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SDCC ’11 | Marvel announces Season One graphic novel line

Fantastic Four: Season One

To help celebrate its 50th anniversary next year, Marvel will publish a line of graphic novels featuring current creators retelling classic superhero tales. Called Season One, the initiative marks the company’s first entry in recent history into original graphic novels.

“We’re hoping to introduce folks who have never read any of these characters to these characters in this format, and also provide an interesting and illuminating story for people who have read a lot of Fantastic Four and Daredevil,” Tom Brevoort, Marvel’s senior vice president of publishing, tells USA Today. “If you want to dip your toe in the water and find out the essence of what Marvel is all about, here is a nice place for you to start in big, sizable, meaty chunks.”

The first wave will feature: Fantastic Four: Season One, by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and David Marquez, due in February; X-Men: Season One, by Dennis Hopeless and Jamie McKelvie, in March; Daredevil: Season One, by Antony Johnston and Wellinton Alves, in April; and Spider-Man: Season One, by Cullen Bunn and Neil Edwards, in May. A second wave will debut soon afterward.

Season One isn’t a relaunch or an Ultimate Universe-like initiative — “”Everything you know about them, everything that’s existed for the last 50 years still exists and is still there,” Brevoort says — but neither is it a mere retelling of the characters’ origins. “These are individually new stories,” he says, “even though they’ve got bits and pieces of old and formative origin stuff in and around them, as well.”

Visit USA Today to see a preview of Fantastic Four: Season One.

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57 Comments

Seriously? Who feels like going back and pulling quotes from the dozen or so times Brevoort or Quesada questioned the logic of DC’s Earth One graphic novel line and went on at length about how little sense it made to produce them as original graphic novels rather than monthly books that would be collected later?

I’m not saying it’s a bad idea. A couple of those creative teams sound somewhat promising, though I am surprised they’re not launching it with some bigger names. But it’s just the exact opposite of everything I can remember Marvel executives ever saying about the original graphic novel market.

I only know Aguirre-Sacasa, Jamie McKelvie, and Wellington Alves. Who are the rest of those people?

@ gordon: They saw the sales of Earth One, and wanted a slice of that pie.

So Season One is Marvel’s rip-off of DC’s Earth-One I take it…

I would prefer to look at Brevoort’s quotes about how DC is trying to be Marvel. I mean isn’t this Marvel trying to be DC.

I have never met Brevoort, but I usually despise the garbage that comes out of his mouth.

Marvel’s done it before with X-men Hidden Years, X-men First Class, Wolverine First Class, Uncanny X=men FC, Untold Tales of Spiderman, and assorted miniseries like Marvels. So don’t see why everyone’s calling for the EarthOne anger.
Anyhoo, like that it’s a return to the old Marvel Graphic Novel line in a sense. Love finding back issues of those.

By all mean, don’t try to tell new exciting stories with alll new, all differents characters, Marvel, the House of Past!

How approppriate the surname of that writer to define this braindead initiative:

Dennis Hopeless

Tom and Joe have both said on more than one occasion how the original GN model does not make economic sense to them. Curious to hear what has changed for them to now not only take on this project, but commit to so many one right after the next.

Roberto back on FF? Awesome. I’m a little confused by the “everything happened” bit. How can it be “Season One,” but then the past 50 years of continuity still exists? Unless Brevoort didn’t meant continuity? Anyway, Roberto back on FF? Awesome.

I’m way warmer to this than to something like DCnU. New imaginings without throwing out what’s been built up thus far. I like it.

Some of these have some quality creative teams. I’m sad this means we won’t be seeing more art from Jamie McKelvie regularly as this will likely keep him quite busy. Wellington Alves will be missed from the regular books too.

file this under “DC made a ton of money with Superman Earth 1 hardcover – so we have to do it too”

too bad the big 2 have become complete corporate money grubbers, to the detriment of artistry and creativity

Brevoort and Quesada are the biggest bullsh#t talkers and hypocrites in the industry.

I think it sounds cool, myself.

