In recent years, we’ve seen a boatload of comic books and graphic novels make their way to the silver screen, from “big two” stalwarts like Spider-Man and Batman to independent titles like Scott Pilgrim and 30 Days Of Night.
After toiling away for nine years on the independent scene, Brian Michael Bendis became an “overnight success” with his work on Marvel’s Daredevil. After proving himself there, he got his shot at the big time as one of the key figures in the launch of the Ultimate line, specifically for him Ultimate Spider-Man. Marvel further placed their faith in him when they gave him the keys to their flagship superhero team the Avengers, and promptly he ended the team in Avengers: Disasssembled before taking them to new heights. First came New Avengers, then Secret Invasion and Siege, and now years later he’s become the driving force for a new era in Marvel Comics. He’s never left his creator-owned roots behind and has been publishing Powers ever since he got his start at Marvel, but he recently amped up his creator-owned output with Scarlet, TAKIO and the recently announced Brilliant.
Hello and welcome once again to What Are You Reading?, where the Robot 6 crew talk about the comics and graphic novels that they’ve been enjoying lately.
Today’s special guest is Ryan K Lindsay, a staff writer for comic news and reviews site The Weekly Crisis. He also runs a comic scripting challenge site called thoughtballoons where each week a character is picked, and every member of the site must write a one-page script about that character. He’s also been known to throw a think piece up at Gestalt Mash and is hoping one day to have his many comic pitches drawn by people with pencils.
To see what Ryan and the Robot 6 crew have been reading this week, click the link below …
Since details of the new Icon series by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev were revealed in April, fans have wondered what to expect from the reunion of these frequent collaborators — they previously worked together on such titles as Daredevil, Halo: Uprising and Spider-Woman — and from a storytelling approach that promised to smash the fourth wall.
With the release this week of Scarlet #1, we were introduced to a hard-boiled protagonist who addresses her readers, drawing them into the story’s ultra-violence and, in the words of one reviewer, making them complicit in it.
Some see the first issue of Scarlet as a return to form for Bendis and an example of Maleev at his best. Others, however, aren’t so certain. Here’s just a sampling of the reactions:
Dan Phillips, IGN.com: “For those of us who haven’t been all that fond of Brian Bendis’ ongoing Avengers saga but loved his earlier work on books like Jinx, Goldfish, Alias and Daredevil, reading his and Alex Maleev’s Scarlet #1 feels like reuniting with an old friend, or, to put it another way, rediscovering a bold storytelling voice that’s been sadly and inexplicably dormant for the past half decade.”
Jim Martin, Comics And … Other Imaginary Tales: “I’m very conflicted about this book and I’m not sure if this is just incredible pretentious crap or whether this is the beginning of a unique book that could turn into a very strong series.”
We may not be any closer to knowing what “O-X” is all about, but this afternoon we learned a few details about Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev’s new creator-owned title Scarlet.
On G4 TV’s Attack of the Show, “Fresh Ink” host Blair Butler revealed the Icon series is a “real-world” crime comic in the vein of Bendis’ Jinx. Scarlet centers on a woman “who is pushed to the edge by the fractured modern world” but fights back, starting a revolution in the process.
More intriguing, Butler said Bendis will experiment with a new storytelling approach in which “the fourth wall won’t just be broken to engage the reader — it’ll be smashed.” Scarlet is set to debut in July.
Scarlet marks Maleev’s first creator-owned work, and Bendis’ first since Powers, his long-running superhero-police procedural with Michael Avon Oeming. Bendis and Maleev first worked together in 2000 on the Spawn spin-off Sam and Twitch, and have since collaborated on such Marvel titles as Daredevil, Halo: Uprising and Spider-Woman. A creator-owned collaboration has been teased since at least July 2007.
Update: Watch the video after the break.
Update 2 (Friday A.M.): Bendis’ Jinxworld website now has a section devoted to Scarlet, featuring covers by Maleev, Oeming, David Mack and David Lafuente, desktop wallpapers and promotional banners. (And, yes, I realize now that “O-X” represents the … masking tape? … on Scarlet’s breasts. However, I was busy taking notes during the “Fresh Ink” announcement, and could do little more than glance at the images on the TV screen.)
Comic Book Resources has more details.