The Roundtable

NOTE: The individual opinions of each Roundtable contributor is their own, and is not representative of anybody but that contributor.

Marvel revises plan to ship fifty percent of Ultimates v.2 #1 with black and white interiors following pressure from retailers

John Babos (Co-writer of Near Mint Memories): I’m glad that Marvel is listening to retailers. While DC does the 50/50 cover gimmick cover, the book is the same with different covers. Both books are usually equally as collectible as its not 10 to 1 ratio or whatever.

The sketch book (not just cover, but the whole book) should actually be priced less than the “regular” book since its just pencils). If Marvel’s “Director’s Cuts” cost more than the regular edition, this sketch book even at a 10 to 1 ratio should be priced less since readers are actually getting less.

Also, the fact that Marvel didn’t a) have a presentation at the recent Retailer Summit, b) didn’t sponsor it like companies like DC, IDW and many, many others, c) had a small no-nothing booth at the retailer day, and d) no give-aways at the summit…really shows how Marvel feels about retailers.

James Hatton (Writer of Diner Talk & Nexus reviewer): Thanks Gods. This was such a horrible idea from the get go, and it would do nothing but pump those numbers up for Ultimates, as retailers would have been buying MORE to fulfill that color-ish quota. How devastatingly stupid the idea-guy on this one must feel. I would.

Anyway, I’m not a fan of “CHASE VARIANTS” or any of that kind of thing unless it’s offered wholecloth without some gimmick attached to it like 1 in 10 or anything else. So thankfully they’re changing their original tune, but now they’re playing an entirely different bad tune. Ah well, the speculator market buys more comics than me, I guess.

Roy Thomas & Dick Giordano return to Marvel to complete Stoke’s Dracula, a story they began 30 years ago

John Babos: Hey, I’m just glad I can see more of Thomas and Giordano’s work. They are two (under-appreciated) legends IMHO.

RUMOR: Marvel to reprint MarvelMan/MiracleMan (courtesy of Lying In The Gutters & All The Rage)

Mike Maillaro (Nexus contributor): I didn’t even know Marvel had the rights to this. I wonder if this brings some truth to the rumor about MM being in the new Avengers series.

Ben Morse (Co-Editor-In-Chief of The Nexus & writer of The Watchtower): I don’t believe they do have the rights, I believe Neil Gaiman does and he’s playing ball with Marvel at the moment (honestly, I understand little of the whole mess). I don’t think MM is going to have anything to do with the New Avengers; I think Marvel would be wiser than to toss one of the classic controversial characters of our time into a regular book; it would be like Rorshach and Dr. Manhattan joining the JLA.

James Hatton: As I said in Ultimate Marvel News & Views, this proves that Neil Gaiman has been playing his cards for the last couple of years – and Marvels & Miracles LLC is doing what it wanted to all along, and that’s make sure fans – no matter where the money goes – get to read good books.

RUMOR: Shaun of the Dead star Simon Pegg interested in the part of Rorshach for an upcoming Watchmen movie (credit: Lying In The Gutters)

James Hatton: Holy crap he looks perfect! The man screams “Hrm…”

So wait a minute, get out your scorecards – based on this addition we have:
I’m still sold on the movie”¦someone please give me something to discourage me from enjoying this fantasy booking. Oh”¦wait”¦I know”¦the movie will never happen.

Ben Morse: I dunno Jamie, imdb has it listed with Darren Aronofsky attached as director and David Hayter as having written the screenplay; we could be in for a pleasant surprise.

Mike Maillaro: I doubt it too, Ben, but it was a rumor I heard not too long ago,
which seems to make more sense in this context…not much more mind you.

Devil’s Due releases five page preview of Marv Wolfman’s Defex to Newsarama

Tim Sheridan (Nexus reviewer): Hey, I’m happy to see Wolfman get work. He used to be a giant in the industry. That said, I don’t think I’m going to pick this up.

Ben Morse: Well, Wolfman is one of my favorites of all time, so I’ll give just about anything he does at least a chance, but the concept for this one actually seems interesting (analogous to Strikeforce Morituri from Epic”¦which I never read but Wizard did an article on that was cool) and the art seems quite pretty.