I’d say this is much less Earth One (which is basically Ultimate DC, except less frequent/ good) and more Iron man Extremis: Updating the origin stories to fit with the modern incarnations of the main characters, since obviously the FF didn’t get their powers as part of the space-race anymore (and Reed and Ben weren’t in WW2)

Clearly these are going to be aimed at the Bookstore/Movie crowd.

(The season 1 moniker kinda blows though, and fairly underwhelming creative teams)

Yeah it goes against what they have been saying but in Brevoort’s defence (I’ll never undertsand all the hate he gets for talking to fans like adults) i understood what he had been saying as: we don;t have anything against it in principle just that the numbers never worked. obviosuly something has changed and the numbers worked. At least they will be delivering an actual line unlike DC who have managed one graphic novel and we’ve never heard form them again – no solicits for Superman volume 2 and no sign of batman Earth One or anything else. Marvel are saying they will deliver four in four months

@ Paploo – both DC and Marvel have done “hidden years” series before, that’s not the point. What posters are highlighting is how Quesada etc are on record for bagging Superman Earth One Graphic Novel concept as economically non-viable, and then obviously deciding approve the same initiative with Marvel’s characters after seeing how successful it was. It’s the hypocritical nature of the process that has annoyed some, especially when one considers how “original and groundbreaking” Quesada likes to portray himself, often by bagging DC and the company’s initiatives (remember the weekly 52 – then Spider-Man started doing it… hmm)

Personally I couldn’t care less – one-shot Graphic Novels, if done well, can only be a boon to comic-reading fans such a myself. I’ve always been dumbfounded why the companies adhere to numbering instead of doing comics as Season 1, 2, 3 and so on. After 35yrs of reading comics, continuity means nothing to me – I just want good stories.

Cheers

“At least they will be delivering an actual line unlike DC who have managed one graphic novel and we’ve never heard form them again – no solicits for Superman volume 2 and no sign of batman Earth One or anything else. Marvel are saying they will deliver four in four months”

Personally I prefer it when a company DOESN’T solicit a product before it’s been completed. I’m thinking The Twelve, Superior, Daredevil limited series, and Kick-Ass. DC already annoyed me with Batman: the Wideing Gyre. We know they’re in the process of writing/ drawing Batman E1 and Superman E1 part 2 – I’m happy to wait until it’s completed before it’s solicited. It’s not like I have nothing else to read in the meantime…

Cheers

I want to see Avengers: Season One by Bendis!!

I guess they thought if they waited a little while, we wouldn’t notice they were ripping off DC’s Earth One line.
Hahahaha, silly little fat men.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I really appreciate all the positivity on this thread.

This may be good or not. No way to know. But it is not the first time they have done Original graphic novels. That was Death of Captain Marvel in 1983, I think. That was pretty good, if I recall correctly.

Honestly, if you’re going to call out Marvel for ripping off Earth One, you could call out DC for ripping off Ultimate Marvel who ripped off themselves with Heroes reborn, who ripped off Byrne’s Superman reboot who… yadda yadda yadda… who ripped off God. Basically everyone should be ashamed for ripping off God. Cause that’s what we did. And we knew it too.

I’m sorry, what’s the name of God’s superhero team, again?

I’m sorry, what’s the name of God’s superhero team, again?

That’d be the Avengers. Unless you believe Thor is an alien (like the movie) instead of an honest-to-goodness God with a capital G.

Of course we could also include The Champions. That was Hercules’ superhero team as well.

Why, I’m glad you asked!

The Seven Champions of Christendom (http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/21454) has been mentioned (by Roy Thomas, in an All-Star Squadron letter column, as I recall) as a literary predecessor to the Justice Society, in which the various patron saints of Europe actually team up in a way not unlike that of characters like the JSA, JLA, Avengers, Legion, etc. St. George rescues the six others from an evil enchantress, and then they go off for individual adventures and team-ups with each other.

And don’t forget the JLA when they had Zauriel, an angel! LOL!

Re: Bendis doing Avengers: Year One (er, Season One), I’d rather spoon my own eyes out than read such a thing.

