I can see it now, hordes of eager Nexus fans rushing to their computers in anticipation of yet another dose of Ultimate Marvel News and Views. To they’re horror they find, well, me.
I could of course make excuses as to why I’m here and not Ben, Tim, Jamie and Mathan. Stuff like, Jamie’s busy getting a new liver or that Mathan after years of tempting fate for so long with the column heading “Why being deaf sucks/rocks” has finally lost his hearing but they would be lies. Basically I along with Jamie and Ben/Tim offered to understudy for Iain whilst he’s on holiday and it just so happened that Ben/Tim and Jamie merged their efforts. Not that I’m bitter about being left out, nope not at all.
Let’s talk about Marvel, or as they are more commonly known “The non-Jim Lee section of the profitable US Comic Industry”.
Btw, there’s hardly any news outside LITG rumors and I haven’t read a yank comic for four weeks so I can’t use quickie reviews as filler.
(This column is so gonna suck isn’t it? Bugger)
Marvel Flip-Flops Over Ultimates Sketch Variant
So you have a wildly successful comic that amassed pre-orders of some 200,000 and would have been you’re most successful comics since well you were truly successfully. Alas because you refuse to stand up to a superstar artist who can’t draw a page every day (even when he’s doing pencils only) you are forced to pull it with promises to release it later. That time is now approaching, so what do you do?
If you say do your best to give retailers a collective heart attack and so generate attention in the websites and magazines that you certainly don’t care about then get that CV to Marvel.
We all know the story, Marvel said that it planned to split all orders of Ultimates Volume 2 Issue 1 50/50 between the normal, full colour comic and then a sketch variant that would feature only Bryan Hitch’s pencils. Both would naturally be for the same price. Well leaving aside the fact that it would be slightly cool to see Bryan Hitch’s artwork without the sticky goo that passes for colouring in most American comics, the comics world went ape-$h!t with retailers fearing that they would have to order hordes of unwanted sketch variants to receive the amount of inked/colored issues they wanted. They deluged Marvel with calls begging them to reconsider and shockingly Marvel did. They’ve instead reduced the sketch variant to a ratio of just 1 in every 10 copies ordered and now retailers safe in the knowledge that they’ll be able to flog these to complete-ists who will once again love Marvel.
So basically Marvel have egg on their face but at least everyone’s talking about Ultimates Volume 2 Issue 1 again.
The retailers have gained a chase variant to fool suckers/ complete-ists to buy two copies of the comic.
And the readers…well we get nothing but more shenanigans from Marvel to squeeze every bit of money out of the same set of readers instead of trying to attract new ones.
What a happy, life fulfilling story.
Sean Mckeever Speaks (not to Iain this time)
“Mary Jane writer Sean McKeever recently announced on his McKeever Mail e-newsletter that he will be writing the comic book adaptation of the upcoming Elektra movie from 20th Century Fox.
” I was hired to write the comicbook adaptation of the upcoming Elektra movie, which is a spin-off of last year’s Daredevil and stars Jennifer ‘Yummy’ Garner,” McKeever wrote. “Before you even ask–no, I can’t tell you anything about the movie. I signed a piece of paper over it and everything.””
The adaptation itself is 48 pages, but you’ll find it available in two page counts. There’s a 72-page version with movie pin-ups and behind the scenes stuff. That one’s in stores December 30. Then there’s going to be a 128-page version (ISBN 078511713X), which I’m told will reprint key Elektra tales in addition to featuring the adaptation by myself and former CrossGen artist Mike Perkins. That one lands sometime in January ’05.”
I must admit I don’t particularly care about Elektra or her forthcoming movie having never got round to seeing Daredevil (even with the promise of Ben Affleck in red hot leather) so basically take this for what its worth. I do note with both shock and surprise the news that Marvel will be putting out two, yes two variants. Why one could get the impression they were exploiting their customers or something.
McKeever also goes onto say that Mary Jane isn’t cancelled but on a “holding pattern” until Marvel can work out whether it has appeal “outside the comic book market” followed by a very big hint that a lot depends on the forthcoming Mary Jane Vol.1 TPB. I must admit I don’t actually read it but it sounded like an interesting and fairly original book, although having the MJ featured being so radically different from the movie version limits it crossover potential. Anyway good luck to him on both counts although I can’t say that I’ll be reading either.
