The Weekly Roundup #3

A look at the big comic and movie news of the week.

Iann Robinsonby Iann Robinson

The Weekly Roundup #3

Hey folks, sorry I’ve been away for a bit, things get hectic in the real world. A fair amount has happened since my last report, the saddest being the passing of Dwayne McDuffie and Nicholas Courtney. McDuffie was a tremendous comic book talent who gave real depth and character development to the titles he worked on as well as his work on Justice League Unlimited. McDuffie’s last work was the adaptation of All Star Superman for DC Animated. McDuffie passed due to complications after surgery and he will be sorely missed.

Nicholas Courtney played The Brigadier on Doctor Who for years and was one of the most beloved characters on the series. His last bit of work was on the Sarah Jane Chronicles, though he kept active with conventions. To make all of us Doctor Who fans feel a little better, the new season of Doctor Who kicks off in England and America on April 23rd. Okay, let’s get on with the week’s events.

BATWOMAN #1 DELAYED AGAIN

Okay, so let’s follow the track here. Originally Batwoman took over Detective Comics, then she suddenly she was gone. Months later an announcement came that in February Batwoman would get her very own title with art by J.H. Williams III, who would also co-write the book with W. Haden Blackman. Then it got bumped again to April, with DC even going so far as to print a five-page prelude to the book. Now the book has been cancelled again and at this point no new release date has been given. I’m not a big fan of the character, never have been. The run in Detective Comics was mired with too much melodrama and the writing often tried too hard to be “different”. I don’t know if it’s script problems holding the book up or if DC is trying to not debut a new book during the whole Flashpoint run. Soon this book will rival Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark for sudden delays.

SPIDER-MAN TURN OFF THE DARK STILL SCREWED

 This play is like a married couple that refuses to believe the marriage is over. Shit keeps going wrong, things get broken, people get hurt, and still it tries to hold the whole thing together. Now the play/musical, which could go down as a worse idea in the world of comics then casting The Hoff as Nick Fury, has lost its director Julie Taymor. Broadway director Phil McKinley and playwright/comic writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa have been brought in to overhaul the show. Naturally the producers are slinging their bullshit that Julie Taymor is still part of the creative team and her vision is the backbone and blah blah blah blah.

When I was fired from MTV, the channel released a memo stating they were sad to see me go and that I was still a welcome part of the family. In reality they went to great lengths to make sure I could never work for Viacom again. So take that old “she’s still in our hearts” line with about eight tons of salt. The show has been delayed again until sometime in the summer as the book and musical numbers are given a new direction. Seriously? After sixty five millions dollars, multiple injuries and more delays than a virgin the night she promised to give it up, you’d think these idiots would Turn Off The Play and just end it. I’m sure there will be more bullshit ahead and I’ll be there to sniff through it.

AMAZING FANTASY #15 SELLS FOR 1.1 MILLION

This week a 9.6 graded copy of Amazing Fantasy #15, the first appearance of The Amazing Spider-Man, sold for 1.1 million dollars. Naturally nobody will tell us which rich bastard geek had the cash to buy a book we all covet, but it now stands as the most money ever shelled out for a Silver Age Book. It’s a pretty impressive feat since Action Comics #1, the first appearance of Superman and basically the start of the superhero genre, sold for 1.5 million. Granted the Action Comics copy was not mint but at the same time a book released in 1938 selling for a few hundred thousand less than a book published almost a quarter century later is pretty cool. Let’s also not forget that it has a cover by Jack Kirby and inside art from Steve Ditko, which alone is worth that kind of cash.

 

YET ANOTHER FEAR ITSELF POSTER TEASER

So Marvel slapped out another cryptic teaser about their upcoming event series Fear Itself. This one shows Iron Man, Thor and Steve Rogers and it says “Iron Breaks, Soldiers Fall, Gods Die”. Twenty years ago, when everything wasn’t tied into f******g marketing and films, I would have been over-the-moon excited by this teaser because I might have believed it meant something. These days I can call bullshit without a second glance. I really don’t think with the Thor and Captain America movies coming out this summer that Marvel is going to kill off either character. I’m also pretty sure Thor has a new book launching, so that really means the “Gods Die” thing doesn’t apply to him. Iron Man might get f*****d up because he doesn’t matter until next summer when the Avengers movie hits theaters. I know I’ll read Fear Itself because I’m a comic junkie, but this teaser doesn’t really amount to much.

THUNDERBOLTS #158

The one aspect of Fear Itself I am interested in is how the Thunderbolts work into it. Marvel released a short plot synopsis for the Thunderbolts kicking off with #158 and it sounds pretty solid. “As the Serpent’s deadly Worthy run rampant throughout the Marvel Universe obliterating everything in their path, the fury of Fear Itself strikes the Thunderbolts! In Thunderbolts #158, from the acclaimed creative team of Jeff Parker and Kev Walker, panic strikes the superhuman prison facility – known as The Raft – when one of the mysterious Worthy shows up to reduce the Thunderbolts’ headquarters to rubble. The team must act fast and fight faster if they plan on making it out of Fear Itself alive!” Bases on the teaser I’m assuming the Juggernaut is the one to go postal, which is awesome because I love the Juggernaut. I’m also amped because Jeff Parker is writing this one and he’s been doing great work on Hulk.