Otherwise, I really am jazzed about this. I love Roberto’s work!

Okay, dc’s earth one gn are set in a new universe, a ripoff of the ultimate universe. These new gn are clearly not a different universe so they are not a ripoff of earth one. Second, you all misunderstood what quesada said about gns. He simply said they make more money releasing it as a comic first then collecting them as a gn, which makes total sense. But quesadas not the eic, axel is, so this was probably his call here. If you all wanna say marvel ripped off dc somehow, you could say theyre trying to ripoff, say, batman year one or green lantern/superman secret origin.

Mike McNulty a.k.a. "stillanerd"

July 19, 2011 at 6:18 pm

“…the graphic novel is not the best financial model with which to sell comic books. I don’t know if they’ve announced page counts on these OGNs or not, but let’s say for the sake of argument that the page counts is the equivalent of five comic books. If they were to take Geoff Johns’ five issues of “Batman” and sell them monthly, they would probably end up making a lot more money than putting it out as a hardcover. Personally, we’ve never seen that model work for us financially. That’s all I’m saying. I’m not saying people shouldn’t do OGNs. I’m just saying for us, at Marvel, the math has never worked.” — Joe Quesada, December 15, 2009

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=24069

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah. And Breevort knew this was coming when he was making fun of DC. Sheesh!

CBR: Next, let’s kick things over to frequent questioner Comicbookfan who had a few questions about graphic novels that seemed particularly on topic these days. First up, an idea we’ve discussed with Joe in the past: “Will you guys be putting out some OGN (Original Graphic Novels) a la DC’s Superman Earth one?”

Brevoort: I don’t think so, Fan, not any time soon. While it’s a format that other companies seem to like, it simply doesn’t make a whole lot of financial sense to us. Given the cost to produce, say, 100 pages of story material, it’s better off for everybody financially to sell that story serially on a monthly basis first, before eventually collecting it in a single edition. The monetary return is better for everybody most of the time, creators, retailers and Marvel. And I know that does create some limitations when it comes to pacing the story out over so many pages, since you need to build it in such a way as to make it able to break every 22 pages or so. But all things being equal, this is the approach that works best for us, at least at the moment.

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?id=29504&page=article

Enough already!

“So Season One is Marvel’s rip-off of DC’s Earth-One I take it…”

And Earth-One was a rip-off of Marvel’s Ultimate Universe.

I just couldn’t be any more uninterested in those creative teams… Besides, there’s not a single A-List involved in the project. The Daredevil one is the only one that I’m a little interested in.

This seems like taking those random limited series about these individuals and teams, skipping the individual issues and going straight to the trade

Enough with the “current creators retelling classic superhero tales” already. How about telling some new ones?

Earth One is not a rip off of the Ultimate line. The Ultimate line was a single issue format line. Price, content, format, pre-production, target demographic, exposure – all completely different. If anything, Earth One is a retooling of DC’s own Elseworlds format. Don’t be limited to just a perceived concept. Season One is absolutely a ripoff of Earth One. Marvel saw the sales numbers and rushed their own brand out there. It won’t sell the same, but you know Marvel’s method: flood the market so the lack of major sales gets spread across the glut of titles.

I have no problem with them going back on what they’ve said in the past. Maybe their research indicates there is an audience for this type of book and that they can make money on it. I think they still see it as a risk though which is why you don’t see much of their top talent on any of these.
If these become big sellers, I think think this where you put guys like Coipel and Cheung who can’t handle the monthly grind.

I want to see more season one: Hulk, Black Panther, Punisher, Blade, Power Man

I’ll pass. I already know who FF is.

I’m all for a return to original graphic novels. Marvel produced some fantastic GN’s in the 80′s – Death of Captain Marvel, DR. Strange: Triumph and Torment, Dardevil: Love and War, Emperor Doom etc. It’s a sound move to get these new GN’s into bookstores and hopefully attract new readers.

Personally, though, I’m not really interested in yet another retelling of past stories. The original issues tell me everything I need to know about the early days and I’m not interesting in reading updated versions of those stories.

