Michael Avon Oeming
DC Comics has hired a slew of writers and artists in the wake of the New 52; someone has to do all those new books, right? But as you would expect, there are a lot of proposed pairings of creators and projects that were nixed before they saw print.
Earlier this week, Powers artist Michael Avon Oeming revealed artwork he had done for DC when he was in line to illustrate the recently launched Katana. Although DC ultimately went down a more realistic route with artist Alex Sanchez, these two pieces by Oeming are a bittersweet taste of what could’ve been.
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop 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 a splurge item.
For once, I’m doing this in semi-reverse order. Or, at least, I’m starting with my would’ve-should’ve splurge, anyway, because if I had the money to spare, I’d definitely pick up the Invisibles Omnibus HC (DC/Vertigo, $150). Yes, I’ve read the comics before, and yes, I own all the trades. And yet … I really, really wish I could own this book. In another world, I am rich enough for that to happen.
Back in the real world, my first $15 pic is very easy: Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom #1 (IDW Publishing, $3.99); both creators are at the top of their games these days, as demonstrated in Daredevil on a regular basis, and so seeing them both take on Dave Stevens’ classic character feels like the kind of thing I will happily sign onto. Similarly, the first issue of the new Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Spike spin-off (Dark Horse, $2.99) automatically gets a pick-up, based on the quality of both the core Buffy and spin-off Angel and Faith books alone.
If I had $30, I’d add Prophet Vol. 1: Remission TP (Image Comics, $9.99) to my pile. I dropped off the single issues for this early on, because I wasn’t digging it as much as I wanted to, but enough people have told me that I’m wrong that I’m coming back to check out the collection — especially because (a) Brandon Graham and (b) that price point. I am continually a sucker for the $9.99 collection; publishers, you should remember this for me and people like me in future.
DC Comics has revealed a new creator lineup for its digital-first Legends of the Dark Knight that includes Jeff Parker, Michael Avon Oeming, Phil Hester, Gabriel Hardman and Joshua Hale Fialkov.
Launched in June as part of an expansion of the publisher’s digital-first slate, the out-of-continuity series features standalone stories by different creative teams chronicling some of Batman’s cases. New chapters appear each Thursday.
Here’s the fall schedule:
It may be some time before we see an adaptation of Powers on FX, where the pilot reportedly remains in limbo until executives can decide whether to move ahead with reshoots. However, don’t have to await their verdict to see the comic by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming in live-action form, thanks to the “Who Kill Retro Girl?” fan film by director Michelle Massey and cinematographer Adam Goral, which stars Brian Bedell as Christian Walker and Madeline Blue as Deena Pilgrim. Who needs Jason Patric and Lucy Punch?
If the first day of the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo was dominated by announcements from Dark Horse and DC Comics, then the second day belonged to Marvel, which followed through on its teaser for a new series, revealed an Icon relaunch, and shuffled some creators. Here are some of the highlights from Saturday (along with a couple of holdovers from Friday):
• As usual, the “Cup O’ Joe” panel was where Marvel rolled out its biggest publishing announcements, beginning with confirmation that the teaser released last week is indeed for a Hawkeye ongoing series reuniting The Immortal Iron Fist collaborators Matt Fraction and David Aja. In the title, which debuts in August, Clinton Barton will be accompanied by fan-favorite Young Avenger Kate Bishop as he fights organized crime in New York City. “It’s very Avengers, by which I mean John Steed and Emma Peel. There’s a whole healthy person between the two of them,” Fraction told Comic Book Resources. “There’s a line in Rocky where he says, ‘I got bumps. You got bumps. Together we fit,’ or something like that — the two of them fit together. Each one has what the other doesn’t, which means they work very well together. She’s young, incredibly gifted, incredibly cultured, and incredibly headstrong. She doesn’t suffer his crap and also wants to be someone worthwhile, but she’s trying to figure out how to make that possible. She follows him not because of his abilities, but his accomplishments. So they work together quite well. It’s an apprentice and master style relationship.”
