The Roundtable

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


Orders for Dynamite’s RED SONJA #0 break the 200,000 barrier [Details: Sonjarama]

JAMIE “BETTER THAN SEX” HATTON: Well, first off, on a Baker-esque rant… Screw Diamond for not allowing them into the Diamond 300… This publishing company chose to drop their price to increase their sales… a bit gimmicky? Yes. It’s a whole crapload better than people who order X,000 X-Men or Batman books to guarantee special variant incentives. Which then puts those books at unreachably high #1s and those are just as much ‘promotion gimmicks’ as making it 25c.

Bugger.

MATT “STARMAN” MORRISON: Didn’t Conan make it into the Diamond listings when Dark Horse did the exact same thing?


Joss Whedon will write/direct Wonder Woman movie [Credit: Ain’t it Cool News]

JAMIE HATTON: Finally! He’s been chomping at the bit for this movie forever – and given his love of the strong female protagonist it should be excellent.


Beast, Gambit and Angel (not Warren) will be in X-Men 3 [Credit: Ain’t it Cool News]

JAMIE HATTON: Casting an entire different gender on a character is stepping a little too far away from continuity for my liking. I don’t mind all of the little geeky nitpicky things that some people go crazy over, but this one seems more like trying to fill in the Halle Berry role which will be missing.

And having heard these new names, it’s fairly secure to me that this movie is probably going to be fun, but not capture the lightning that the first two did – if only because they now are resorting to change things. Unless of course, it’s going to be Morrison’s Angel (the large black chick) – but then you are trying to tie in a completely different style story… gah, information overload – must imbibe coffee.

UPDATE – Angel will have a pee-pee after all [Details: Comic Book Resources]

NICK “HE’S COMING BACK” PIERS: The most important part that people have overlooked: BEAST!!!!!! BEAST!!!!!!

Go Hank!!

IAIN “THE HOST” BURNSIDE: Yes but what sorta Beast? Big blue feline? Old school blue fuzzy Muppet? Man with big hands and big feet (and big socks)? Bet now!


Diamond Sales Chart for February 2005 [Details: Comic Book Resources]

BEN “DOES IT IN AN HOUR” NAGY: Proclamation…

Let it be known that nine of the Top 20 books on the Diamond Top 100 Sellers list for February were from Marvel and also priced at $2.25. Of those nine, eight of them will be affected by Marvel’s price increase slated for June (ULTIMATE NIGHTMARE doesn’t count because it’s a mini). Henceforth, it’ll be interesting to see how this affects those titles’ standings in the Top 20 (I betcha AMAZING SPIDER-MAN falls out of it – you heard it heard first) and whether DC will react by increasing their $2.25 books.

That and with money getting tighter these days, it looks like I’m going to be becoming one of those dreaded “wait for the trade” trolls because for miniseries and the like, it makes a bit more sense both economically and storyiosilly (a new word meaning “able to read the entire story in one sitting and not in instalments”).

JASON “COOLER THAN MICHAEL HUTCHENCE” BEREK-LEWIS: This might be bad news for those of you in the States, but spare a thought for fans Over the Edge!!! Some Marvel books are upwards of $5…

PAUL “HAIL TO THE KING, BABY” SEBERT: Ah the ever shrinking value of a dollar. I blame television.


June 2005 solicitations – Marvel [Details: Comics Continuum]

JASON BEREK-LEWIS: I’m really looking forward to SPIDER-MAN: BREAKOUT which will be the first Marvel Universe (as opposed to Ultimate Universe) Spidey title that I have read since they killed Ben Reilly – The One True Spider-Man!!

PAUL SEBERT:

X-MEN: KITTY PRYDE — SHADOW & FLAME #1

Speak of the Devil… hot from our debate on Kitty Pryde comes everyone’s favorite Jewish Ninja. Actually she’s the only Jewish Ninja I can think of off the top of my head.

Yoshida’s writing has been kind of hit and miss as of late, but his best stuff has been his work on the criminally underrated THOR: SON OF ASGARD mini-turned-ongoing-turned-cancelled series. Perhaps being given the chance to work with a teenage character again will do him some good.

GRAVITY #1

If there’s a guy who deserves a top 25 title out there, it’s Sean McKeever. I love the concept of this book, I love the design of the lead character and I love the preview I saw at Newsarama but… I can’t shake the feeling that the character looks like an escaped ASTRO CITY character. Not that that’s a bad thing.

LAST HERO STANDING #1-5

Bastards… you poor misguided Spider-Girl Fanboy Bastards… You brought the evil that is DeFalco back to the mainline Marvel Universe. Damn, do you guys who bought 4 Spider-Girl digests know what horror you’ve unleashed?!!

I swear if we see the return of Ben Grimm’s Bucket Helmet it’ll be your fault.

ARÃ?NA #6

Is it too early to ask for a Amun mini-series? He’s already my favorite new villain of 2005 and, well, I just want to know more about the evil lil’ bastard.

SPIDER-MAN: BREAKOUT #3

Can you really go wrong on any cover that features the U-Foes?

AMAZING FANTASY #9

If there’s anything better than the U-Foes on a comic cover it’s a
Skateboarding Ninja.

BLACK PANTHER #5

Yo, ToyBiz… I want a Black Panther with Motorcycle figure to race my Ghost Rider Figures… Now!