But I’m not really the target audience for these books. Like DC’s 52 initiative, this is clearly aimed at drawing new readership in and opening up different markets. I’m all for that. Something needs to revitalise the industry and I praise any efforts by the big two to draw new readers in.

Umm..derivative and obvious. No thanks.

This doesn’t sound like it’s a retelling of any old stories, but new stories set back in that era. I suppose the idea is those old issues didn’t chronicle EVERY DAY of the Fantastic Four’s life. This is some random Tuesday that Stan and Jack never got around to putting on paper.

Its more of a combo of secret Origin that geoff Johns did for GL and DC earth one novels but coming out at a faster pace as well being in current contuinty rather being in ultimates. I’m not sure ill get any other than the x-men tho.

@thiraknut Wait for the reviews, dude — this is a pretty new take on the material that I think will have some legs with critics because of the smartly selected creative teams.

I think some of you guys will be pleasantly surprised by how these books are coming out. These are gonna be genuinely new stories from some terrific top-flight talent (Cullen Bunn, Jamie McKelvie, RAS — these guys have their pick of assignments; Roberto’s also in demand in feature films and is a writer on GLEE this coming season).

And: it’s a bit insane to hate on Marvel for getting into the OGN business, regardless of their past statements. If there’s money to be made in a segment of the market, Marvel’s going to go after it aggressively. Why shouldn’t they?

For those who don’t recognize the name David Marquez, he’s up for the Russ Manning Award at ComicCon for his work on Days Missing and Syndrome from Archaia, the latter of which I co-wrote. Great guy and tremendous artist. Check his stuff out at http://www.DavidMarquez.com

*insert reactionary response and obligatory Breevort bash*

jeez.

Who’s for “Incredible Hulk Season One”?

I think I’d rather just reread Mythos.

I’m hoping that these are going to end up as what I’ve been saying Marvel should be doing for ages – something which covers all the major features and developments of major characters in one volume so that if you do need to introduce people to a particular characters, or to comics in general, you can literally just give them one volume that catches them up to date in the most important things. I would have probably gone with some more famous creative teams though personally, not necessarily as an inditement on the talent of those who are making these, but just because if you had the likes of Bendis working on this it gives it added weight.

LOL at Marvel rehashing old stuff again and again…

@R.J. Ryan : Of course, the creators are up and coming but personally, they are being wasted on doing a rehash of history which everyone and their neighbour knows about. Waste of their talent.

Ah, superhero comics. Selling you the same shit OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN. Just say no.

Matt from the Chi

July 20, 2011 at 7:00 am

So…it’s not Ultimate Comics 2.0?

bluedevil2002

July 20, 2011 at 7:44 am

Um, Isn’t 2011 the 50th anniversary? If FF started in 1961….

But this is also the same company that celebrated Marvel Knights’ fifth anniversary during their sixth year.

Brian from Canada

July 20, 2011 at 9:05 am

Everyone’s missing one key factor here: release date.

Factor in four issues for the first story arc, and all of DC’s first trades post-relaunch happen at the exact time as Marvel’s season one initiative — meaning you can get a start on Superman or Fantastic Four within weeks of each other.

The only difference is, for Superman you’ll have to wait four months before the next one because those issues are now going to digital and print; for Fantastic Four, there’ll be the Essentials (the stories that happen around this for a low cost) and the later stories available as well, ALL of which count unlike DC’s.

It’s not just stealing a piece of the Earth One pie, it’s stealing a piece of the relaunch pie too.

That’s pretty smart, even if it DOES go against what Marvel was talking about regarding OGNs.

(And for the record: I’m against Quesada’s stance on OGNs because Marvel once had a very successful line of those that, amongst other things, saw key stories like the death of Captain Marvel and the launch of The New Mutants.)

Sprinkle a few new little tidbits in, but this is really just another rehash.

Not interested.

Like someone else said, I’ll re-read Mythos.

Yeah, no OGN’s from Joey Q, and the company that beat DC to the punch with the first mainstream OGN.

* sigh *

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