SPIDER-MANDATE: The Lowe-down on "Secret Wars," Tie-Ins and Stacey Lee
It’s tough reading the tea leaves when it comes to the actions of DC’s new management team. Aside from the customary reassuring department meetings, high-level powwows (with the likes of writer Grant Morrison and WildStorm Vice President-General Manager Hank Kanalz) and renewed sense of energy reported in the hallways of 1700 Broadway, the immediate impact of the advancement of Co-Publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio and Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns has been difficult to gauge.
But this being 2010 and all, there’s always Twitter to consult. And in Johns’ feed, at least, we can see some evidence of fence-mending with a couple of creators who’ve left DC and its imprints for presumably greener pastures.
On Monday, Johns wished The Losers and Green Arrow: Year One writer Andy Diggle a happy birthday, tweeting “Still miss your writing at DC… :)” (Yes, complete with smiley-face emoticon.) Diggle, currently a Marvel-exclusive creator, has described leaving DC after coming to feel he was an uncomfortable fit in both its superhero and Vertigo lines. He also took to his own Twitter account a few months back to express his frustration with the unavailability of DC/Vertigo’s Losers collections. Obviously it’s in everyone’s best interests to get along, what with the high-profile movie adaptation of Diggle and Jock’s The Losers on the way — Jim Lee promoted a recent signing by the team on his own Twitter, for example — but still, that’s a fairly explicit overture.
This past weekend Philadelphia welcomed Wizard World, while Charlotte hosted HeroesCon. Two East Coast conventions, separated by more than 500 miles and a couple of states. If you were away from your computer, then you may have missed some of the announcements that sprang from both venues:
• For years people have been asking for an “iTunes for comics.” Well, it looks like we might actually get one. Rantz Hoseley’s Longbox will be a free download available later this year for PC, Macs and Linux. Comics can be download for a suggested price point of $.99 per issue, with the potential for block and subscription pricing. BOOM! and Top Cow have already signed on.
• Marvel had a lot of announcements at the show. Spinning out of the Uncanny X-Men/Dark Avengers crossover that kicks off any day now will be a series of one-shots that fall under the heading of Dark Reign: The List. Basically Norman Osbourn starts making a list of everyone standing in his way who he needs to do dirty, nasty things to.
The eight one shots and the creators working on them are:
Dark Reign: The List – Daredevil by Andy Diggle and Billy Tan
Dark Reign: The List – Wolverine by Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic
Dark Reign: The List – Hulk by Greg Pak and Ben Oliver
Dark Reign: The List – Amazing Spider-Man by Dan Slott and Adam Kubert
Dark Reign: The List – Avengers by Brian Bendis and Marko Djurdjevic
Dark Reign: The List – Uncanny X-Men by Matt Fraction and Alan Davis
Dark Reign: The List – Secret Warriors by Jonathan Hickman and Ed McGuiness
Dark Reign: The List – Punisher by Rick Remender and John Romita Jr.
The project was announced at around the same time both in Philadelphia and in Charlotte. For more info, check out CBR’s interviews with Bendis, Fraction and Remender, as well as Pak, Hickman and Aaron. Also, Aaron talks a little bit about his Wolverine one-shot on his blog; it will feature both Marvel Boy and Fantomex, as well as a new Weapon XVI.
In this week’s “My Cup o’ Joe,” Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada confirms what he let slip in the previous column: that writer Andy Diggle will take over Daredevil this summer, with the renumbered Issue 501.
Make that Marvel-exclusive writer Andy Diggle.
“I thought for whatever reason that we had already announced that one, but I guess we hadn’t,” Quesada says, explaining the quickly deleted slip.
“But man, I can’t get away from this without complimenting [outgoing writer] Ed Brubaker.
Ed did just an amazing, amazing run, following up after Brian Bendis, which was no easy feat. I mean, Ed’s run has been legendary, but he just needed to cycle off. I think he’s had a workload that just felt like ‘one book too many,’ and he’s told all the Daredevil stories he feels he needs to for right now.”
So, why Diggle?
“Well, I think Andy really showed us something when he took over Thunderbolts,” Quesada says. “He has a certain feel, a certain ‘bite’ to his stories, and he just writes tremendous, tremendous villains.
He writes mean characters! [laughs] And there’s something there that resonated with all of us in editorial, where we just thought he could write the piss out of Daredevil.”
Update: Diggle writes on Twitter that his contract with Marvel is for two years.