MARVEL KNIGHTS 4 #19

More Awesome than the U-Foes but not as awesome as a Skateboarding Ninja Girl is that old trademark of the X-Men The Fast Ball Special!

G.L.A #3

Mon Dieu! Batroc’s Brigade vs. Squirrel Girl… This is a great month for Marvel covers.

STORMBREAKER: THE SAGA OF BETA RAY BILL #6

Beta Ray Bill vs. Spider-Man… Spider-Man vs. Beta Ray Bill… Truly a battle for the ages. Hey they’ve both beaten the crap out of heralds of Galactus.

NEW WARRIORS #1

So the New Warriors are getting the Giffen-era Justice League treatment. Could work as Zeb Wells can be pretty funny guy when he wants to be and Scottie Young’s art on HUMAN TORCH was pretty fun. Still I’m kinda on the fence on this one.

RUNAWAYS #5

So in this issue we learn who Victor’s father is. Maybe it’s Kang… so they can work in the YOUNG AVENGERS as guest-stars.

ASTONISHING X-MEN #12

White background… heads hanged low… you just know some bad mojo is goin’ down.

That’s it for Marvel this month… let’s see how DC Compares.

IAIN BURNSIDE: MARVEL TEAM-UP #9, SUPREME POWER #17 and ASTONISHING X-MEN #12 are the three solitary single issues that I’m going to be getting from Marvel in June. It’s kinda sad, but although there are many other books from them that I want to read, it just makes far more sense to wait for the trades. From a story standpoint, I will actually be able to read an entire tale in one sitting rather than spread over six months minimum, and it is just far easier on the wallet to boot. To this end, I’m glad to see the first ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR HC and the SPIDER-MAN/HUMAN TORCH digest being released. As for those three previously mentioned titles, well, I simply can’t help myself when it comes to a monthly dose of Whedon/Cassaday goodness, I have a strange and slightly sickening compulsion to collect all of the Supremeverse books in single issue format (even after the abysmal DR. SPECTRUM mini), and MTU just gives me a wonderfully fuzzy nostalgia feeling – complete with the most enjoyable letters page Marvel has seen in years!


June 2005 solicitations – DC [Details: Comics Continuum]

PAUL SEBERT:

GOTHAM CENTRAL #32

Another Dead Robin… already?

NIGHTWING #109

I wanna see puppet Nightwing team-up with Puppet Flash.

ACTION COMICS #828

I know I should be excited about Gail Simone writing Superman and John Byrne returning to the character but… am I the only one who finds the cover kinda fugly? I halfway expect Austin Powers to show up and try to tear a wig off of the villainess here… “She’s man baby!”

SUPERMAN/BATMAN #22

Oh Dread am Team-Down Between Bizzaro Batman and Bizzaro Superman. Can Worlds Unfinest Not overcome similarities and not work together?

AQUAMAN #31

Aquaman with a spear-gun… I personally miss the hook hand.

DC SPECIAL: THE RETURN OF DONNA TROY #1

Revolving Door of Death keeps on a spinnin’.

THE FLASH #223

A Zooma Zoom Zoom and a Boom Boom!

GREEN ARROW #51

Anarky returns which is a good thing… as I swear I saw his picture on a milk carton a few weeks ago.

TEEN TITANS #25

Wow this cover reminds me of my last Fanfiction.net project. “Superboy has gone evil, Robin’s life is shattered, can Kid Flash teach him love again? Please Read & Respond PG-13 English Action/Drama/Romance” Uh… not that I’m into that kinda of thing.

THE OUTSIDERS #25

Alright who left a Post-it Note on the cover?

SON OF VULCAN #1

Son of which Vulcan? Mr. Spock? The Guy from Voyager? Black Vulcan from the Superfriends?

JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED #10

Jeepers it’s the Creeper!

ASTRO CITY: THE DARK AGE #1

Aaawww hell yeah! It’s Jack in the Box!

WILDSIDERZ #0

J. Scott Campbell brings us a new team of heroes with the power of GLOWY!

IAIN BURNSIDE: I think I have claimed that I’ll be dropping SUPERMAN/BATMAN on about 5 different occasions, yet each time Loeb somehow sucks me back in… And now that there’s a Batzarro, well, I’m struggling to resist yet again… Damn you, Jeph!! Why won’t you let me live???

As for Donna Troy, well, this whole thing just sums up why I’m getting so many DC books in monthly form as opposed to the multitude of Marvel titles I prefer to get in trade… The collector inside of me wants all things Crisis-shaped in single issue format for posterity, possibly because he’s Irish, and so I find myself eagerly snapping up all of these Big Event mini-series and even random arcs on books that I wouldn’t normally touch such as JSA and JLA… And despite Donna Troy apparently being the central figure in all of this Crisis speculation, I cannot for the life of me find a copy of the YOUNG JUSTICE: GRADUATION DAY TPB that by Didio’s own admission kicked this whole thing off a few years back. It’s nowhere. My Local Comics Stores haven’t got it, my online comics stores haven’t got it, it’s not on Amazon or eBay or Play… It’s nowhere. Gone. Did it even happen? Should they not be resoliciting it for June as well as this collection of Donna’s Titans tales? What gives? Ah well, at least Perez is back. God bless that man and his exceptional taste in shirts.

