The Roundtable

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

Dan Slott is now exclusive to Marvel [Details: Pulse]

KEVIN “OFFICIAL MEMBER OF THE STONECUTTERS” MAHONEY: Oh Man! DC’s loss is certainly Marvel’s gain there. I wonder if that means his JLA arc will be dropped, or if his exclusive contract precludes previous and yet ongoing projects. Hey wait… I have his e-mail… I can just ask

WILL “PLEASE READ MOODSPINS SO HE’LL SHUT UP ABOUT IT” COOLING: I like Dan Slott a lot… SHE-HULK is one of the best titles of the past year and I’ll be getting the trades despite having an (incomplete) selection of the singles just to ensure we get Season 2. I really want to Slott do a JLI style UNCANNY X-MEN with Si Fraser on art… that’d so rule!!!

BTW, the last Roundtable was just bizarre to read… great none the less.

And Iain, pineapples do belong on a pizza. I was once like you and doubted the wisdom of fruit on a pizza but once come across to the fruity aside you’ll see what I mean!!!

P.S. Make sure you guys check out Moodspins. Not only has it got Mathan and myself but Mike Lawrence has done an excellent column with plenty of comic references… plus it has Tony Granola!

PAUL “HAS APPARENTLY NOT SLEPT WITH LITA” SEBERT: Alright the angel on my shoulder says I should say “Bravo Dan” and congratulate him on a job well done with SHE-HULK, and say this is a major feather in Marvel’s cap since Dan’s probably the most underrated writer in the business.

But you see there’s this cranky, cynical devil sitting on my other shoulder that’s reminding me that DC seriously screwed the pooch here. I mean, two years ago Dan was absolutely writing one of the best runs of BATMAN ADVENTURES with Ty Templeton and, well, no-one noticed because DC so seldom promotes their younger titles. Then DC green-lights ARKHAM ASYLUM: LIVING HELL, written by Dan Slott. This is generally considered to be the best mini-series of 2003 and proves to be a smashing sales success. Suddenly, Dan Slott’s the next big thing.

So what does DC do? Sign him for another mini-series? Make him the new writer on one of the dozen-or-so Bat-titles in the mainline DCU? Give BATMAN ADVENTURES a big push?

None of that.

They cancel BATMAN ADVENTURES, because apparently with the new THE BATMAN series it would be too confusing for the young readers to have two Batman comics on the shelf (I’m still trying to figure out this logic). Then don’t even try to react when Marvel starts giving him offers.

Gah… stupid, stupid DC…

JESSE “UNO, DOS, TRES, CATORCE” BAKER: Color me as someone who doesn’t give a damn; after finally tracking down a copy of SHE-HULK #11-12, I find it highly insulting that Slott thinks retconning why She-Hulk slept with Juggernaut and keeps changing back and forth between forms is more important than having Jen bitch Iron Man and Hank Pym out for not repairing Vision and letting her be torn up inside over what she did to Vision during DISASSEMBLED. Wake me when Slott grows some balls and uses She-Hulk’s book to call Bendis out on his bulls**t writing and to tear him a new a**hole in print…

MATT “OLD AND PECULIAR” MORRISON: Well, the title of the book is SHE-HULK. So probably all he was authorized to address was all the continuity problems caused by Austen and Bendis to that character alone.

Now, eight months down the line… when the second series of SHE-HULK comes out… maybe we can talk Dan into having Jen unpacking stuff in her new apartment (her current one got destroyed in Issue #12), opening one cardboard box…

“Jennifer. Thank goodness. I was afraid I had been totally forgotten.”

“Wha- Vision?”

“Indeed. How did I get mixed in with your belongings?”

“Must have been mixed in with my stuff as I went through limbo.”


MATT MORRISON: Yeah. Well I doubt I’ll be writing for Marvel anytime soon even if you get a petition together…

JESSE BAKER: I’d rather see She-Hulk sue Tony Stark on behalf of Hank Pym to get him to fork over Vision’s remains to Hank on the basis that Tony won’t let Hank fix Vision because of Tony being a cunt who can’t stand that Hank call him out for being an assface in front of the rest of the team, complete with Jen’s law firm destroying Tony’s reputation in the business community by outing him as Iron Man again and culminating in Jen recruiting Brother Voodoo to give Tony a Voodoo enema to remove all traces of Warren Ellis from Tony’s being.

