The Biggest Superhero Films That Didn't Happen, Part 2
Comic Books, Film
Just ahead of its “DC All Access: Superman” panel at New York Comic Con, DC Comics debuted the cover of the second volume of Superman: Earth One, the bestselling 2010 graphic novel by J. Michael Straczynski and Shane Davis. Presumably the publisher will announce a tentative release date during the presentation.
See the full cover below, and check back with Comic Book Resources for a report from “DC All Access: Superman.”
Created by Jim Zubkavich and Edwin Huang, the hit comic is described by the writer as “a sarcastically self-aware sword & sorcery action-comedy series starring two monster-mashing mercenaries who will do whatever it takes to get paid.”
Munchkin is a line of popular card games that take a humorous approach to traditional roleplaying games — its slogan is “kill the monster, steal the treasure, stab your buddy” — based on the concept of “munchkins,” immature players whose aim is simply to “win.”
A Munchkin game based on Axe Cop, the webcomic by Malachai Nicolle and Ethan Nicolle, was announced in March for a fall release.
Lucasfilm debuted a New York Comic Con-exclusive poster for its upcoming action drama Red Tails created by comics legend Joe Kubert.
Directed by Anthony Hemingway from a script by John Ridley and Aaron McGruder, the film is inspired by the World War II exploits of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American combat aerial unit in the U.S. armed forces. Executive produced by George Lucas, Red Tails stars Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Bryan Cranston and Nate Parker.
See the full poster below. Red Tails will be released Jan. 20 by 20th Century Fox.
New York Comic Con picked up steam in its second day with announcements from Vertigo, Dark Horse, Marvel, IDW Publishing and Image, and the possibility of Sesame Street comics. Here are some of the highlights:
• Following in the footsteps of DC Comics: The New 52, most of Vertigo’s titles will be available digitally the same day as print.
• Geoff Johns announced that work is about to get under way on a Robot Chicken DC Comics special that will skewer the company’s superheroes in the same way that the show tackled Star Wars. The episode, written by Johns and MAD‘s Kevin Shinick, is set to air next summer.
• Confirming last-minute speculation, Ed Brubaker announced that he and frequent collaborator Sean Phillips (Sleeper, Criminal, Incognito) will release their next project through Image Comics. Called Fatale, the series blends noir elements with the supernatural world. “I’ve been wanting for a while to do something with a more supernatural element to it,” Brubaker told Comic Book Resources. “So Fatale mixes what we do and all the ways we’ve poked fun at the noir genre. If Incognito was us doing ‘What if Doc Savage, Dashiell Hammet and Raymond Chandler had all existed in the same universe?’ then this is a weird combo of James M. Cain and Lovecraft. It’s got a real horror element to it — the first time I’ve really tried to do anything with horror — but it’s also got this really epic story to it.”
Executive Editor Karen Berger announced this afternoon at New York Comic Con that several Vertigo titles will follow in the footsteps of DC Comics: The New 52 and be available digitally the same day as print.
The following series will move to same-day digital release beginning with issues identified as jumping-on points for new readers:
Look for more coverage from the “Vertigo Visions” panel later on Robot 6 and Comic Book Resources.
Dark Horse has made it official, announcing at New York Comic Con that Demo collaborators Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan are reteaming for an adaptation of Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian short story “Queen of the Black Coast.”
Often considered among the best Conan stories, the 1934 tale finds the Cimmerian taking to the high seas, where he joins up with the pirate queen Bêlit for an adventure marked with romance, terror, murder and madness.
Dark Horse teased the reunion of Wood and Cloonan two weeks ago with a vague convention schedule listing and a graphic that read simply “Brian & Becky & Dark & Horse.” The duo partnered on Channel Zero: Jennie One in 2003, which they followed with their breakout work Demo and the 2010 sequel Demo: Volume 2. They also collaborated last year on two issues of Wood’s Vertigo Viking series Northlanders.
Their run on Conan the Barbarian, described by the publisher as “a perfect jumping-on point for new readers,” begins Feb. 8.
In addition, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund announced this morning that limited-edition prints of the above image, signed by Wood and Cloonan, are being sold for $50 this weekend at the CBLDF booth (#1158) to benefit the organization.
Diamond Comic Distributors announced at Thursday’s retailer breakfast at New York Comic Con that it will add another Free Comic Book Day event, set for Halloween 2012.
ICv2.com reports that while the traditional FCBD will still be held May 5, 2012, Diamond found interest from publishers in supporting a second, similar event on Halloween, “which has become, next to Christmas, the holiday with the most retail impact.”
Many retailers already hold kid-focused events on Halloween, with some giving away comics left over from Free Comic Book Day. Diamond has in the past encouraged stores to give away themed kid-friendly minicomics as “sugar-free safe bag stuffers.” This year’s selections include 16-page issues of Scary Godmother, Archie’s Laugh Comics, Donald Duck and The Smurfs. However, next year’s offerings will be part of a full-fledged Free Comic Book Day event.
Expanding their partnership, Stan Lee and 1821 Comics will unveil a line of kids’ comics today at New York Comic Con.