I can’t believe I Can’t Believe It’s Not The Justice League is ending so soon! Nooo! Can’t we just keep Giffen/DeMatteis on JLA CLASSIFIED forever?

Heh, Batista is on JLA…

Yes! Darwyn Cooke’s issue of SOLO is coming out at last! And he’s bringing Slam Bradley back with him!! Someone give this guy an ongoing, STAT!

Other than that, it looks like the same old suspects for me. I’d just like to take this opportunity to implore anybody that missed out on it first time around to get the WE3 TPB. I’m not sure how to describe the series but I think that “extraordinarily good” is a fine place to start.


June 2005 solicitations – Image [Details: Comics Continuum]

IAIN BURNSIDE: 13 issues and 400 pages of INVINCIBLE in hardback for $35? Come on!

PAUL SEBERT:

INVINCIBLE THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION, VOL. 1 HC

I admit it… it looks pretty damned badass collection of INVINCIBLE
goodness. Wonder if WALKING DEAD will get similar treatment.

THE PACT #3

Nice to see Firebrand back… but really is Shadowhawk II really a big-gun in the Image “Universe?”

IAIN BURNSIDE: If WALKING DEAD does then I’ll be pissed as I finally splashed out on the first two trades…


Mark Millar discusses the Ultimate Defenders [Discussion: Here]

JESSE “CASSANDRA” BAKER: Nice to see Millar continuing to treat his audience as if they are scum under his shoe. Ten will get you twenty Ultimate Black Knight is treated as pond scum, Ultimate Hellcat is a whore of some kind, and Ultimate Luke Cage makes Brian Azzarello’s version of Cage look like the poster child for the NAACP in terms of Millar making Cage represent negative black stereotypes…

MATT MORRISON: You know, I hate to admit it, but Jesse is dead on in this. But I think this fan put it best in summarizing the article…

“I chose the characters for my new series because they all suck and are lame. Yeah. Ain’t I cool? They really are bad characters… glad I didn’t create them. Oh, and the art will be late. Promise. Also, I could have told each arc in a single issue if I wanted. God I hate my job and wish I was doing something else…”

BEN NAGY: What’s really funny is that Millar says that he picked the only Defenders he could remember while invoking the Steve Gerber issues. Guess what, chief? Doctor Strange and Hulk were on the team at the time. What a putz. Luckily this is only happening in the Ultimate universe, which I don’t really care about, so Millar can sully the Defenders all he wants in that plane of the Marvelverse.

Of course, when it comes to Millar doing the new THOR series, maybe one of Gerber’s Homicidal Elves can string Millar up and prevent him from befouling that character. If prior storylines are any indication, Millar’s first will involve Thor getting possessed, Jane Foster being kidnapped by Loki and Thor smashing Catholic churches to splinters with Mjollnir.

UPDATE: Mark Millar will not be doing the THOR relaunch after all. From a recent Millarworld post…

“Greg and I decided to do UFF instead of Thor. We aren’t doing Thor after this. UFF is my last Marvel project I do under my contract and then I’m taking a huge break, focusing only on the Millarworld stuff for 06. No plans for anything at Marvel beyond this, but this may change in the future. Absolutely no hassles with Marvel or anything (I love them to death), but I’m just disappearing for a while and will be focusing on MW2 when I get back.

Personally, I’d love to see Oeming on the Thor book. Maybe we should start a petition. His Ragnarok arc was fantastic.”

BEN NAGY: That makes me feel a little better, then. I loved Oeming’s run on THOR, an all-too-short four issues. His BETA RAY BILL series is pretty solid as well. He loves the characters and respects ’em, which is one, if not the most important quality a writer has to have. Give him Thor, Marvel. Many thanks for that small bit of relief.

PAUL SEBERT: I agree with you on all respects but one…

Forget THOR… what I want is a BETA RAY BILL ongoing.


Your official Marvel Cover of the Year – John Cassaday’s ASTONISHING X-MEN #6 [More: Here]

JESSE BAKER: Say what you will about ASTONISHING X-MEN being the biggest failure since Joe Casey’s X-MEN in terms of quality, at least they put a good artist on the book.

TIM “BIG IN LUXEMBOURG” STEVENS: Umm…when did I (or any of us) say this?

JAMIE HATTON: That’s exactly what I was thinking, Tim. Thank you.

Whedon has breathed life into a stumbling franchise by making it as
clear and concise as possible. Cassaday’s art is just icing.

And I liked Joe Casey’s run too. Will we never find peace, Baker?!

Next yer going to tell me you don’t like coffee… a capital crime in my life.

TIM STEVENS: Mm… Coffee…

I think I’m gonna go get my caffeine on right now.

JAMIE HATTON: When the cullings begin, you shall be spared. At least long enough for one hot steaming cup of java. Awwww yeah.

KEVIN “SWEEP THE LEG” MAHONEY: Guys, this is the part where I get to blow your caffeine lovin’ doors off. I have a Cuisinart Grind N Brew automatic coffeemaker (the 2002 edition). Imagine this and drool

1. Variable hold temperature settings from piping hot (for you coffee with milk pansies) to just barely hot (for easy ice coffee in summer).

