SDCC: Marvel: Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends Panel
Costume changes aside (man, I wish people got that upset and excited about when I wore pants…), let’s take a moment to talk about the other news this week: Marvel announced that they have an executive vice president in charge of television. An exciting new position to be sure, as this means the Marvel Universe should be getting some small-screen attention.
Considering how many of the customers at the comic shop where I work have perked up at any news from AMC’s Walking Dead series in production, something from the House of Ideas would be sure to turn heads and keep Marvel heroes on the tips of our tongues. Marvel Animation has been working hard at making animated direct-to-DVD features and a few animated series, but that’s as much as we’ve seen. Sometimes not even that much: Australia got to see the animated Black Panther, but not the US as it has yet to be broadcast in the States (and none of us without iTunes would ever think of finding another way to watch it). The Spectacular Spider-Man was a fun show that never saw enough praise and advertising as far as I’m concerned; perhaps having a more public face to boost these kinds of shows might turn more heads toward the TV than constant repeats on Disney XD.
Plus, if Smallville can make it to their 10th season, it’s about time Marvel got up and did something. We have a way better track record for animation and keeping things in the mix for cartoons than we do for live action. The less said about Blade: The Series, the better, and before that? Mutant X, contractually obligated not to be the X-Men and miserably defeated in a blaze of lawsuits. That was from about six years ago, and before that? Yeah. We go all the way back to 1982 when the last episode of the Incredible Hulk aired. Smallville, despite being absolutely ridiculous a lot of the time, has had some pretty good episodes that refer back to continuity and, fingers crossed, have hopefully lured some viewers in to grab a copy of Superman from the shelves. It’s just another access point for new readers to connect into and if it’s going into season 10 and hasn’t been canceled, they have to be doing something right.
Which leads us to the bad news: Jeph Loeb is in charge.
Consider this the nerdiest public service announcement ever. If you’re like me, you were vaguely aware that at some point in Jeph Loeb’s ongoing Hulk run, its semi-eponymous star, the villainous and uber-powerful Red Hulk, grabbed Thor’s hammer Mjolnir and delivered Ye Olde Smacke-downe on the God of Thunder. You’re also vaguely aware that this is more or less a total no-no — no matter how physically strong Rulk is, only those who are “worthy” are even able to pick the hammer up. And there aren’t very many such people: According to Wikipedia, you’re basically talking half a dozen dudes, consisting solely of people who’ve wielded Thor’s power itself, people who’d be present at a Thor family reunion, and Captain frickin’ America.
In an interview with Mike Malve from Atomic Comics in Arizona, Image’s Robert Kirkman discusses upcoming Invincible stories and also throws down the gauntlet, so to speak, for writer Jeph Loeb.
In reference to the challenge Kirkman made to Todd McFarlane a few years ago to start drawing again, which resulted in the comic Haunt, Atomic Comics asked Kirkman if there were any other creators out there who he wanted to “challenge to push their limits.” Kirkman responded:
What’s that Bendis guy done lately? All kidding aside, I’d love to see Jeph Loeb try his hand at an original creator-owned book. Millar has proven that when top-flight talent take the plunge it has the potential for massive success, and Loeb does the most commercial books out there with only the highest caliber of artists. I’d buy a creator-owned book by him in droves and I know he would excel at it. But sadly, I think he’s too comfortable on that fat corporate teat. Still, I hold out hope. Don’t you know that guy, Malve? Tell Loeb how many copies you could sell of his own Kick Ass. I don’t even care if he does it at Icon–I just want to read it.