The Roundtable

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

Brandon Routh officially cast as Superman, Mark Millar ponies up $1000 to charity

Jamie Hatton (Occasional writer of Diner Talker & Nexus reviewer): I would like to be the first to congratulate Warner Bros on using a literal no name for this big budget, highly anticipated movie. You have shown us that from time to time, you give a damn. As far as Millar and Knowles go, way to keep the buzz machine rolling.

Ben Morse (Co-Editor-In-Chief of The Nexus & writer of The Watchtower): I’d like to take this opportunity to, rather than talk about the Superman casting, say that for all the crap I give my fellow Scotsman about his writing, Millar really is a standup guy for being classy about this whole thing and both bringing attention to the film and donating to a good cause; thumbs up, mate.

Marvel releases solicitations for January

Jamie Hatton: Two Words: Peter Milligan!!!!!! No more Chuck Austen bay-bee. I will be dancing a flippin’ X-Jig. Also a good point of note is that they are handing the reigns of Rogue to Tony Bedard, which really can’t be a bad thing given how bad the story is with it’s current team.

Also, Amazing Fantasy is now known as ‘Arana’? Odd.

Ben Morse: Not so odd; they get to keep the Spider-Girl name for use elsewhere and appeal to a Hispanic demographic in one fell swoop.

The story for Ultimate X-Men looks to be everything I’d expect from Vaughan (a good thing); but, no offense to Stuart Immonen, I preferred both Brandon Peterson and/or Andy Kubert to him.

That Daredevil cover rocks! I loves me some good homages”¦

I’m not typically a Joe Casey fan, but Eart’s Mightiest Heroes has me pumped and Scott Kolins looks to be back in old form both there and on Marvel Team Up.

I cannot wait for New Thunderbolts, it looks amazing.

Claremont’s third run on Uncanny hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire so far, but “Chasing Hellfire” actually has me intrigued. And the solicit for Excalibur gives me hope that Avengers Disassembled was all a big misunderstanding (and bad story), Scarlet Witch is going to be “redeemed” and Hawkeye is fine”¦yep, I like it in my dream world.

Even Cable/Deadpool’s solicits are the best!

Tim Stevens (Writer of Marvel News & Views): WRONG! No solicitations are better than WARLOCK’s! NONE!

Joss Whedon confirms he will not be writing or directing X3

Jamie Hatton: Listen”¦do you hear the sounds of thousands of fanboys screaming and silenced all too quickly.

RUMOR: Richard Dragon and Plastic Man will be cancelled soon, Tom Raney and Michael Lark have left Outsiders and Gotham Central respectively (credit: All The Rage)

Jamie Hatton: I do believe you will be seeing at least ONE of these guys hanging
over at the Marvel Bullpen before the end of the year.

Paul Sebert (Squatter): They’re canceling Plastic Man…

*pauses moving into Joel Silver-esc slow motion…*

Mark Millar will be doing an Ultimate Captain America mini-series and other other Marvel project before his contract expires in August then taking a one year hiatus from company-owned projects to focus on lecturing, charity, starting up Millarworld Phase 2 and vacationing

Jason Berek-Lewis (Writer of A View From Over The Edge): Can’t f$#CK*%g wait for this book. There is no one else who can touch Ultimate Captain America. I hope Millar does this right – dirty, angry, bloody, extreme patriot – that’s who Cap should be … And Millar can deliver!

Ben Morse: Couldn’t disagree with you more, J; kudos again to Mark Millar for his charity forays, but I want him as far away as possible from any and all incarnations of Captain America. This is a character who represents the last bastion of hope in a comic book world flooded with bad asses for the sake of being bad asses. Milla’s Cap is unlikable and annoying, not to mention written with the same clichéd voice Millar uses for every other character in every one of his team books. Go straight on vacation Mark, hopefully when you come back you’ll have recaptured some of the brilliance you had three years ago.

Thomas Jane to write four issue Punisher arc

John Babos (Co-Writer of Near Mint Memories): Jeez. I guess ANYONE can write nowadays.

Ben Morse: Except Kevin Smith, he’s busy, ba-dump ching!

“Starman” Matt Morrison (Writer of Looking To The Stars): Hey, if he can write half as well as he acted the part, it’ll be in good hands.

It’s certainly better news than when Marvel was going to let Freddie freaking Prinze Jr. try and stumble his way through writing a Spider-man story… thank the merciful gods above THAT idea got dropped quick.

Babos: Matt, will you and I ever agree on anything?

Morrison: Hey, the movie had issues, but I thought Jane did pretty good!

As for us agreeing on something… how did you feel about the Catwoman movie?

Jesse Baker (Ten bucks says he says that a popular creator sucks”¦): Sounds interesting and will be a welcomed change of pace from Ennis’ usual crap.

Robert Rodi left Rogue because Marvel wanted a more traditional super-hero book than what he was writing

John Babos: Marvel SHOULD be doing more F-U-N super-hero books. Good for Marvel to insist on it. Isn’t Rodi the writer doing the copycat Identity “Disc” for Marvel? Eh. I don’t read him anyway.

