DC Comics' July Highlights: "Batgirl," "Nightwing" and a "New Super-Man"
News broke in December that Bill Jemas, the former Marvel executive who helped turned around the once-bankrupt company, had joined with video game publisher Take-Two Interactive to launch a comics imprint. Jemas said at the time that plans were still in the early stages for the new venture, which will focus on developing new properties rather than titles based on the Take-Two catalog. But now the company is ramping up its efforts by staffing the new comics division, which officially has a name: Double Take.
While no further details about the imprint have been revealed, there are plenty of high-profile games on the roster of Take-Two, the parent company of both Rockstar Games (Grand Theft Auto, Max Payne) and 2K Games (BioShock, Borderlands). Ruwan Jayatilleke, Marvel’s former associate publisher, joined Take-Two earlier this year.
It wouldn’t be the first time Take-Two properties have gotten the comic book treatment: Marvel Custom Solutions published a Max Payne 3 comic in 2012, and IDW Publishing released Borderlands: Origins that same year.
Jemas was president of consumer products, publishing and new media for Marvel from 2000 to 2003, a time of notable change that saw the publisher drop the Comics Code Authority seal, launch its Ultimate and MAX imprints, introduce acclaimed runs like Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s New X-Men and receive national attention for books like the Rawhide Kid miniseries, which depicted the long-running Western hero as gay.
Something of a controversial figure at the time, Jemas also wrote the Marville series, part of the “U-Decide” competition. His era as Marvel president corresponded with the start of Joe Quesada’s long tenure of editor-in-chief, with their newsworthy moves documented in the 2002 Marvel publication Bill & Joe’s Marvelous Adventure.
Shout! Factory has debuted the trailer for Marvel Knights Animation’s Wolverine: Origin, the motion-comic adaptation of the 2001-2002 limited series that, as the title suggests, revealed the early years of the ubiquitous Marvel mutant. It was written by Paul Jenkins from a story by Jenkins, Joe Quesada and Bill Jemas, and illustrated by Andy Kubert and Richard Isanove.
Wolverine: Origin is the ninth title produced by Shout! Factory since 2009, joining the likes of Inhumans, Spider-Woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D., Iron Man: Extremis, Black Panther and, most recently, Astonishing X-Men: Unstoppable. It will be available on DVD beginning July 9 for $14.97.
The timing of the release couldn’t be better, considering that director James Mangold’s The Wolverine premieres July 26.
Not to be outdone by his former fellow Senior VP – Executive Editor and (Cup o’ Joe: Marvel T&A partner) Axel Alonso, outspoken editor Tom Brevoort has been named Senior Vice President of Publishing by Marvel. Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada broke the news via Twitter while also congratulating Alonso for his ascension to the Editor-in-Chief position held by Quesada until today. Marvel tells CBR that further details about both promotions are forthcoming.
With his (imho) admirably candid Internet presence across a variety of platforms, Brevoort has emerged as Marvel editorial’s de facto voice, often to the tune of reader controversy. This has always struck me as a reversal from the “Nu-Marvel” days of the early 2000s, prior to Brevoort’s involvement in the publisher’s new Avengers and event-driven era, when the editor was viewed by many fans as a traditionalist counterpoint to/bulwark against Quesada, Alonso and then-President Bill Jemas.
Here’s a great catch by blogger Corey Blake and a great “is this real life?” moment for the rest of us: An Amazon listing for a hardcover collection of the 2003 miniseries Trouble by Mark Millar and Terry Dodson, slated for release on June 8, 2011.
For those of you who don’t recall those heady days, Trouble was part of the short-lived, Bill Jemas-shepherded revival of Marvel’s Epic imprint and an attempt to create the first hit romance comic in god knows how long. (I know, nothing says “romance comic” like Wanted, Kick-Ass, Nemesis, and Superior writer Mark Millar, but this was the same Nu-Marvel era that gave us Bendis/Maleev Daredevil, Milligan/Allred X-Statix, Millar/Hitch Ultimates, Morrison/Quitely New X-Men and so on, so cut ‘em some slack.)
Quite aside from whether the book was or wasn’t a good read, Trouble caused trouble for two reasons. First, it was basically a mildly randy sex dramedy about the teen years of Aunt May, Uncle Ben, and Peter Parker’s parents Mary and Richard…and it revealed that Peter was secretly May’s son through a hushed-up teen pregnancy. (I think — I’ve never been able to figure out how the very elderly May Parker made sense as the aunt for teenage Peter Parker, and having her be a teen herself at the time of his conception only confused me further.) At the time, Millar stated that this would be Spider-Man’s new origin if the book went over well. It didn’t, so the book never made it into official continuity.
Conventions | A limited number of four-day memberships for Comic-Con International will go on sale at 10 a.m. PST/1 p.m. EST today as part of hotel-stay packages. [Comic-Con]
Conventions | Michael Cieply looks at Comic-Con as a destination for filmmakers to promote their next big projects, and convention attendees as “consummate insiders” who don’t always pick the box-office winners. [The New York Times]
Legal | As a Brussels court decides whether Tintin in the Congo should be banned in Belgium, Pallavi Aiyar provides some background on the book’s history and on the civil case. [Business Standard]