I'm Just Sayin'…#18

I went on a bit of a Best Buy bender last weekend (I feel obligated to say “no pun intended,” because one of the DVDs I bought was FUTURAMA: THE BEAST WITH A BILLION BACKS), and I just wanna say this: if you haven’t gotten yourself a copy of BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHT yet, then please stop reading and do so now. It’s okay. I’ll wait.

As for the rest of you…my favorites were “Field Test,” “In Darkness Dwells” and “Deadshot” – how about yours?

Okay, moving on – Comics Continuum is reporting an adaptation of THE BLACK PANTHER is currently in development for BET, and will be set to premier in 2009. Naturally, since it’s going to be on BET, they’ll be adapting directly from the first six issues of the version written by Reginald Hudlin, the President of Entertainment:

“As a lifelong comic book reader, I didn’t think anything could top the excitement of writing one of my favorite characters, the Black Panther,” Hudlin said. “I’m so proud I’ve been able to maintain a successful run of the series over the past three years while keeping my ‘day job’ of programming a network. But now to have both of my worlds collide, to have a faithful adaptation of my own work as a prime time series on the network — it’s a dream come true.”

Hm. It seems that congratulations to Mr. Hudlin are in order; I guess that explains why a new BLACK PANTHER series was ever greenlit, especially coming so close after such a critically acclaimed, albeit story-dense run by Priest.

Probably explains a lot of the contradictory details in Hudlin’s version, too. In any case, I think the moral of this story is there’s no such species as coincidence…

I noticed from the reports from Wizard World Chicago that Spider-fans are still giving Marvel a hard time over ONE MORE DAY/BRAND NEW DAY, and I just have to say…keep up the good work, people!

It’s the final few paragraphs of this article on Marvel’s “YOUR UNIVERSE” panel that are probably my favorite, if only because the scrambling and rationalizing that the Marvel contingent have to do to validate their bonehead move just continues to make itself plain for all to see:

“Spider-Man’s status quo was mentioned as something that really bugged one fan. He said that now Peter Parker “can’t” get married, and that completely limits his future. He also feels that the last 20 years was erased. Over the next year – by issue #600, [Jim] McCann said, readers will know how all of Peter Parker’s past fit in without Peter and Mary Jane being married.”

Welp, there’s something to look forward to: Marvel’s actually going to waste a milestone 600th issue on a creatively bankrupt direction. It’s a shame too, since I do have THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #400 and THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #500 that I’ll have to skip this one, but I guess you can’t fault them when it comes to commitment. Moving on…

“The fan asked why they didn’t just keep the unmarried, younger Spider-Man to the Marvel Adventures and Ultimate Spider-Man titles. Brevoort said that the thinking was that Spider-Man was and will be again the greatest youth property. People forget now, the editor added, because he’s been older for the last 20 years, that virtually all of the other interpretations (movies, tv shows, etc.) use a younger Spider-Man, and that’s the way he’s seen to the general public.”

More spurious logic at work. I can only shake my head, fondly remember when Tom Brevoort was reaping residual praise for the Busiekian Renaissance, and keep reading because the main point I’d like to get into is right here…

“A fan countered, noting that Stan Lee and Steve Ditko graduated Peter from High School in #28, but Tom countered with “Steve Ditko said ‘We never should have graduated Peter from High School'” and explained they did that they only did so because they thought it was a fad and wanted to tell as many stories with the character as they could before Spider-Man disappeared.”

Isn’t it ironic that it was a bold move SUCH AS graduating Peter from High School that enabled Marvel to set itself apart from its competitors, and thus allow for over forty years of continued publication? Remember, folks: that sort of thing wasn’t happening in DC comics at that time. Superman had been foiling Lois Lane’s attempts at marrying him/finding out his secret identity for thirty years at that time. Dick Grayson had been running around in a chainmail diaper and green pixie boots for twenty years. The one surefire way to increase your odds of success in any creative/business endeavor, is to do at least one thing that the competition isn’t.