WILL COOLING: See Jesse, its s**t like this that pisses me off. Bendis is the biggest star at Marvel with plenty of influence backstage and yet you act like Slott’s pathetic for not attacking him. Well that’s bollocks, Slott’s doing his job and trying to get on in his chosen field – you don’t achieve that by attacking the biggest stars. What really pisses me off about attitudes like this is that’s its a horrible double standard – none of us here goes mouthing off to our bosses or those higher up in the work place so why do we expect writers/artists to?

BTW, I only read issue #12 but I think Slott did a fantastic job with
the “no prize” gag.

Also I’d rather Slott use SHE-HULK for excellent, creative and enjoyable writing rather than attacking another writer.

PAUL SEBERT: Really, if you’re going to use Shulkie to take cracks at another writer, you ought to have her make fun of John Byrne’s soon-to-be retconned DOOM PATROL. At least there would be some precedence of it what with the ’90s SHE-HULK series.

JAMIE “OWNED BY AGE OF APOCALYPSE” HATTON: Oh come on guys… if Jesse had his way, every writer would be writing “SHE HULK: The Bendis Sucks Issue” or “FANTASTIC FOUR: Bendis screwed the Disassembled Pooch” or “RUNAWAYS: I wish Bendis would run away.”

Jesse, bubbalah – people have moved on. Seriously, boyo… hating Bendis is so yesterday. Oops, bad AVENGERS… ah, better NEW AVENGERS… and wheee awesome POWERS!

But not to derail the conversation any further. Congrats to Dan Slott for being part of the new Marvel. The writers that they’ve been taking on for exclusivity have all been great. Maybe we’re looking at a future golden period of writing at Marvel – DC is becoming the place to go to for a great unified universe, what will the ‘M’ become?

MATT MORRISON: A huge multimedia conglomerate more concerned with hyping itself and releasing mass-produced crap for Hollywood executives to convert into even more soulless garbage than with quality storytelling?

PAUL SEBERT: [DC] certainly is good [for a great unified universe]. From IDENTITY CRISIS to Keith Giffen’s all-new SUPERBUDDIES ongoing, DC is the place to go for…

Ah, screw it.

Face it folks – we’re in a post-continuity age. Deal with it.

ANDY “OWNER OF THE COOLEST BAG IN THE WORLD, EVER” CAMPBELL: I don’t think that’s necessarily true. Just because a story isn’t taking place in present continuity doesn’t mean it’s not in continuity. That’s the whole point of the JLA CLASSIFIED series – to tell good JLA stories that take place during any point of the team’s history. FKAJLA started with a disclaimer saying that it took place before IDENTITY CRISIS, so obviously they’re not just throwing continuity to the wind.

JAMIE HATTON: Where I agree [Marvel] is hitting the Hollywood Highroad – I disagree that the storytelling is bad overall. I can list an easy ten titles that are on par with things coming out at DC mainstream.

KEVIN MAHONEY: To quote Steve Coogan (and an abominable Disney film) “I’ll take your wager!”

I think Marvel is becoming the scorecard-necessary, overly recursive mess that DC was in the late ’70s and into the ’80s.

If you can name 10 Marvel books that can be understood on their own by someone who has read Marvel comics for less than eight years, I would be very surprised. I really think Marvel has over-franchised and that it has diluted their stories as a whole. Other than SHE-HULK and USM, I can’t think of a Marvel title (though HULK and DAREDEVIL might be debatable) that’s on par or over industry par.

Maybe it’s because all the X-Avengers-Ultimate-reboots have forced me away from the books (so I’m admittedly out of touch) but I can’t see Marvel as a competitive company from a writing standpoint except in rare cases.

So I guess I’m challenging you to drop and give me ten; I suppose the Nexus staff could vote on it afterwards if we wanted some sort of ratifiable answer.

Where’s my jade Buddha?