2. Variable duration automatic shut-off timer. Never have overcooked gunk in your pot ever again!

3. Self-contained automatic grind and filter system. I have never seen this anywhere else; put beans in one end, pour water in the other, close and hit start. The machine does everything!

4. Variable grind (from gritty to smooth) ensures you get your coffee as thick as you dig it.

5. Unconditional Warranty

So I have the smaller outmoded model (with no chrome). It’s still kick ass!

TIM STEVENS: ……..drool……….

JESSE BAKER: Well put me against the wall and fire when ready. I’m not a coffee fan.

How [has Whedon failed]? By ruining Shadowcat and raising Colossus from the dead for the sole purpose to further ruin Kitty by basing her entire character around being in love with Colossus? Not to mention boring plots that insult my intelligence (yet another designer drug to “cure” mutants? X-Men technology going crazy? A traitor storyline that won’t do a damn thing in the long run)…

Someone has to play Cassandra on this website, so it might as well be me since I have the natural cynicism required for the job. And god knows I’ve got a decent enough track record (see my rightfully predicting that Marvel would give the next storyline in FAUX AVENGERS variant covers to prop up sales artificially for instance) in terms of predicting these doom and gloom sort of things to land the spot…

TIM STEVENS: ” Well put me against the wall and fire when ready. I’m not a coffee fan.”

Worse than any NEW AVENGERS argument, potentially more devastating than any ASTONISHING X-MEN disagreement, more frightening than a Mark Millar commentary… the gauntlet has been thrown down!

Step back everyone and let Jamie and Jesse settle this. It’s gonna get ugly… real ugly.

MATT MORRISON: Totally unrelated but somehow appropriate topic.

Read YOUNG AVENGERS #2 yesterday. Apparently Jesse is right. Tony Stark did just put what was left of Vision in a warehouse somewhere… and Vision may be playing a Red Tornado role on the team.

Sorry. Carry on with your brawl.

TIM STEVENS: Well, yeah, but we knew that already from the end of “Chaos”. What we didn’t know is that Tony just kind of unceremoniously dumped poor Viz’s carcass on the floor. Not cool.

PAUL SEBERT: Can someone possibly explain to me how Whedon ruined Shadowcat? Is it humanly possible to ruin Shadowcat? I mean was the Kitty Pride/Wolverine mini-series in which Ogun brainwashed Kitty
into being a homicidal samurai Hobbit thus leading to her transformation into the world’s most deadly Jewish Ninja something people want to be reminded of? Really, the transformation of Kitty Pryde from cute girl next door into a martial arts action hero is every bit as ridiculous as Terry Kavanagh’s decision to make Betty Brant a gun-toting bad-ass. The only reason no-one calls Claremont on it is because well, it’s unfashionable to bash any Claremont story written before the year 2000…

Joss Whedon should be given a Congressional Medal of Honour for giving us the Kitty we know and love back.

IAIN BURNSIDE: Unfashionable, is it? In that case let me be the one to point out that any Claremont X-Men story not featured in ESSENTIAL X-MEN VOL. 2, the X-MEN VIGNETTES TPB, or GOD LOVES MAN KILLS is basically a complete and utter waste of your time, money and effort.

For I am Nerdball the Unfashionable. Let all lesser fashion fraudsters bow down and kiss my lime green plastic sandals.

Oh, and I should really point out that the Kitty the fanboys really want back is over in the Ultimate books, so go and thank Messrs. Millar, Bendis and VAAAAUUUGHAAAAN for bringing her back. You know, Jailbait Kitty.

I’ll be shutting up now.

ANDY LOGAN: The X-Men family of comics are, overall, a stale, lifeless franchise, recycling the same characters, plots and situations to a degree where each new issue is often either mundane or atrocious.

The exception is ASTONISHING. Bringing Colossus back into the fold – admittedly devaluing his initial sacrifice – was done with more sensitivity and genuine emotion than almost any other comic “return” I can think of in my experience.

Kitty Pride has always been the voice of reason – the one character who has always seen the world through the eyes of a “normal person” rather than a square-jawed hero or heroine. Too often, in recent years, that trait has been lost, buried beneath ever more gratuitous and far-fetched attempts at character development that have actually retarded the persona. Finally, under Wheedon’s stewardship, we are seeing what I feel is the “true” Kitty emerge once more.

And let’s be fair – can anyone with any feel for comic history and tradition – anyone with a semblance of X-Men lore and knowledge, have experienced such a shiver up their spine as they felt when Colossus and Wolvie performed the long-lost fastball special? I think not.

ASTONISHING isn’t perfect, (though often, it’s not that far off) but it’s the one title (with, maybe, the exception of X-MEN: THE END) keeping the X-Men from being a totally stagnant franchise at the moment.

JAMIE HATTON: I haven’t been a supporter of bringing Colossus back – and have said that I’ve yet to see the point, but ruining Kitty? She’s been in so little past EXCALIBUR she was due for an update (MEKANIX being the only book I can even remember her being in since then).

What Whedon has given us is a great internal look at the Beast – a better solidifying of White Queen as headmistress – and much simpler alternative than suffering through Claremont’s UNCANNY. I enjoyed Ord as a somewhat comical villain and I really enjoyed the ‘healing mutants’ storyline. With the rest of his run probably going to be about the SWORD portion of Shield – and the traitor subplot I guarantee is a red herring – I’m not sure what you expect from the guy.

