Before we start properly, I’d like to take a moment to address the people who’re taking Brian Michael Bendis’s comment in this week’s Joe Fridays a little too seriously. For those who don’t keep up to date with the latest Marvel attempt to confuse people, Bendis said the following:
You will get more of Clint and his new identity and whether he keeps it or not in very recent upcoming issues. Unless he dies at the hand of Hydra leader Nick Fury at the end of #31, or Ultron might make him into a Japanese school girl, or really he’s the Beyonder, or… wait, maybe Clint could be Master Chief.
Now, here’s the thing: Bendis didn’t accidentally ruin the end of NA #31. To those who think that Nick Fury might really be revealed as the leader of Hydra at the end of that issue, I point to Avengers: The Initiative #1 and say “Do you really think that Nick Fury is going to turn out to be Marvel’s Osama Bin Laden?”
No, wait. That’s not that impossible these days, is it?
Now that I have that off my chest, let’s quickly round up the rest of Marvel’s news this week, shall we? Firstly, the Silver Surfer turned out not to be the one who’s getting himself on legal tender despite the best efforts of Fox Studios and the Franklin Mint. Even though it’s a licensing problem and nothing to do with Marvel proper, it’s still something that newly-named Executive VP and CEO of Marvel Characters, Inc, Alan Fine will have to deal with. Or maybe he’s too busy hanging around with all of the indie artists who’ll be working on Marvel’s new alternative anthology, which was finally confirmed this week.
Over on the other side of the aisle, DC finds their multimedia contacts most interesting this week. Fresh off their Cartoon Network show, the Teen Titans find themselves the latest DC property to land a movie deal at Warners. If the big screen isn’t your bag, then wait until later this summer – the direct-to-DVD Superman/Doomsday animated movie had a premiere announced: Get yourselves to San Diego Comic-Con and watch the man of steel get punched so hard he dies, friends.
(Talking of dying, DC made the most of their latest kill this week – Pity poor Jack Kirby whose creations get sacrificed in the name of sales, pity poor Mike Marts who has to edit a weekly book and do weekly interviews about it, and finally, pity poor Dan Didio for having to explain how hard it is for Mike Marts to edit a weekly crossover book:
There’s a lot of coordination among all the titles with characters who are involved in Countdown, and we have a huge chart that gives month by month breakdowns of the key moments that are occurring in several books. As the different books are produced, we line them up to make sure they’re all coming out at the same point so that you can maximize the impact of a particular story beat, so you can see the repercussions not only in the main title, but also ino other series at the same time… The good part about Countdown is that we did a lot of the work in advance, so it’s easier to coordinate when you’ve got something complete, and in hand and can work other things against it, rather than trying to work two things up simultaneously.
Line up in line, Mike. That’s your warning…)
It’s not all death and movies, though. Thank Karen Berger for reminding us all that there’s a wonderful world of other media writers out there: Peter Straub, Michael Easton and Jay Cantor are all working on Vertigo OGNs at this very moment, according to announcements made at Book Expo America this weekend. Look at us all sitting up at the big kids’ table for once.
I think we got the Harvey nominations [for the original serialization of the story] a week after we signed our contract. I was like, “Oh, I want more money.” [laughs] So it was nice. I think that it might have even been before we got our Entertainment Weekly review, which was awhile back.. One of the challenges of working in comics is, how do you make something that appeals to a broad audience when the broad audience doesn’t come naturally? I think Random House saw that in the book and I think that’s what a lot of the motivation is. You can give it to people who’ve never read a comic book before. In fact, probably the number one comment we get from people is, “I didn’t know you could do that with a comic book.”
Fialkov was just one of a series of indie interviews at the mothership this week; you could also read Omaha Perez on Holmes, his revision of Arthur Conan Doyle’s original Sherlock (“The strongest criticism I’ve had has been from people who haven’t actually read the comics – people so offended by the concept they wouldn’t give it a chance. I like to think that despite my irreverent take, my love for the source material comes through.”), Fangoria Comics’ Mark Kidwell (“We’re telling horror tales here… dark stuff. This is not the PG pablum of today’s Teen-Friendly boo-scare flicks. This is more akin to the splatterpunk novels of the ‘80s and the darkly cinematic stuff of the grindhouse era… I only have about 200 other story treatments and ideas I’d love to produce under the Fango banner. If the fans dig the stuff we’re doin’ now, they’re gonna freak at what’s waiting in the wings.”), Dare Detectives’ Ben Caldwell, Altcomics king Jeffrey Brown on his robots in disguise cash-in The Incredible Change-Bots (“I’ve had the idea for a while, at first inspired by growing up with Transformers toys, comics and cartoons and then thinking it’d be a fun idea to explore. When I found out the motion picture was coming out I figured I should just go ahead and do it, because it’s the perfect time to piggyback on some of that movie hype… I sold all of my Transformers toys when I went off to college…needed beer money.”) as well as Lions, Tigers and Bears’ Mike Bullock, explaining what’s so awesome about writing the Phantom.
I know, I know; you don’t like the indie books. That’s why the main site also had Spawn artist and Editor-in-Chief Brian Haberlin, Joe Casey talking about the Godland Celestial Edition oversized hardcover, writing wunderkind Marc Guggenheim talking about his many projects for Marvel, DC and television and Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson explaining why it’s fun to put the boot into superheroes:
Part of it’s what Alan Moore described as the fun in beating up on concepts too old and feeble to defend themselves. Part of it’s the nasty shit that suggests itself about the characters naturally. Sometime next year you’ll meet the G-Men, several teams’ worth of mutant characters under the tutelage of their benevolent foster father. You’ll see what I mean then.
All of which, of course, pales in comparison with a headline that may have been the greatest thing I read this week: COLISEUM OF COMICS ACQUIRES TAMPA’S GOBLIN SHOPPE. Somehow, everything I admire and am amused by in comics is contained within that simple sentence. If it had somehow worked in the word “snikt” or “bamf,” then it really would have been perfect…