Even as Comic Book Resources reports the cancellation of Ghost Rider, a preview of Marvel’s February solicitations reveals Black Panther: The Most Dangerous Man Alive will end with Issue 529.
Spinning out of the publisher’s “Shadowland” event, the title launched in December 2010 as Black Panther: The Man Without Fear, picking up the issue numbering of the ending Daredevil as T’Challa became the new guardian of Hell’s Kitchen. The series was written by award-winning mystery author David Liss (A Conspiracy of Paper, The Ethical Assassin), joined by such artists as Francesco Francavilla, Shawn Martinbrough and Michael Avon Oeming.
The solicitation text for Issue 529 teases, “Kingpin vs. T’Challa in this status-quo changing series finale,” raising the possibility that Black Panther could relaunch, or revert to a previous title and numbering. However, October sales estimates place the series at about 18,000 copies, below Marvel’s traditional line of death, and less than the just-canceled X-23 and Ghost Rider.
Those titles join a rapidly growing list of recent Marvel cancellations that includes Alpha Flight, Victor Von Doom, Destroyers, Iron Man 2.0 and All-Winners Squad. In addition, PunisherMAX concludes in February with Issue 22.
Update (1:12 p.m. PT): Liss has commented on Twitter, writing, “Sadly the news is true. Our Black Panther run ends in February with #529. But keep reading until the end. It’s going to be a wild ride!”
Writer Warren Ellis and artist Michael Avon Oeming are teaming on a new project called Half Moon, and Ellis is using his blog to show their progress as it moves from the idea stage to reality.
“We’re working in realtime on this one. We agreed on the general concepts just a couple of hours ago, and will spend the next few days in development on it, to see what we’ve actually got,” Ellis said on his blog on Monday. “So I thought, and Mike agreed, it might be interesting to open the process out and let you see a bit of the sausage-making. As it were.”
Ellis said the project sprang from an email from Oeming that simply said, “Warren, I’ve been wanting to work with you for a long time.”
“And then a flurry of responses – because I’m not stupid, I wanted to get moving before he sobered up or the drugs wore off or whatever the hell had happened to him to make him email me,” Ellis said.
A second post shared the above concept art. Keep an eye on his blog for further updates.
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.
This week’s a big week for me, so with only $15 I’d have to leave a lot of things back and make some hard choices. My five under $15 would start with Joe The Barbarian #8 (DC/Vertigo, $3.99) by Grant Morrison and Sean Murphy. I’m a big fan of both guys, but I have to admit the story went over my head the same way The Filth did in serialization. Be that as it may, I’ve kept buying the issues just to amaze myself with Murphy’s art. Now that the complete series is out, I’ll re-read it all in one sitting and hope for the best. Second would be the fourth issue of Incognito: Bad Influences (Marvel/Icon, $3.50) because, well, Brubaker and Phillips can do no wrong. After that I’d get Secret Warriors #25 (Marvel, $3.99) because Hickman’s writing here plays up to all the things I like — espionage, secrets, and overly-complicated story arcs. Over on the DC side I would pick up Brightest Day #21 (DC, $2.99). This series has ebbed and flowed for me, depending on which story arcs are brought to the fore in each issue… but I’m excited to see what happens and that’s what it should be about, right? My last pick is a cheat — I only have some change left, but thankfully the Fear Itself Sketchbook (Marvel) coming out is a free promotional item. I’ll take Stuart Immonen sketches any day!