What you have in cynicism you lack in enjoyment of the product. You truly come across as a guy who doesn’t read comics for the love of them – but the hope that they fit your ideals and if they miss the mark then all be damned. I can’t stand variant covers at all – and have gone on more than one diatribe about them, but that doesn’t change the fact that Marvel is going to keep shoving them down our gullet and the only thing we can choose to do as fans is not buy them if you don’t like them.

I personally feel that your standardized form of doom and gloom (not to mention your frequent inability to back up your tirades) to be amusing and not an invocation and call to arms. Maybe Whedon’s run hasn’t been anything extremely different, but it certainly has been a great and simpler alternative to the AUTHORITY X-MEN that Morrison gave us, the convoluted Austin, and the near unintelligible Claremont.

After the last 3 years of X-Sucking that has been taking up our comic shelves, Whedon’s book at least gives me the ability to pick it up and enjoy it for its 23-page pulp goodness. He’s not trying to reinvent the wheel, just smooth the edges.

So in the long run, it won’t be considered a failure. It won’t change the status quo, but nothing does nowadays – it will though be seen as the most solid X-Book of the last couple years. Unless of course Milligan strikes gold, which (your opinion withstanding) is only two issues in and has that potential.

I’m so not shocked [that you don’t like coffee] – I warn you that when the cullings begin that you will be one of the first on the wall.


WizardWorld LA news from Marvel, including
– A new 8-issue SENTRY series by Paul Jenkins & John Romita Jr.
– A new ongoing THING series by Dan Slott & Andrea DeVito
– SHE-HULK returns in August

[More: Newsarama]

PAUL SEBERT: Dan Slott sounds like the right writer to handle Aunt Petunia’s favorite everlovin’ blue-eyed nephew but really what I want is a relaunch of MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE.

Huzzah for SHE-HULK!

JASON BEREK-LEWIS: Well, I am really enjoying Sentry’s appearance in NEW AVENGERS. I haven’t read the first series, but I will definitely pick this one up!


WizardWorld LA news from DC, including
– The first arc of Loeb’s SUPERGIRL will clarify her relationship with Power Girl
– HAWKMAN will be “changed forever” after issue #45
– A new ongoing JONAH HEX series by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray

[More: Here and Here]

PAUL SEBERT: Newsflash, Supergirl & Power Girl have a non-platonic relationship. Prrrrrrow.

[The Hawkman stuff] happens every 8-to-10 years… And just after Geoff Johns got the guy’s origin halfway vaguely coherent… *sighs*

[JONAH HEX] sounds nice but I’m more of a Bat Lash kinda guy when it comes to DC western heroes.


ABSOLUTE WATCHMAN HC announced at WizardWorld LA [Details: Watcharama]

MIKE “ALL MARRIED AND STUFF… CONGRATS!” MAILLARO: I hate to say it, but I have never been a big fan of WATCHMEN. SQUADRON SUPREME told a similar story, but it came out a year earlier, had much more compelling characters and was just fun to read. WATCHMEN was dark and depressing. Not at all my type of comic story.

JESSE BAKER: I’ll believe this when I f*cking get a copy of ABSOLUTE WATCHMEN in my hands, what with Moore’s habit of being a spoiled, self-absorbed, temper tantrum-throwing little shit with regards to DC and WATCHMEN. Even odds Moore reverts to cunt-mode a month before it gets released, resulting in the project getting shelved indefinitely because no one at DC has the balls to tell Moore to go to hell and die.

I’ve still not forgiven Moore for robbing me of my chance to own a Comedian action figure…

TIM STEVENS: The funny thing here is, while I wouldn’t use the same words or have quite the same anger, this is my fear as well. I still remember the 15th anniversary plans that DC which fell by the wayside at the last minute. It was a shame. And sure, I bet it was because Moore was “protecting the integrity of the work” but whatever… I wanted more WATCHMEN stuff, dammit.

MIKE MAILLARO: Yeah, god forbid a guy protect the integrity of his work. It’s not like Warner Bros has a track record of shitting on Moore’s work, unless you count the film versions of FROM HELL or LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN

JESSE BAKER: Tell that to Moore, who’s track record with the film adaptations of his most recent works has been “Gimme, gimme, gimme cash and do whatever the f— you want to do with my comics so long as you give me my f—ing money!”

Moore could have made FROM HELL and LXG better by demanding a level of creator control over the final product but he took his money and ran. So I don’t buy that argument…

MANOLIS “SUGAR DADDY TO THE STARS” VAMVOUNIS: Well, actually, Alan Moore has waived any movie royalties from his work, and he’s publicly said that he wants his royalty checks to be given to the co-creators of the properties. So, in fact, he isn’t getting any money off the movie adaptations…

MIKE MAILLARO: Exactly. It wasn’t about money to Moore. It was about his work actually reaching the screen in decent shape… and so far, that just hasn’t happened.

IAIN BURNSIDE: Remember, remember, the film due out in November…

TIM STEVENS: I just want to clarify that I was being sarcastic when I said that I had a problem with Moore protecting the integrity of his work. It seems as though that might not have come across. I’m still nervous that the plug will be pulled on this at the last minute and I am disappointed that it was the last time, but I really don’t think my desire for stuff should overrule his desire to protect his work.