 

DC ANNOUNCE CREATIVE TEAMS FOR FLASHPOINT TIE IN’S

A 15-title tie in is a big f*****g ask from DC. They can “draw the line at 2.99” all they want but that’s still forty five bucks for a batch of titles that most people probably don’t read. In order to secure the cash flow DC has decided to slap out some bold creative teams to keep things interesting. Here’s the breakdown:

FLASHPOINT: KNIGHT OF VENGENCE
Writer: Brian Azzarello
Art: Eduardo Risso
Vote: Amped on this one. Though I’m not a big fan of 100 Bullets, I do love Brian Azzarello’s work. He gave a great street level view to the Joker and Eduardo Risso’s art can be really exciting. This is a will buy

DEADMAN AND THE FLYING GRAYSONS
Writer: JT Krul
Artist: Mikel Janin
VOTE: Don’t really care about this title at all and the creative team doesn’t inspire me to buy it.

HAL JORDAN
Writer: Adam Schlagelman
Artist: Ben Oliver
VOTE: I’m amped on this one simply because I’m a Green Lantern guy. I like Schlagelman’s writing enough to sign up for this one, though Ben Olvier’s work is less familiar to me.

EMPEROR AQUAMAN
Writer: Tony Bedard
Artist: Adrian Syaf & Vincent Cifuentes
VOTE: I like Tony Bedard’s writing a lot and Adrian Syaf and Vincent Cifuentes are no slouches either. My only problem is that the teaser makes Aquaman look like a UFC fighter. I’ll buy this one because I’m a sucker for Aquaman.

WORLD OF FLASHPOINT
Writer: Rex Ogle
Artist: Paulo Siquiera
VOTE: I’m not an expert on either member of the creative team so I’m on the fence with this one. The teaser cover, with Aquaman embroiled in battle was cool, but there are other titles I’d rather buy. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

DEATHSTROKE AND THE CURE OF THE RAVAGER
Writer: Jim Palmiotti
Artist: Joe Bennett & John Dell
VOTE: Won’t buy, don’t care, and hate Deathstroke. Jack Kirby could draw this comic and I’d still walk away. Deathstroke is one of the most boring characters in the DC Universe so why waste the money?

CITIZIN COLD
Writer & Artist: Scott Kolins
VOTE: Oh yeah, I’ll buy this. I dig Scott Kolins and I love Captain Cold. It’s pretty much a win-win here.

LEGION OF DOOM
Writer: Adam Glass
Art: Rodney Buchemi & Jose Marzan
VOTE: I’ll buy this one, it’s the Legion Of Doom and seeing how twisted their reality becomes in Flashpoint could be a good time. Besides, anything Lex Luthor is involved with is a winner for me.

FRANKENSTEIN & THE CREATURES OF THE UNKNOWN
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Ibraim Roberson
VOTE: Love the artist, love the writer and its fucking Frankenstein & The Creatures Of The Unknown, sign me UP!!

So far The Outsider, Abin Sur The Green Lantern, Project: Superman,
Secret Seven, Lois Lane and The Resistance, Wonder Woman and The Furies and Kid Flash Lost have no creative team attached to them.

DAN JURGENS RETURNS TO BOOSTER GOLD

Not that I don’t think Flashpoint is, much like Fear Itself, another shill to take money from an addict like myself, but the whole focus on Booster Gold interests me. With the announcement that Booster Gold creator Dan Jurgens is coming back, I’m even more excited. Booster Gold has been everything from a hero to a jerk to a savior to more-or-less a sponsored whore. With the cryptic end of the Time Masters: Vanishing Point series, and this bold return of Jurgens, where and how Booster Gold ties into Flashpoint is one of the key things that may grip readers into it.

 

FEAR ITSELF GOES DIGITAL

Yeah, I know, more Fear Itself, it’s annoying and I’m sorry. Anyhoo, Marvel gave the world an idea of what Fear Itself will center on as they announced a string of free Fear Itself digital comics. Don’t get all excited those, these digital comics basically amount to a free clip show. Confused? Let old Iann explain it to you. Apparently Fear Itself revolves around a select number of villains who are chosen to be “worthy” and empowered by the God Of Fear. So far there are no set numbers on the villains involved but based on the teaser it’ll for sure be Absorbing Man, Grey Gargoyle and Sin, Daughter Of The Red Skull.

These “free” digital comics are basically looking into the past of each character involved, showing their past exploits and what makes them super villains. See what I mean? It’s a fucking clip show. I hate the whole idea of digital comics but I love free, so I’ll probably check them out. I was also intrigued to learn that the God Of Fear will corrupt certain heroes, which I’m guessing is why the first teasers showed Hulk surrounded by fallen heroes.


CARY ELWES JOINS WONDER WOMAN TV SHOW

This was a bit of good news as I’m a big Cary Elwes fan. I even sat through the bullshit Saw film because he was in it, so him joining Wonder Woman is a plus for me. Elwes will play Henry Detmer, the CEO of Themyscira Industries and a right hand man to Wonder Woman. The idea of Themyscira as an industry is a bit unsettling though, so let’s hope this doesn’t fuck everything up the way the Birds Of Prey show did.

THE PULL LIST: WHAT I’ll BE PICKING UP THIS WEEK

  • BATMAN #708
  • BRIGHTEST DAY #22
  • DC UNIVERSE LEGACIES 10
  • ARTIFACTS #6
  • AMAZNG SPIDER-MAN #656
  • HULK #30.1

Not a huge comic book week, but some wicked solid titles out there. Until next time—

The Thin Line Between Entertainment And War,

Iann