Comic strips | In what Michael Cavna so accurately describes as “a seismic shift” for the world of newspaper syndication, United Media has announced it will outsource all editorial, production, sales, marketing and distribution functions for its 150 comics and other features to Kansas City-based Universal Uclick. (Tom Spurgeon likens the move to Marvel outsourcing all of its titles to DC Comics.) The transition begins immediately, and is expected to be complete by June 1. United Media’s stable of strips include Get Fuzzy, Pearls Before Swine, Rose Is Rose and Marmaduke. Universal Uclick’s lineup includes Doonesbury, Non Sequitur, Garfield, For Better or For Worse and the recently added Peanuts and Dilbert. [Comic Riffs]
Passings | Anant Pai, who’s credited with launching India’s comic industry in the 1960s with his series Amar Chitra Katha (Immortal Picture Stories), died Thursday of a heart attack. He was 81. Affectionately known by his fans as “Uncle Pai,” he also created the children’s series Tinkle and had spent the past three years working on Glimpses of Glory, which chronicles 40 defining moments from Indian history. After falling and fracturing his foot, Pai underwent surgery of Saturday, which prevented him from attending the first Indian Comic Con, where he was to be given a lifetime achievement award. [The Associated Press, India Real Time]
Starting next month in The Shield #5, DC Comics will begin introducing several more newly revamped characters from the Red Circle comics line into the DCU. Editor Rachel Gluckstern gave more details today over on DC’s The Source blog.
The Red Circle characters, for those not familiar with them, are superhero characters once published by Archie Comics back in the day. DC published stories about the characters as a separate line back in the early 1990s, the short-lived Impact line. Earlier this year, they began introducing them into the DCU, giving The Shield and The Web their own titles, which include back-up features starring Inferno and the Hangman.
So who’s joining these former Mighty Crusaders in January? Here’s a rundown on who to expect to see …
- The main story in The Shield #5 will see the introduction of the Jaguar to the DCU.
- In the back-up feature in that same issue, the Inferno meets the Comet (seen above).
- The Web #5 sees the Black Hood showing up in the main feature.
- And in the Hangman back-up feature in that same issue, Mr. Justice shows up. Eventually Mr. Justice will get his own co-feature in one of the books, written by Michael and David Uslan, and drawn by Justiniano.
They also announced in March that the Inferno back-up story in The Shield would go on hiatus, and would be replaced by The Fox, by writer Brandon Jerwa and artist Michael Avon Oeming.
Click on over to the Source to see what all the newly designed characters will look like.
Very busy writer Brian Michael Bendis became an even busier writer this weekend. With little fanfare — it “happened by accident” — Bendis spent over an hour on Saturday answering reader questions via his Twitter account.
The 125-message micro-interview cost him some followers, irritated Warren Ellis (not really), and was eventually cut off by Twitter, but by the time all was said and done some interesting info had hit the Internet courtesy of his tweets.
First up, Bendis spilled the beans on a trio of upcoming projects with familiar collaborators:
* Bendis and his Daredevil: Wake Up partner David Mack will reunite for a new Hornhead project, Daredevil: End of Days, next summer. The project was first announced in February 2007, with Bendis and Mack as co-writers and art from Alex Maleev, Bill Sienkewicz, and Klaus Janson. (Daredevil will also appear in New Avengers #60.)
* Look for a creator-owned crime project from Bendis and his Daredevil and Spider-Woman collaborator Alex Maleev next summer.
We typically leave Hollywood news to CBR’s “Comics Reel,” but this tidbit seems worth including in our coverage of New York Comic Con: Writer Brian Michael Bendis has confirmed that the Powers television series is in active development as a pilot for FX.
Bendis had teased in September that the adaptation might be bound for the cable network, home to such dramas as The Shield, Rescue Me and Damages.
“I just handed in a draft to the network and we’re getting our notes from the network as soon as this thing is over,” Bendis told MTV’s Splash Page today. “So next week I’ll get the notes, and as long as they don’t involve sock puppets and some sort of orgy scene that I’m not interested in, then hopefully it will go in the right direction.”
Created by Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming, Powers was published by Image Comics from 2000 until the creators moved the superhero police procedural to Marvel’s Icon imprint in 2004. The series previously had been optioned as a movie by Sony Pictures.