MATT MORRISON: You forgot CONSTANTINE, which was so bad Moore demanded his name not even be left in the credits with a “Created by” line.

Moore, for his part, doesn’t care about the movies. He said he’s a writer not a filmmaker and that he is more concerned with writing good new stories than retelling the old ones in new media. I also recall his comments to the affect that he believes doing film adaptations of books is a waste of time since the absolute best case scenario is something that captures the spirit of the book without following it word-for-word (naming BLADE RUNNER and DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRONIC SHEEP as the best examples of how this worked practically).

PAUL SEBERT: For the record, I’m really hoping to get a copy of this to replace the copy of WATCHMEN my friend Nicky Craver borrowed in High School and never gave back.

IAIN BURNSIDE: You know, the same thing happened to me. Of course, the culprit was an attractive young lady so I didn’t really mind that much…

BOOBIES!

*cough*


Greg Pak discusses the MARVEL NEMESIS video game [More: IGN]

PAUL SEBERT: Gamespot has a neat little preview up as well with some impressive little screen shots of Spidey and Wolverine fighting a new villain… but I’d much rather see another good old fashion Marvel vs. Capcom sequel complete with Udon tie-in comic.

JAMIE HATTON: Pretty. I just hope it’s not using the same engine as Mortal Kombat: Deception (the graphics seem quite close, but that’s not my department) – Either way, a new superhero fighting game that isn’t made by Capcom… I’m so there.


Will Hulk Hogan do a clean job to Marvel Comics? More importantly, where’s Marty Jannetty? [Details: Hulkarama]

PAUL SEBERT: This might very well be the first time that he’s ever lost cleanly.

JAMIE HATTON: In related news, you are now not allowed to make Hulk Hogan characters in City of Heroes. You are still allowed to make Marty Jannetty though.


Thomas Haden Church hired to play the baddie in Spider-Man 3 [Credit: CNN]

JAMIE HATTON: I know everyone is talking Hobgoblin and Venom… I think he looks like Electro.

PAUL SEBERT: Thomas Haden Church is a very talented actor, and I imagine he’ll wind up surprising a lot of people who are only familiar with his work on Wings, but… I was honestly hoping to see Henry Rollins as The Sandman.

I’m going out on a limb and guessing Raimi’s caving in to popular demand and doing Venom.

JESSE BAKER: Actually I’d like to see Henry Rollins as Venom. After all, you need someone big and menacing and capable of making little Tobey McGuire piss his pants when threatened. Plus Rollins can do the menacing dialogue and make it work (provided they ignore the bulls— “anime tentacle raping/vampire” crap Paul Jenkins forced upon the character).

MATT MORRISON: Yes. Far better that we should use the “Grr… I eat your spleen!” characterization that served Venom so well in so many failed mini-series.

Just so we’re totally clear, that was sarcasm.

PAUL SEBERT: Actually I think Jenkins didn’t so much alter [Venom] as, well, return the symbiote to its unworldly alien menacing roots.

And I think Rollins would make a better Sandman because, well, he looks like Sandman. Just give him some green pants and a striped shirt.

JASON BEREK-LEWIS: I think it’s strange that they announce the actor, but not the villain!

KEVIN MAHONEY: Hmm, the funny thing about Venom (psychology-wise) is his MPD. I mean you have the bitter reporter/potential suicide wrapped up in a homicidal parasite. Playing with those two over the top personas is what has always interested me. That complexity is hard to develop over the course of a two-hour film though.

I still think that Church is going to play the Hobgoblin, (especially
considering his recent turn as a rotted out yuppie cad in Sideways) he has a more suitable demeanour and carriage for that role.

ANDY “TED THEODORE” LOGAN: I’m no fanboy, but I can’t get my head around the idea of Church playing Venom – not unless they move away from the comic roots of the character entirely. Eh – what would I know? I thought Hugh Jackman was the wrong choice to play Wolverine…

MATT MORRISON: Ah, but we don’t know he’s playing Venom do we? They cast a tallish blond guy for a villain role and suddenly everyone is saying “AUGGGH! They are bringing in Venom!!!”

Hell, for all we know he could be playing Mysterio…

ANDY LOGAN: Fair point, well presented sir.

While we’re on the subject of Spidey villains, I’m sure I read somewhere that the introduction of John Jameson in Spider-Man 2 was to set up Werewolf by Night as a character in Spider-Man 3… Did I imagine this in one of my less lucid moments? If not, does anybody have any idea whether that particular plot strand is still slated to appear in the next movie?

MATT MORRISON: I think Sam Raimi did say something to that effect as a joke, but he was talking about Man-Wolf, not Werewolf by Night. Subtle difference.

You know if they did the Venom origin from the ’90s animated series and had John Jameson get absorbed by the symbiote that would solve a lot of the problems with doing a 2 hour movie with Venom that doesn’t require an hour and a half of set-up.

TIM STEVENS: That could be true. I mean it’s possible… but unlikely I think.

Oh, and by the by, Jameson is Man-Wolf, not Werewolf by Night. Just letting you know so your friends won’t laugh and mock you in the future for not knowing such pertinent information.

ANDY LOGAN: Thanks for the heads up – but it’s too late. The mocking has begun.

Curses.