Called Stan Lee’s Kids Universe, the imprint will feature characters like the Fuzz Posse, a group of police dogs, and Reggie the Veggie Crocodile, a reptile who becomes an outcast because he shies away from meat.
“The whole idea is to give them the kind of stories that they haven’t read before that they can easily understand and relate to,” Lee tells The Associated Press. “While we want these to be reasonably educational and good for kids — that goes without saying — but our main purpose to be entertaining … kids have a great sense of humor if you can reach them the right way.”
DC Comics has sold more than 5 million comics in the first six weeks of its line-wide relaunch, the publisher trumpeted this morning, saying the company “is experiencing its best comic books sales in more than 20 years.”
That figure includes more than 250,000 copies of Justice League #1, whose debut on Aug. 31 kicked off the New 52. According to DC, Action Comics #1 and Batman #1 — the top-selling comics in the direct market in September — have each moved more than 200,000 copies, while the first issues of Detective Comics, The Flash, Green Lantern and Superman have all sold more than 150,000.
In addition, the debuts of Aquaman, Batgirl, Batman and Robin, Batman: The Dark Knight, Green Lantern Corps, Green Lantern: New Guardians and Wonder Woman have all surpassed 100,000 copies.
“We are thrilled by the overwhelmingly positive response from retailers, fans and the creative community to DC Comics — The New 52,” DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson said in the press release. “This was a bold publishing initiative that is reinvigorating and growing the industry and medium we love.”
“People are buying, reading and talking about a line of comic books in a way they haven’t in years,” added Co-Publisher Dan DiDio. “We’re thrilled to see the passionate response fans have had, but this is just Step One for us. Now our plan is to keep the momentum and enthusiasm going.”
Read the full announcement below:
DC Comics has selected Marc Bernardin as the new writer of Static Shock, replacing John Rozum, who announced his departure from the relaunched title last month.
Bernardin, a former senior editor for Entertainment Weekly who co-wrote The Highwaymen and The Authority for DC, will join current artist/co-writer Scott McDaniel with March’s Issue 7.
“As a Black comic book fan and as a father of Black children, it’s really important that people see themselves reflected in a media they like,” Bernardin tells BET.com. “I remember growing up and looking at the Cosby Show for the first time and getting to look at people who were like me and doing things like I did, people who were my age going to college and studying for exams. I think for a long time, a Black kid picking up a comic book never got the chance to see himself, so I think that characters like Static are incredibly important.”
Static Shock #2, by Rozum, McDaniel and Andy Owens, was released last week.
Rumors of Vertigo’s demise, it seems, were greatly exaggerated. Following the major announcement this morning that it will adapt Stieg Larsson’s bestselling Millennium trilogy, the DC Comics imprint has unveiled plans for a new ongoing series from author/journalist Selwyn Seyfu Hinds and legendary artist Denys Cowan.
Debuting in February, Dominique Laveau: Voodoo Child follows on Dominique Laveau, half-breed, outcast and heir to the Voodoo Queenship of New Orleans … who’s the prime suspect in the murder of the previous Queen. Here’s the official description:
Ahead of New York Comic Con, DC Entertainment announced this morning it will adapt Stieg Larsson’s bestselling Millennium trilogy — The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest — as a series of graphic novels.
DC’s Vertigo imprint will work with Larsson’s estate and the Hedlund Literary Agency to adapt the acclaimed mystery series, with each book presented in two graphic novel volumes that will be available in print and digital formats. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo will debut in 2012, on the heels of director David Fincher’s big-screen adaptation, which arrives in theaters Dec. 21.
The Millennium trilogy, which has sold more than 60 million copies worldwide since the release of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in 2005 in Sweden, centers on Lisbeth Salander, and eccentric computer hacker, and Mikael Blomkvist, and investigative journalist and magazine editor. They’re brought together in the first novel to solve a 40-year-old missing person’s case.
Larsson, a Swedish journalist and author, passed away in 2004 at age 50, leaving the completed manuscripts for the first three novels in what was intended as a 10-book series.
“Stieg always liked comics and it will be exciting to see the unforgettable characters he created come to life on the comics page,” his younger brother Joakim Larsson said in a statement.
Expect more details to emerge this week at New York Comic Con.
Conventions | The New York Post previews this week’s New York Comic Con in a pair of articles, the second of which focuses on announcements from Marvel and DC. Marvel’s “Cup O’ Joe” panel will reveal how Fear Itself, Avengers: The Children’s Crusade and X-Men: Schism tie together, while DC plans to reveal “the surprising origin of a longtime member of the Justice League” and more creators who will work on their New 52 books, in addition to Andy Kubert. Update: Presumably the Justice League member with the surprising origin is Wonder Woman. [New York Post article #1, article #2]
Comics | Not surprisingly, DC saw double-digit increases in September compared to the year before, but the overall market was down a touch as graphic novel sales, lacking this year’s equivalent of Scott Pilgrim, were down. [The Comichron]
Business | Disney CEO Robert Iger, who oversaw the company’s purchase of both Marvel Entertainment and Pixar, will step down as CEO in March 2015. [Bloomberg]