IAIN BURNSIDE: Well, I’ve only been reading comics for three years. Here are my awesome Marvel titles…


That’s a pretty wide spread of books. It’s not much of a stretch to say that there is something for everybody there. Not to mention the ones I’m not particularly bothered about but seem to be doing well nonetheless, such as CAPTAIN AMERICA, NEW AVENGERS, IRON MAN, PUNISHER, WOLVERINE, UNCANNY X-MEN, ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR, etc., etc., etc.

In other words, M is going to be just fine. They won’t even be in the same ballpark as ALL-STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN in terms of sales, but apart from that they have absolutely no need whatsoever to feel inferior to DC or to be seen that way by any readers. Both companies are putting out a small, select number of utterly unreadable dross, several perfectly acceptable titles, and loads and loads and loads of absolutely wonderful books that are bringing pleasure to readers all over the globe month in, month out. And that’s not even including books from Image, Dark Horse and the other indies! Sweet Moses, what an unbelievably awesome time to be a comics fan! Excuse me while I mark the hell out!!

PAUL SEBERT: Pretty much all of my favourites are on Iain’s list. But I’d add ARANA, NIGHTCRAWLER, and the upcoming POWER PACK mini-series to the group of titles.

And I should note that five of the books Iain listed are either Ultimate Marvel or alternate timelines that have no connection to the
mainline Marvel Universe.

I think the virtue of a huge interconnected universe is somewhat overrated. I mean really, Image used to have a core universe in the early years and, well, now really there’s nothing resembling that and yet books like LIONS, TIGERS, & BEARS are still selling.

Heck, the two most anticipated books of the year from DC (ALL-STAR BATMAN/SUPERMAN) are non-canonical.

Viva la revolution. Death to iron clad continuity. Long live the post-continuity age!

RUMOUR: Venom to be the villain in Spider-Man 3 [Credit: CBR]

TIM “THE MEGATRON TO MY STARSCREAM” STEVENS: I trust Sam Raimi, but I just don’t know about this.

Then again, this source hardly screams reliability so I figure it is nothing worth getting worried about yet.

KEVIN MAHONEY: Not to be a doubting Thomas, but I’ve really gotta doubt this one. The end of 2 practically demands Harry Osborn become the Green Goblin II. Unless Sam lets Harry’s fall percolate over several films (George “I can’t plot to save my own franchise” Lucas style) the next movie should focus on the two of them (Pete and Harry). Let’s remember that if the Joel Schumacher Batman films taught filmmakers and watchers anything it’s that splitting your movie over several villains is way harder than it looks.

I love Venom, and if the team that made Doc Ock a cool looking villain on screen got a hold of him it would be magic, but dammit it’s not his time yet.

Not that I have any say of course.

MATT MORRISON: Highly doubtful. I know for a fact Sam Raimi has been having a lot of fun screwing with the heads of the fanboys over this point and has committed so far only to one of the villains having a black costume.

Here’s what I think, just based on what I know from the movies and what we know from pervious scripts. Up until the very last draft, Black Cat was going to be in Spider-Man 2. She actually did make it into the video game adaptation of the movie and there was a very good subplot right from the comics about Peter starting to develop feelings for this woman who could deal with the Spider-Man side of him and hold her own in a fight, so he didn’t have to worry about her getting hurt. And with things slated for Harry to become the Goblin…

Well, Venom would just be too much on that. Sam has been following the comics pretty carefully so far and has always stated that he’s been more concerned about the relationships of the characters than special effects and fight scenes. So look for all of this to be the thrust of the third movie.

1. Mary Jane’s fear of Peter dying in the line of duty. We already got a nod to this at the very end of Spider-Man 2.

2. Peter finding himself conflicted over the woman of his dreams and the woman who can share every part of his life.

3. Harry’s descent into insanity as his conflicting feelings over his father and his friends come to a head.

If they do wind up using Venom, I hope they use an adapted form of the animated series origin. Unless they do something totally different, it’s the only way to just drop the symbiote into the movie universe continuity.

PAUL SEBERT: I’ll believe it when they start casting people… or at least have a finished script *yawns*. Personally I’m hoping the Lizard as Dylan Baker’s a pretty talented character actor.