And if that ain’t enough irony for you – take a look at this article outlining the original run on THE QUESTION as published by Charlton Comics in 1967, and ask yourself this: what do you suppose the odds would’ve been that, had it been up to Steve Ditko, Peter Parker would’ve remained the same lonely, frustrated, increasingly embittered angry young man that he was before John Romita Sr. joined Stan on the book and ushered in the livelier college period that Marvel seems so intent on recapturing? How long do you think Ditko’s Spider-Man could’ve lasted if the character didn’t grow? How long would it have been before readers dumped the book, thinking the character had become a total buzzkill? How about the fact that Peter’s graduation from high school was completely necessary to mark the shift in the book’s tone and give us a Peter Parker that could actually have friends?

I’ll say it before, and I’ll say it again: Marvel and Spider-Man in particular work best when characters MOVE FORWARD. That was what separated their comics from DC at the time, and that’s when any Marvel comic works best. If you want to grab the interest of the “youth market”? Take a friggin’ chance and create a new one – if Marvel can devote half the commitment to a brand-new character with a real philosophical mission as they are willing to do for just this latest of the monumentally idiotic things that they’ve put Spider-Man through, it may just have a chance!

I don’t mean to be hard on Marvel on this, I really don’t. It’s just that ONE MORE DAY was an unnecessary, mind-bogglingly stupid move; there is nothing in BRAND NEW DAY that necessitated ONE MORE DAY and a great disservice to Spider-Man and the Marvel Universe perpetuates itself for every week it remains in place, that’s all…

And speaking of commitment, would you look at this: seems the concept of a teenaged Tony Stark is getting another chance in the form of the Nickelodeon property IRON MAN: ARMORED ADVENTURES:


Looking at the preview I couldn’t help but wonder if that was supposed to be a teenaged Pepper Potts and James (Jimmy?) Rhodes in there as well…I do like the way the armor looks, and I suppose it’ll be worth giving a shot, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. I do hope Nickelodeon hasn’t passed on a fourth season of AVATAR for this, though…

Some of you may recall that I had a little something to say about the solicitation to TITANS #5 a few columns back. I’ll tell you, though: I had no idea that image wasn’t even the half of it, thanks to Manolis’ review of TITANS #3:

Not to cast aspersions on a comic I haven’t even read, but I’m starting to understand why Jeff Ritter doesn’t care for Judd Winick. I mean, I’d like to think any other writer would call for a scene change right around here:

…Buuuut I guess we should only be so lucky.

I mean…really, Judd? Really? We absolutely had to go here?

I’ll tell ya – I’m not sure which bugged me more; the lack of necessity of this image, the inappropriate nature of this image, or Nightwing’s very unfortunate bird legs! But I guess it must be working in his favor if he can pull a honey like Starfire. But I guess if you have feet like she apparently does, you’d be prone to letting your guard down for some of that chicken mojo – and isn’t that always the way, fellas? Buck chikka buck-bucKAW…

Hey, here’s a fun new game for my fellow comic book heads: why not write in with a scene that was just so patently unnecessary that it made you either go “Eww!”, “Oh, COME on!” or just plain made you decide to put the comic back on the shelf and say, “Yeah, I don’t think so. Think I’ll try USAGI YOJIMBO this week, instead.”

And much like I tried to avoid zombies until THOR: REIGN OF BLOOD, I thought I could skip out on the Skrull action but alas, SECRET INVASION: FANTASTIC FOUR had other plans. I was very glad to see Lyja again, although confused as to why she’d suddenly decided to re-align her loyalties to the Skrull Empire. Not to mention disappointed that she was not aptly referred to as Johnny’s ex-wife, as opposed to his “former love.” But I’ll tell ya what makes up for it, though…

Now that is a suit Reed Richards would design. And Valeria…between you and me pun’kin, you look better than Iron Man.

That’s right – I said it….

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