“I’ll be talking more about ‘The Next Big Thing’ in the coming months, but in the short term, I’m focusing on banging out a bunch of comics,” he wrote Monday on his Facebook page. “Which should hopefully sate your hunger, you bloodthirsty savages!”
Making a splash in 1994 with his run on Marvel’s Uncanny X-Men, Madureira garnered a devoted fan following with his much-delayed, and never-finished, WildStorm/Cliffhanger series Battle Chasers before making the jump to video games as a character designer and, eventually, creative director for THQ, where he helped to develop Darksiders. He returned to comics in 2008 with Marvel’s The Ultimates 3, with writer Jeph Loeb, and then teamed with writer Zeb Wells late last year for the first three issues of Avenging Spider-Man. Marvel Editor-in-Chief promised in March that Wells and Madureira would reunited for a planned Spider-Man/Wolverine/Elektra story, telling Comic Book Resources “it has changed shape and is becoming a slightly bigger project” (he even teased a page of art from the “secret” project).
When I started hunting for reviews on Marvel’s latest Spider-Man title, Avenging Spider-Man by writer Zeb Wells and artist Joe Madureira, I wasn’t surprised that the reviews were good–Wells and Madureira are certainly up for the task–but I was surprised by how good they were. As a reader, I didn’t really have this book on my radar, but after seeing how much folks liked it, and how words like “fun” and “the team-up is back” were being thrown around, I decided to download it and read it myself. As the owner of near-complete runs of Marvel Team-Up and Marvel Two-In-One, I was pleased to find out that, indeed, as Chris Sims put it, “this comic is Marvel Team-Up, and with this issue, it’s earned the name.”
But not everyone gave it a flawless review, so let’s take a look at what people are saying about Spider-Man and Red Hulk’s big team-up …
Alex Zalben, MTV Geek: “Wells has been slowly building an impressive body of work at Marvel, from a Carnage mini-series, to an epic run on New Mutants that spanned the history of the Marvel Universe. Here, we’re getting Wells flexing his comedy muscles (the writer started in comedy shorts, and currently writes for Robot Chicken) in full force. Here’s a Spider-Man writer who is as funny as Spidey is supposed to be, and the book is better for it. One ‘pose’ page with Red Hulk and Spider-Man has one of the better riffs on an ‘80s juice commercial I’ve seen recently (you’ll know it when you see it). And even a poster has a gut-busting joke on it in the form of the perfect slogan for Mayor J. Jonah Jameson to use for the New York Marathon.”
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy on Wednesday based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on what we call our “Splurge” item.
If I had $15:
I’d get Hellboy: Buster Oakley Gets His Wish ($3.50) to see Hellboy fight some giant robots in space, Salt Water Taffy, Volume 4: Caldera’s Revenge ($5.99) to see Jack and Benny sign aboard a spooky ship in search of a Moby Dick-like whale, and Sweets #5 (2.99) to see Kody Chamberlain wrap up his delicious New Orleans murder mystery.
Joe Madureira says he would like to return to Battle Chasers, his wildly popular but famously never-completed fantasy series. Maybe. A long time from now.
Debuting in 1998, the WildStorm/Cliffhanger title was plagued by now-legendary delays, including a 16-month gap between issues 6 and 7, before disappearing with Issue 9 which, appropriately enough, ended on a cliffhanger. That was nine years ago. The comic re-emerged in August with the solicitation for a $100 hardcover collection initially set for release last week. Now, however, the Battle Chasers Anthology is shooting for release on Dec. 1. Or Dec. 15.
Interviewed ahead of his appearance at last weekend’s Wizard World Austin Comic Con, Madureira was asked about the collection, and the chances of the characters’ return.
“I’m totally excited about the release of the hardcover,” he told The Austin Chronicle. “Over the years I’d always hear from fans that had trouble locating some of the issues. This is the first time it’s all been collected into one volume. We’ll see what kind of reception it gets. I’d love to do something with the characters again someday, but it’s a long way off. I have creative-ADD, too much stuff lined up before then!”
Until then, fans will have to be content with the hardcover, which debuts … soon.
Saturday at Comic-Con International in San Diego, once upon a time, was “big movie day” at the con … back before every day became big movie day at the con. Still, today somewhat lived up to its reputation for being eventful, as the Avengers assembled on stage, Green Lantern movie footage was shown and one poor fan was stabbed in the eye while attending programming in Hall H, where several of the big movie panels took place. The victim was taken to UCSD Medical Center, while his attacker was taken away by police after attendees detained him.
In happier news, here’s what was announced on the comics front:
• Marvel Editor-in-Chief and Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada confirmed that Marvel is “gonna be doing some CrossGen stuff.” CrossGen, which published numerous titles like Sojourn, Way of the Rat, Abadazad and Meridian starting 1998, went bankrupt in 2004. Disney bought their assets that same year.
Their titles covered many different genres, from fantasy to horror to detective stories. “I think with the CrossGen stuff you’re going to see us attempt a little more genre publishing, which I think is much-needed in our imprint,” Quesada said. No word yet on what properties they plan to bring back.
• Kurt Busiek announced that American Gothic, the urban fantasy comic announced at last year’s WildStorm panel, will now be called Witchlands. The series will be drawn by Connor Willumson. Busiek is also working on an Arrowsmith novel titled Arrowsmith: Far from the Fields We Know, which will include illustrations by Carlos Pacheco.