IAIN BURNSIDE: We all know that they should, nay, *must* cast Eliza Dushku as the Black Cat. Using that character makes perfect sense, using Venom makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

RUMOUR: Vaughan, Millar & Bendis to collaborate on an Ultimate book [Credit: All the Rage]

TIM STEVENS: From Vaughan

“Over at Silver Bullets’ rumour thing, it says I’m involved with a new Ultimate ‘title’.

As I told the writer when he asked me last week, that’s not true. It’s not a ‘title’, which suggests a new ongoing book. It’s just a special self-contained project, dealing with the title I’m already writing. As I said in my dumb blog a while back:

Finally, I’ll be involved with one more really fun Ultimate project that Bendis and Millar have been gracious enough to let me be a part of… but it’s a little too early to talk about that.

That’s all I’m saying, since I clearly stink at teasing stuff.


Just thought I’d throw that little bit in, straight from the horse’s mouth, sort of speak.


2-1 odds say ULTIMATE ELEKTRA.

3-1 odds say ULTIMATE WOLVERINE (or some other UXM spin-off)



Take your bets people…

IAIN BURNSIDE: Going by the comments made by Vaughan that Tim posted, I’d be more inclined to say it’s an ULTIMATE OFFICIAL HANDBOOK or something along those lines. I guess Warren Ellis just couldn’t be arsed getting involved!

Burlyman’s SHAOLIN COWBOY #1 sells out [Details: Burlyarama]

PAUL SEBERT: I have not read this title, but really with a book that features both Shaolin and Cowboys I imagine it’s hard to go wrong.

IAIN BURNSIDE: You’re absolutely correct. I loved this title’s debut issue and look forward with baited breath to #2. What’s even more thrilling is that Burlyman’s other title, DOC FRANKENSTEIN, is even better than this one. Thank the comic gods for those whacky Wachowski’s giving us such treats. Check ’em out!

Franklin Richards & HERBIE to appear in POWER PACK back-up strips [Details: Franklinarama]

PAUL SEBERT: Yet another reason why Mark Sumerak’s POWER PACK mini-series is sure to be listed on our best mini-series of 2005 countdown if I have anything to say about it.

Paolo Rivera goes exclusive with Marvel [Credit: ComiX-Fan]

PAUL SEBERT: Paolo Rivera’s a really talented painter, but the fact that Marvel used his talents to sell a Daniel Way/Bart Sears Sabretooth mini-series last year makes me sad.

IAIN BURNSIDE: Read SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #14, my pick for the best single issue of last year. Actually… no, I think I picked ASTONISHING X-MEN #4 in the Nexus awards… So I’m talking out of my ass, really. Still, it’s a nice ass, and that’s all that counts.

Archie Comics to release JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS manga [Details: Silver Bullet]

PAUL SEBERT: Tanya Del Rio’s run on SABRINA has been one of my favorite guilty pleasures of the last year or so. And girls with Cat Ears are inherently sexy so I’ll probably check it out. That said this promo art piece is kinda… fugly.

RUMOUR: Giffen & DeMatteis to get new ongoing series with the Super Buddies [Credit: All the Rage]

PAUL SEBERT: I think Giffen and DeMatteis might have unwittingly unravelled DC continuity to ribbons. Bravo for them.

IAIN BURNSIDE: Roll on JLA CLASSIFIED #5… You know what time it is… Oh, yes, he is back… Ladies and gentlemen, the one, the only, GUY F’N GARDNER!!!

And no, that thing that appeared in REBIRTH doesn’t count. This is 100% authentic GARDNER, baby!!!

RUMOUR: John Byrne’s DOOM PATROL is actually a TV show set in the DCU [Credit: All the Rage]

PAUL SEBERT: It must be on PAX because no one’s a watchin’. ZING!

RUMOUR: IDW to obtain the rights to PAD’s FALLEN ANGEL [Credit: Lying in the Gutters]

WILL COOLING: I promise everyone here that if IDW picks up FALLEN ANGEL I will finally pick it up… hopefully they’ll do collections of the previous issues as well.

BTW, no LITG for a while… sob, sob what will I do without my Monday rumour fix?