Norman Osborn revealed as the father of Gwen Stacy’s children in Amazing Spider-Man #512

Mike Maillaro: I thought this was a pretty interesting twist…but I am still majorly grossed out by the idea that Norman had sex with Gwen….CREEPY!!!

James Hatton: I’m going to put my opinion in before other people do and I get all
riled up again. Issue #512 is one of the most beautiful looking, as well as beautifully researched comics that has come down the pike in a long time.

Does this crap on the legend of Gwen Stacy? No, not really. The Death of Gwen Stacy will still be one of the greatest Spider-Man stories ever told. It is still a story I would hand to people who want to read some of the best that came out of that era. Sometimes,
though, to write a good new story, you have to revisit the past. JMS has done that with a possibility (not a fact yet) that Gwen did something stupid when she was young.

Is it completely unrealistic that she did this? No, it’s not. Psychologically speaking, her sleeping with Norman is like anyone sleeping with: A) A masculine father figure. B) Anyone during a phase of grief and hard times.

In an industry where we bitch and moan about nothing changing, and no new stories being told with old characters – you have to give JMS credit for giving you something to think about.

Will Cooling (Writer of Across The Pond & Nexus reviewer): As for Gwen Stacy, can I just say SNORE!!!! I’m sorry why on earth should I give a crap about a character who died before I was born being outed as Norman’s bit on the side? It’s old, it’s irrelevant and it’s so inward looking and self-referencing that even Bowling For Soup are blushing.

P.S. I thought Parker/Gwen were high school kids when she died. Doesn’t that make Norman a child-molester?

Jesse Baker (Stand back, there’s a rage-a-cane comin’ through/Nexus reviewer): They met in college and Gwen was killed during their college days, which doesn’t make Norman a child molester. Though I wouldn’t say that only since that would give Marvel ideas. I can see it now:

“Like DC Comics? Like Identity Crisis? Then you need to pick up the new Green Goblin action figure now with realistic child molesting action feature and Baby May mini-figure! Just like our Distinguish Competitor’s newest Dr. Light With Realistic Anal Rape Action!!!”

After his failure to trash and purge Spidey’s origin with his BS Magic Spider crap, JMS succeeds to permanently defame one of the cores of the Spider-Man franchise and give the bird to the book’s readership in the process. That being said, the story is horrifically bad in that not only does it make ZERO sense but also requires readers to have to swallow a story that has more plot holes than the Clone Saga. And let’s not forget making Norman behind yet another horrifically bad thing in the life of Spider-Man.

Matt Morrison (Writer of Looking To The Stars): Can I buy some of whatever you’re on?

There are only a few Spider-Man fans I know who were truly upset by the “magic-spider-god” material JMS wrote about who actually read the offending issues, particularly the Book of Ezekiel, whose ending basically says “You don’t have to believe this if you don’t want to. It’s just an idea.”

There’s an issue left on the series, folks. Let’s not flip out and brand Gwen a whore before we see the last issue and learn that Norman was filtering his office with pheromones the night Gwen came by or some such.

Hatton: And this is why I wanted to comment first. Jesse, just because somebody creates a different spin on a classic tale does not mean he has trashed his
origin. He has given you a new angle to consider it from. The magical totem stuff was a theological question – “What if you weren’t the victim of happenstance, but the victim of fate?” It has not given you new cannon. It has not changed status quo. It has decisively given you an entirely new angle to look at an old legend. Which is its power.

And point out the plothole. Knowing how JMS operates, and knowing how much he cherishes a strong continuity, find the hole from the man who has revitalized Amazing Spider-Man from the purgatory it was in for years before this run. Teach me Jesse, let me understand how you think, because right now it just sounds like anger for the sake of being angry.

Maillaro: I agree about JMS’s run being the best thing for Spider-Man in years.
I have been enjoying Sins Past and I thought the Ezekiel story arcs were definitely a unique spin on Spider-Man’s history. I love when comics do serious damage to the status quo, and Amazing Spider-Man has been doing that month after month since JMS came on board.

Tim Sheridan: I thought Nightwing was revealed as the father of Gwen’s kids?