Jesse Baker (Oh dear sweet lord”¦time to break out the censors): They should just say “f— it” and make Rogue a MAX rated out and out porn comic involving Rogue and Iceman exploring the world of rubber/latex/spandex fetishes and the notion of how Iceman is the only X-Man that Rogue can actually have sex with. God knows Marvel needs something “controversial” outside the usual suspects ing off while they destroy the comic book franchises they are working on (Bendis and JMS I’m looking at you). And god knows that a Marvel Super-Heroine themed porn would sell like gangbusters and get Marvel ammo to mouth DC with in regards the crap nature of Vertigo.

Jamie Hatton: Ahh, it’s good to see Jesse back and in a good mood.

I wholly agree that Rogue has been a big pile of stink so dropping Rodi is smart. They’re handing her over to Tony Bedard it seems (from Marvel’s recent solicits) and he is a safe choice. He is non-controversial and he writes a story that you can enjoy, find few flaws, but will forget about a day after you read it. Nothing spectacular, but it is indeed a better direction than the book’s had so far.

Tru Calling has been cancelled, the six episodes shot for the second season might never be aired on Fox

Ben Morse: Well that’s crappy news. I remember seeing the teaser for the second season at San Diego and being uber intrigued and Eliza Dushku, lovely and talented, was so excited about the show’s potential”¦bites that Fox won’t even give fans a chance to try the second season. I hope lots of people buy the DVD and that both the cast and crew are justly rewarded for their efforts.

John Babos: That’s too bad. It seemed like a cool premise. Fox spends too much time on “reality” shows. They haven’t produced a decent sci-fi show since Jessica Alba’s
“Dark Angel” series, which they didn’t let past season 2. Although it was able to wrap its second season – Tru Calling won’t get that chance.

Jesse Baker: Good. Now Eliza Dushku can hopefully fire her agent and get someone who can get her GOOD roles instead of the crap she’s been doing. Hell, maybe NBC can snatch her up and get her to be the new female ADA on Law and Order now that the Rohm-Bot is finally quitting the show at long last…

Tom Raney will make his return to Marvel working on one of the What If? projects

John Babos: I’m sad to see Raney off Outsiders, BUT am happy that Marvel is doing more “What If’s”, BUT (again) I’m still unhappy how Marvel is over-saturating the market with its 5th week type “What If” launch. Too much, too fast, too expensive. Marvel may have good solid new (old) book ideas, BUT (hehe) their promotional department is just new staff.

Ben Morse: I like Raney’s work, but his inability to meet a deadline was really killing Outsiders”¦he should fit right in at Marvel with Bryan Hitch and Joey Q (I kid! I kid!)

Jesse Baker: Good. Now all we need is the cancellation of Outsiders and Judd Winick blackballed from ever being published in the comic industry again and I’ll be on cloud nine…

The new What If books because they are pretty much an excuse for their “kewl” writers to off about how great their ideas are. Given that the books include Claremont doing a Mary Sue “Magneto, Super-Hero and Defender of the Weak and Oppressed” story or Bendis writing what most likely will be a -you to everyone who’s rightfully hated Daredevil ever since the twin terrors of and Kevin Smith and Brian Bendis raped the book by doing a story about Karen Paige being alive that I’m quire sure will revolve around how even DD’s life would be if she hadn’t died, why should I give a damn? Especially since I have no doubt that Marvel will base these specials after the non-new reader friendly, continuity-lite format of the last couple of years of What If, which was so bad that it killed the book.

Jamie Hatton: Did I mention it’s good to see Jesse back in a good mood… yeah..

I love the What If concept. It was always great to grab a What If book and ignore the world for a little bit. Continuity is no problem, and by the end of the issue – you have a story. Done. So taking someone who has a decent hand at art, and makes a good action sequence is a sign that the books will be enjoyable for all the right reasons.

And now”¦Paul Sebert!

Paul Sebert: Publisher’s Weekly Recently featured a Graphic Novels section on their website featuring a 2005 forcast for the year ahead by several publishers, an interview with Jeff Smith, and a look at the symbiotic link between Manga and Anime sales.

You can view the sections on their website through a trial membership here.

And perhaps most interesting of all is their list of the top 25 selling graphic novels in the nation based on combined sales from comic shops, book stores, and online retailers. The List that Diamond doesn’t want you to see.