MANOLIS “CONGRATS ON 50 LYS@D!” VAMVOUNIS: I can’t believe you still haven’t picked up FALLEN ANGEL, Will! Do I really have to whore myself out even more for people to pick this up? 🙂

This is DC’s loss in the end, FALLEN ANGEL had started to pick up more readers recently, as PAD had reported, and I agree with him that it’s his best work to date.

The Top Shelf $3 Graphic Novel Sale [Buy: Dirt Cheap!]

MANOLIS VAMVOUNIS: This is a very generous offer from the publisher. I’m planning to pick up several goodies; especially Top Shelf asks the Big Questions (down to $3 from original $20+ and featuring the best indie creators!) and several Craig Thompson goodies. Also check out the special reduced price offer on MIRROR OF LOVE (reviewed in this week’s 50th Leave Your Spandex At the Door) and BLANKETS! Get them while they’re hot!

Vote for who you want to get their own Ultimate Universe mini-series [Vote: Here]

IAIN BURNSIDE: Please vote for Thor 🙂

PAUL SEBERT: Too late, I already voted for Doom. Why? Because Doom comandeth me.

MANOLIS VAMVOUNIS: I can’t believe Ultimate Wolverine is leading that poll! Why are so many people so big gluttons for punishment!

I agree with Ultimate Thor from this list, he is my favourite Ultimate character. I wish there was a write-in option, so I could put in Ultimate Angel!

TIM STEVENS: I too support an Ultimate Thor mini.

And with Wolvie in the lead it proves but one thing. As much as we might loathe him, to the comic community at large, he is still A-#1.

WILL COOLING: Personally, I’d go for Cap America/Thor mini-series – I love their interaction with the contrasting ideologies and personalities making them a great double act (kinda like what O’Neil/Adams Green Lantern/Arrow thinks it is).

I would also like an Ultimate Angel mini-series but only if it
features regular and sweaty guest appearances from Colossus.

MANOLIS VAMVOUNIS: ULTIMATE LOVE starring Ultimate Colossus and Ultimate Northstar!

Make it happen, Marvel!

WILL COOLING: Nah, Ultimate Northstar was nothing special…

Now Ultimate Sinister on the other hand… pwhoar!!!!!

IAIN BURNSIDE: ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #42, page 22… You know what I mean…

Brian Michael Bendis updates on NEW AVENGERS, WHA… HUH? and more [Update: Bendisarama]

PAUL SEBERT: I’m sold on WHA… HUH? just because Spider-Ham is on the cover. Granted, Marvel doesn’t exactly have the greatest track record with humour comics.

Isn’t it about time we got an ESSENTIAL NOT BRAND ECH trade?

Urgent and shocking HOUSE OF M update!!! [Credit: PAD]

PAUL SEBERT: Peter David has recently posted some startling info on Marvel’s upcoming HOUSE OF M event…


“Here, for the first time, the full truth behind the HOUSE OF M crossover.

M stands for ‘Mode’. Yes, in a daring Marvel/Incredibles crossover event, fashionista Edna Mode will be redesigning the costumes for every single Marvel character.

This, of course, will mean banishment of capes from the Marvel U. But at least everyone will look fabulous. No more hobo suits.”

IAIN BURNSIDE: The Beast Nappy and the Cyclops Gimp Suit fully support this notion 🙂

NICK “WRITE A REVIEW!!” PIERS: *sigh* Ahhhh. Kirby bless Peter David.

JOHN “THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA” BABOS: I just love PAD. He says what’s on his mind and you never know if he’s trying to just be funny or just take a shot. I’m still not sure about what he thinks about HOUSE OF M.

I know that I think HOUSE OF M is a cliched bad idea from the sounds of it. Hey, perhaps Marvel should change their slogan to “House of Cliches”? However, I’ll not truly know whether HOUSE OF M is good till the first issue hits stands. So it may not be as bad as it sounds or as bad as the few page preview was.

BTW, you should be reading PAD’s Star Trek: New Frontier novels. They are tres sweet.

MICHAEL “ALSO OWNED BY AGE OF APOCALYPSE” MAILLARO: I reported this story in my column last week 😉


What up now people, what up now! The News and Views team owns you all. Owns!

PAUL SEBERT: Dammit, you know this kind of boondoggle never happened when I was doing the News & Views…