JESSE BAKER: Church as Hobgoblin (the Roderick Kingsley version) would make for a compelling story for Spidey 3 and would even go far beyond the call of duty towards servicing the overall arc of the MJ/Spidey relationship. Granted you’d have to also introduce Ned Leeds into the film series to serve as the sacrificial lamb to establish Hobgoblin as a bastard beyond even Norman Osborn’s level, but that’s easily done:

Here’s how I see they could do it:

Act 1: Roderick Kingsley does a hostile takeover of Norman Osborn’s companies and while going through Norman’s things, finds out proof that Norman was Green Goblin and the blueprints for Norman’s Goblin weapons. Seeing the power in his possession, the moral-less bastard Roderick has a new costume (identical to the comic Hobgoblin costume) made and becomes the Hobgoblin and starts killing off corporate heads so he can take over their businesses.

Meanwhile MJ starts working for Roderick’s fashion company. Needing money to make a life with MJ, Peter goes fulltime as a photographer, working with newly hired by the Daily Bugle investigative reporter Ned Leeds. Leeds wants to find out who Hobgoblin is and becomes fast friends with Leeds.

Act 2: Hobgoblin and Spidey fight. Spidey tracks Roderick to his lair and they fight again, as Ned follows. MJ meanwhile becomes Roderick’s star model and ends up accidentally finding proof that he’s Hobgoblin. MJ forwards the info to Ned, who gets captured by Hobgoblin. Spidey and Hobgoblin fight at his lair and the place burns down. Roderick flees but not before killing Ned with a two-by-four to the head. He also dresses Ned in the Hobgoblin costume, so when Spidey finds Ned he thinks Ned is Hobgoblin. Before he can destroy the evidence to save Ned’s reputation, the police arrive and Ned’s body is hauled away.

Act 3: Peter has angst over Ned apparently being Hobgoblin. MJ goes to JJJ, who refuses to believe that Ned is Hobgoblin. JJJ arranges for MJ to get the goods on Kingsley to clear Ned’s name/bring Roderick to justice. MJ baits a trap but gets the crap beaten out of her, before escaping. Peter and MJ get together and Peter vows revenge on Roderick, who MJ tells is going to blackmail members of a local country club with all of their dirty secrets that he’s collected over the years. Big fight between Peter and Hobgoblin at the country club, with Peter at a distinct disadvantage due to the lack of buildings to swing from. Suddenly JJJ shows up and attacks Hobgoblin to save Spidey’s life, when Hobgoblin has Spidey at his mercy. This causes Spidey to have a second wind as he beats Hobgoblin and gains some level of respect from JJJ, who still vows to keep up his Spidey smear campaign regardless when Spidey refuses to unmask for JJJ.

Ned’s name is cleared and Roderick goes to jail. The ending of the film involves Peter and MJ dealing with MJ’s injuries and Peter finally getting over himself regarding putting MJ in danger as Spidey when MJ tells Peter she would have done what she did all over again since she helped bring down Roderick.

MANOLIS VAMVOUNIS: I never read the Hobgoblin arc… Can someone give me exact issue numbers I can track down?

JESSE BAKER: Well for starters you can pick up the Hobgoblin Lives TPB which collects the conclusion of the Hobgoblin Saga as it was originally intended before Christopher Priest ruined everything and flushed his career in the toilet as a result. Meanwhile if you have the money, you can try and track down via EBay the “Spider-Man: Hobgoblin” TPB Marvel put out in the late 1980s that collects the original Stern Hobgoblin stories and DeFalco’s first Hobgoblin story.

If you can’t find those, I suggest picking up the following issues that collect the entire convoluted saga:

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #238-239, 244-245, 249-251, 254-257, 259-264, 275-280, 283-289, SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #85, SPIDER-MAN vs. WOLVERINE ONE-SHOT, WEB OF SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #7, SPIDER-MAN: HOBGOBLIN LIVES #1-3.

Also, I’d avoid WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #29-30 since those were issues written by Christopher Priest where he put out a nonsensical, utterly unreadable, and extremely bitter in the “Why am I being fired from Marvel? I was best friends with Jim freaking Shooter! I should have a job for life!” way the story of why did Ned Leeds become Hobgoblin, that involved organized crime that makes zero sense and was flatly ignored after the fact faster than you can say “Mysterio’s dead?”. WEB ANNUAL #7 features a back-up story involving Ned Leeds that features a pre-Hobgoblin Lives retcon on Ned Leeds as Hobgoblin where they give him an actual reason for “being” Hobgoblin, which was to destroy Spidey for the emotional trauma inflicted on Betty when Spidey failed to save her brother from the mob.

PAUL SEBERT: I wasn’t around at that time, but I just checked Spider-Fan… and WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #29-30 was written by Jim Owsley, not Christopher Priest.

DARON “DA BOSS” KAPPAUFF: Jim Owsley is Christopher Priest…

MANOLIS VAMVOUNIS: From the Rec.Arts.Comics FAQ

WHAT IS UP WITH JIM OWSLEY/CHRISTOPHER PRIEST? ARE THEY THE SAME
PERSON? DID HE CHANGE HIS NAME?

James Christopher Owsley (writer and editor for Marvel and DC) changed his name to Christopher James Priest in the summer of 1993 for personal reasons. “Personal” means don’t email him and ask him why. He won’t tell you. It is none of your business. He answers to “Priest,” “Jim,” or “Christopher,” but not to “Chris.” He is usually credited as “Christopher Priest” or just “Priest” on comics work.