1. In the Shadow of No Towers by Art Spiegelman (Pantheon)
2. Rurouni Kenshin Vol. 1 by Nobohiro Watsuki (Viz)
3. Rurouni Kenshin Vol. 3 by Nobohiro Watsuki (Viz)
4. Persepolis 2 by Marjane Satrapi (Pantheon)
5. Fruits Basket Vol. 1 by Natsuki Takaya (Tokyopop)
6. Trigun Vol. 2 by Yasuhiro Nightow (Dark Horse)
7. Rurouni Kenshin Vol. 2 by Nobohiro Watsuki (Viz)
8. Hellboy: Seed of Destruction by Mike Mignola (Dark Horse)
9. Fruits Basket Vol. 2 by Natsuki Takaya (Tokyopop)
10. Naruto Vol. 3 by Masashi Kishimoto (Viz)
11. Naruto Vol. 2 by Masashi Kishimoto (Viz)
12. Tsubasa Vol. 2 by Clamp (Del Rey)
13. The Book of Bunny Suicides by Andy Riley (Plume Books)
14. Rurouni Kenshin Vol. 5 by Nobohiro Watsuki (Viz)
15. Tsubasa Vol. 1 by Clamp (Del Rey)
16. hack/Legend of the Twilight Vol. 2 by T. Hamazaki & R. Izumi (Tokyopop)
17. Fruits Basket Vol. 3 by Natsuki Takaya (Tokyopop)
18. Rurouni Kenshin Vol. 6 by Nobohiro Watsuki (Viz)
19. Hellboy: Wake the Devil by Mike Mignola (Dark Horse)
20. Naruto Vol. 1 by Masashi Kishimoto (Viz)
21. hack/Legend of the Twilight Vol. 1 by T. Hamazaki & R. Izumi (Tokyopop)
22. Trigun Vol. 1 by Yasuhiro Nightow (Dark Horse)
23. Inuyasha Vol. 1 by Rumiko Takahashi (Viz)
24. Yu-gi-oh Vol. 1 by Kazuki Takahashi (Viz)
25 1602 by Neil Gaiman, Andy Kubert and Richard Isanove (Marvel)

Jamie Hatton: My question is, does this take into account Diamond’s orders? The idea that the only three American Comics on there are Hellboy, 1602, and Bunny Suicides makes me think no. I would honestly assume a list of high-selling graphic novels WOULD look something like this, as the manga with the kids is hot right now. Kids love the big eyes, small mouths – but the fact that Hellboy was a lukewarm movie at best and Spidey was THE MOVIE when it came out leads me to believe that this list isn’t as pure as they would like to think it is.

It is nice to see Art Spiegelman at the top though.

Paul Jenkins to leave Spectacular Spider-Man due to health problems, title to end with issue #27

Matt Morrison: I’m sorry to hear about Paul’s taking a break, but am heartened to hear him say that he is just taking a break and will be back. I’m surprised that Marvel is having the class to close the title out instead of continuing it with another writer.

Paul Jenkins isn’t just a great writer. He’s a class act too. I remember meeting him at Wizard World last year when, after his flight out of town was bumped up and the line for his fans to meet him was being hampered by speculators trying to get their exclusive “Wolverine: The End” comics autographed by the artist (who he was sharing a table with). Paul wound up walking up the line, asking who wanted HIS autograph and giving it out freely. I swear, he was so happy that I wanted Spectacular Spider-Man #1 signed…

Paul Sebert: I’m kind of divided on this as well… Paul Jenkins has written some of my favorite Spidey stories ever, but, well, on the other hand after the wince-inducing resolution of the “Changes” arc last week I can’t help but think maybe it’s time for Jenkins to try his hand at something new.

DC’s Captain Marvel to make a big splash in 2005 with a three issue crossover in the Superman titles by Judd Winick & Ian Churchill, the Superman/Shazam!: First Thunder mini-series telling the story of the two’s first meeting by Winick & Josh Middleton, and Jeff Smith’s long-awaited Shazam! mini-series

Matt Morrison: Good news! Captain Marvel finally gets his own series again. Better news: Judd Winick isn’t writing it! Yay!

Paul Sebert: Hmmm…always had a soft spot for the Big Red Cheese. Nice to see DC’s giving him a major push.

Will Pfeifer the new writer on Catwoman

Matt Morrison: I’m glad to see that DC is giving Pfeifer work. His run on Aquaman has been severely underrated.

Marvel releases film release plans for next three years in 3rd Quarter earnings statements:

2005: Elektra, Fantastic Four
2006: X-Men 3, Iron Man, Ghost Rider, Luke Cage, The Punisher 2, Deathlok
2007: Spider-Man 3, Namor, The Hulk 2, Wolverine
In Development: Ant-Man, Black Panther, Captain America, Nick Fury, Silver Surfer, Thor, 2 Avengers animated features and animated Hulk and Iron Man features

Jamie Hatton: Jennifer Garner YAY – Jessica Alba Booo… (Alba’s a hottie, and will look great in Sin City, but she does NOT look like a good Sue Storm).

X3=Blockbuster, Iron Man=fan-favorite, the rest of the 2006 releases are made for video, made for video, made for video, made for video. Excellent. You know what, it makes me sad because I think there is an amazing Ghost Rider movie out there to be made. Sadly, it’s not going to happen.

On the 2007 releases: What a mixed bag THIS is?! A 3 year wait on Spidey sucks, but we will survive – and then we get the 3 powerhouses of the Marvel U”¦Wolverine. The Hulk. And the unquenchable thirst of NAMOR! …Namor?! Whatever.

Sadly, Deadpool is no longer on the “in development” list. *tear drop*