1. Gore! Gore! Gore!: Over the past couple of years’ worth of DC and Marvel comics, we’ve been treated to delightful scenes like Red Lanterns puking up gallons of blood; Ultimate Blob chowing down on Ultimate Wasp’s Ultimate entrails; a squad of rookie Green Lanterns being showered with hundreds of their dead family members’ detached eyeballs; Black Adam ripping Terra Man apart at the waist; Red Tornado’s arm ripped off by Solomon Grundy; and Wendy and Marvin of the Wonder Twins getting eaten by Wonder Dog, all in varying degrees of graphic detail. And that’s not counting all the limbs that have been ripped off in Geoff Johns comics. I have no problems reading stuff like that in The Boys or the Punisher’s Max series, because those are books and others like them are marketed to adult audiences. But titles like Green Lantern Corps and Teen Titans are ostensibly meant to appeal to readers of all ages. Are these the sort of scenes that should be featured those books? That’s certainly a debatable point, and I’m sure there are numbers of you that would have no problem with that sort of scene. But when I buy a copy of Amazing Spider-Man, I don’t want to get surprised by a panel wherein Venom eats Aunt May’s face; I’d much rather know that I’m laying down $3 for ten minutes worth of fun escapism. Here’s hoping Marvel and DC scale back the violence a little bit in aught-nine.
2. Steve Rogers returning as Captain America: I’ve been a fan of Captain America ever since the early days of Mark Gruenwald’s highly underrated run, and I’ve followed the Sentinel of Liberty’s various volumes ever since. So it’s safe to say that Steve Rogers is one of my all-time favorite comic book characters. I’ve got to be honest with you though, I’m digging the work Ed Brubaker has done with Bucky as Captain America so much that I hope Steve Rogers stays dead and buried for good. Bucky simply makes for a more interesting Captain America than Steve Rogers did. Rogers was the paragon of virtue in the Marvel Universe, and the one hero that everyone else aspired to be. He was a great character, and I’m not trying to imply that he wasn’t an interesting character. But between his conflicting past as the Winter Soldier and his attempts to reconcile it with his role as Captain America; his doubts about his ability to live up to Rogers’s legacy; and his need to integrate himself into the Avengers and the rest of the Marvel U, there’s a wealth of unexplored stories to be told that obviously can’t be told with rogers wearing the stars and stripes. It’s inevitable that Steve Rogers will be brought back to life eventually, since even Bucky couldn’t stay dead forever. I just hope Marvel holds off on his return for a while so the new Captain America can have his time in the spotlight. (I still think the new costume is ugly as sin, though.)
3. Barry Allen replacing Wally West as the primary Flash: I want to make this clear right out of the gate: I have absolutely nothing against Barry Allen. I haven’t read nearly enough stories starring the character to have an informed opinion about him. However, I have read plenty of stories featuring Wally West, and I think he’s a great Flash. Since he’s taken over the mantle of the Flash after Allen’s death in Crisis on Infinite Earths, he’s taken the Flash legacy to greater heights than his predecessor did. He’s built upon the legacy by mentoring Impulse, Jesse Quick, and his own children, and he’s made the Flash one of the most powerful speedsters around by tapping into the Speed Force. If DC is dead set on bringing Allen back, why not create a new role for him in the ranks of DC’s pantheon, so that he can create a new legacy and leave the Flash to Wally West, who has more than earned it? Besides, between West and Jay Garrick, how many more Flashes doing running around DC?
4. $4 monthly comics: Has anyone from Marvel or DC come out and publicly addressed this issue yet? I’d be curious to find out what the official reasoning behind the $1 price increase, especially Joe Quesada, since it seems as if Marvel is going to pull the trigger first. There are a handful of titles I’d be willing to pay $4 a month to read, like Captain America, Incredible Hercules, and All-Star Batman and Robin. (Yes, I love ASB&R. So what?) But those are books that I know will be worth the money. Forget about selling me on new titles, though. In the current economic landscape, I simply can’t afford to throw away $4 trying out a new book I’m not sure I would even like. (Topic of discussion: Would lowering the production values of monthly comics be enough to keep cover prices down? Would you still buy floppies if the publishers went back to using cheaper paper?)
5. A squidless Watchmen: Come on Zach Snyder, put the giant squid back in Watchmen. It’s a comic book movie; I think audiences will be more than willing to suspend their disbelief enough to buy into a giant squid devastating Times Square.