Catching Up With Omeing
Newsarama caught up with Mike Omeing artist of the fantastic Powers and who is just finishing his six issue run on Thor. The interview is interesting covering his thoughts on Thor and how he went about (spoiler) and (spoiler), oh and don’t forget (spoiler) all of which sounds fairly (censored). Kidding aside, it’s a fun and informative interview even though its pretty much straightforward plugging with the only really nugget of information being the Beta Bill Ray mini-series he and Dan Berman are writing. Still I like Omeing, he’s an excellent artist and if the Image OGN Parliament of Justice he did is anything to go by he’s an excellent writer. In short if I weren’t skint I might actually pick these up…but I am skint so I won’t (at least not in singles).
Stories from Film Wrap
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Simon Kinberg has been hired as the screenwriter for X-3 saying that he’s very excited at the opportunity. Kinberg stated that he “grew up on them, and I love these comics, and it’s exciting to take a whack at making the third the biggest and best in the trilogy; it’s our ‘Return of the King”, which would suggest that previous plot lines and angles that had been developed by Bryan Singer and friends won’t be jettisoned.
What this does mean is that Lauren Shuler Donner was mistaken in announcing her intention on working on X-3 and doing the Dark Phoenix Saga, which slightly sucks. What sucks even more is that this pretty much rules out Joss Whedon as the rumours were centering on him coming in as a writer/director. Plus according to All The Rage Whedon is better known in Hollywood as a screenwriter/producer so it was really the screenplay that was most likely to be Astonishing.
I can hear Iain crying all the way over here.
Actress Kerry Washington (no I don’t know who she is either) spoke with Superhero Hype and announced that she will be playing Alicia Masters in the new Fantastic Four movie. For those who haven’t a smegging clue who Alicia Masters is (i.e. me) Washington helpfully told us that she’s “the blind girl that is in love with The Thing” and although she’s traditionally blonde haired and blue eyed (which I’m guessing is code for white) she’s really excited at taken on the role and has signed on for sequels. Which is nice.
Btw, I’d pay good money to see this film if they at some point use Lionel Ritchie’s Hello for a Thing/Masters love scene. That would be @!$%&#* funny.
“According to Wizard magazine, Marvel’s Kevin Feige confirmed that “Wicker Park” director Paul McGuigan has signed on for a project”. Next!
Next Story From All The Rage
According to the LA Times there was trouble on The Blade: Trinity set with star Wesley Snipes and director/writer David Goyer repeatedly clashing and Snipes going as far to complain above Goyer’s head. The particular problem was Snipes concern that the focus of the movie was shifting away from Blade to other characters in what he saw as a preparation for his ousting from the franchise.
All of which sounds interesting before you realise that a) this is Snipes and when isn’t he kicking up a stink? and b) the LA Times column is a hatchet job, which makes anything they say about Snipes and his future very suspicious.
Rumours From Lying In The Gutters
Oliver Coipel is the new Ultimate X-Men artist replacing (I guess) Stuart Immonen who is doing a three-part arc soon. No idea whether this is a good or a bad thing as I’ve never seen any of his art but if it will give UXM some artistic consistency then I’ll be delighted.
Marvel will be reprinting Age of Apocalypse, with the TPBs containing new material. There will also be a new Chris Bachalo drawn mini-series. Both are to celebrate the 40issue mini-series’ 10th anniversary.
Frank Cho is making his Shanna mini-series more “Marvel Knights” friendly as opposed to the Max book it was originally envisaged as, with his famous bouncy bobbies under threat, which is a shame because I have fond memories of said bouncy bobbies as they gave me something worth looking at in Marvel Knight Spider-Man.
Scarlet Witch is the Avengers: Dissembled baddie…and I couldn’t care less.
Okay that’s all there is…make sure to check out The Nexus for reviews of all the latest Marvel comics, for coverage of real comics in Across The Pond and my Thursday Daily Pulse, which will contain analysis of the Presidential Debate.