By the way, Christopher Priest the American comic book writer is NOT the same guy as Christopher Priest the English science fiction writer.

JESSE BAKER: I’ll add to that with the rumoured reason why he did the name change; supposedly the writer formerly known as Jim Owsley swore that if he ever got a divorce he’d become a priest. So when he did get divorced, he changed his name to Christopher Priest as a way to honour the dare without actually going through with it…

KEVIN MAHONEY: There was something in the Bullpen when the name change happened, a sort of joke set-up to the name change. He told a co-worker he was changing his name and they asked “to what?” his initial answer was Nicodemus Hazard. I wonder if he answers to Nicky the H?

PAUL SEBERT: Oh… my bad… seeing as how Owsley, Christopher Priest had separate listings on Spider-Fan I just assumed they were different staff writers from around the same time.


Todd McFarlane updates on the MIRACLEMAN rights [Details: Miraclearama]

JAMIE HATTON: If this isn’t just another one of those 3-sided stories… it’s funny that just due to their writing style and history… I always read McFarlane sounding like a 10 year old brat and Gaiman talking like an upstanding British noble. Seriously, Todd never comes across as anything but an angry little boy in these things.

Ah well, Image 10th Anniversary book? What Image 10th Anniversary book??! Did you get your order in…? Keep waiting.


Details on the flip-books Marvel will be sending to 7-11 stores [Click: Here]

JASON BEREK-LEWIS: Well, to paraphrase the Thing, “What a fantastic development!” Although I am sure this won’t trickle down to Australia, I figure that anything that broadens the reach of comics has to be good for this industry.

Getting comics into places that kids will see them is only half the battle, but I am glad to see that Marvel is taking this on!

BEN NAGY: I think it’s cool that Marvel’s expanding the accessibility of their product but this is just a baby step. It may be different in other states, but 7-11’s seem relatively rare to me. I know of one in the Cleveland, Ohio area and I think I know of one in North Carolina. Of course, this is just my very limited experience.

If Marvel could further expand their product into say, gas station chains and supermarkets (bring back the wire spinner racks, I say!), that might be a more important step. What parent taking their kid on a long interstate trip wouldn’t pick up a comic while getting a fill-up of scrumptious $2+ per gallon gasoline to get the kid to be quiet? If Marvel could succeed in that and re-establish the younger fanbase, maybe they can quit jacking up those prices…

PAUL SEBERT: This is a pretty nice variety of titles to offer… and I’m particularly glad to see books like NEW X-MEN: ACADEMY X and AMAZING FANTASY tied up with best sellers.

I’m a tad disapointed not to see BLACK PANTHER on this list… but I guess since it’s still fairly new they don’t want the flip-book eating up sales from the monthly.


Greg Rucka discusses THE OMAC PROJECT [Discussion: Ruckarama]

NICK PIERS: Mm, Rucka, you sexy bitch. You had me at hello.

Seriously, though, I’m really looking forward to a lot of the COUNTDOWN and post-COUNTDOWN stuff. I’ve already asked my “dealer” to put my name in for all the upcoming minis.

IAIN BURNSIDE: Oh, COUNTDOWN… Oh dear, oh dear…

PAUL SEBERT: You know maybe it’s just me but even with the involvement of talents like Rucka and Gail Simone I just can’t get myself to be excited about any of these CRISIS tie-ins. Heck this probably says more about me than it does the comics industry but I’m more excited about MACHINE TEEN and GRAVITY than any of these mini-series.


RUMOUR: AGE OF APOCALYPSE may become an ongoing [Credit: All the Rage]

NICK PIERS: *Sigh* Sure, it sells well, why not milk it for all it’s worth until no one cares and it dies a slow, painful death. See also: 2099, M2, Spidey clones, Wolverine, Infinity something or other, Secret War something or other, etc.


Killraven and The Defenders to get the ESSENTIAL treatment [Credit: All the Rage]

NICK PIERS: Woot for both as I’ve always wanted to read ’em. Now where’s ma ALPHA FLIGHT essential, bitch!?

IAIN BURNSIDE: Screw dat, ya crazy Canadian bastard! Gimme my ESSENTIAL DEADPOOL!!

Or, failing that, let’s make up some ESSENTIAL BEA ARTHUR!!

PAUL SEBERT: Dammit… where’s my ESSENTIAL SHANG-CHI: MASTER OF KUNG-FU and ESSENTIAL WEREWOLF-BY-NIGHT?


ROGUE cancelled as of issue #12 [Credit: All the Rage]

NICK PIERS: Anyone else shocked by this? Anyone? Hello? *taps his mic*

All right, anyone wanna put the NIGHTCRAWLER comic on a death pool or
anything?

IAIN BURNSIDE: Actually, the lowest selling X-book not yet cancelled is DISTRICT X. Couple that with the upcoming mutant shoogle in HOUSE OF M and things are not looking good for Bishop at this stage.

And how SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED has managed to survive this far is anybody’s guess…

PAUL SEBERT: I’m not really surprised but… I was kind of digging Tony Bedard’s arc on the book.

Hope this doesn’t happen to NIGHTCRAWLER.


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