yeah. That thudding sound you heard? That was the novelists, poets, musicians, painters and sculptors of the world falling over laughing. Don’t get me wrong: we should have high standards for the medium, and artists should be able to make a living through their art. But let’s not delude ourselves that it’s only comics creators who can’t do this.”
Hero: The scans_daily blog for reminding us that the Joker really is a great character, and for pointing out that the fact that he’s not written particularly well recently is all Alan Moore’s fault.
Hero: Kalinara for pointing out the previous two blogs.
Hero: Piranha Studios for these.