INTERVIEW: DiDio & Lee on "Dark Knight 3," Vertigo's Future & DC's Evolving Readership
Comics | A July house fire in Minneapolis that killed homeowner Gary Dahlberg spared his meticulously preserved comic-book collection, which experts say could be worth $1 million. The comics, which includes first issues of The Amazing Spider-Man, Fantastic Four and Daredevil, will be sold at auction on May 5 by Heritage Auction Galleries, with the money going to Dahlberg’s estate. “To go for the really big money they have to be really perfect, and that what these are,” says Barry Sandoval of Heritage Auction Galleries. “The comics look like they just rolled off the printing press and nobody’s ever touched them.” [KSTP TV, with video]
Crime | A 17-year-old boy accused of attempting to rob Fun 4 All Comics & Games in Ypsilanti, Mich., on Monday has been arraigned on charges of assault with attempt to rob while armed and attempted larceny. Police say the teen, wearing a blond wig, bandanna and dark glasses, gave an employee a list of merchandise — “most, if not all, of it Yu-Gi-Oh! cards” — then opened his coat to reveal what appeared to be an improvised explosive device. The boy allegedly threatened to detonate the bomb if he wasn’t given the merchandise. When the employee yelled for the owner to call police, then teen said he was only joking, then bought some inexpensive items and left the store. The sheriff’s department later arrested the teen in his car in a Burger King parking lot. The Michigan State Police bomb squad responded, and determined the potential explosive device was inert. [AnnArbor.com]
Writer Sean McKeever and artist Mike Norton, the co-creators of the character Gravity, are getting the band back together for a miniseries that will team their creation with several other of Marvel’s younger heroes, including Firestar and various characters who were featured in Avengers: The Initiative.
Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt, a tie-in to Marvel’s big event, is “a limited series this May that will see former members of the Initiative drafted back into government service as the Marvel Universe begins to fall apart in a spiral of terror,” according to Marvel.com.
“With YOUTH IN REVOLT, we’re taking a look at how a palpable sense of fear and despair can affect the younger generation of heroes,” McKeever told Marvel.com. “In the first issue, they’re deputized by the federal government in anticipation of terrible things to come, but what then? When they’re rushed into action without any strategy, who suffers? When things get out of hand, who will step up and who will crumble? And how well can they stand up to their own fears?”
Some of the other characters mentioned as appearing in the series include Cloud 9, Prodigy, Thor Girl, Komodo, Hardball, Ultragirl and “other members of Marvel’s youth movement” who the creators wouldn’t reveal quite yet.
J.L. Bell, who knows a lot more about this topic than me, has a great post about Sean McKeever’s varying accounts of writing DC’s Teen Titans. McKeever was responsible for scripting the comic, but the plot was dictated by editors, who have control over continuity. Here’s McKeever talking to Newsarama about writing Teen Titans in 2008, when he was still on the title:
I know people throw around the term “editorial mandate” like it’s some great horror, but I was actually really grateful for everything they had in place for me. Titans [of] Tomorrow was a story that I really wanted to revisit, and it was also really nice to have a premise thrown at me that I could dive into, so that while I was working on that, I could think a little more on my long-term plans for the book.
Here’s McKeever talking to Titans Tower earlier this month, after leaving DC for Marvel, about co-writing the Deathtrap crossover with Marv Wolfman following Judd Winick’s departure from the companion Titans series:
Marvel has dropped the ax on Young Allies, going so far as to cancel the solicitation for December’s Issue 7.
The series, by Sean McKeever and David Baldeon, launched in June under the publisher’s “Heroic Age” banner, and starred Nomad, Firestar, Araña, Gravity and a new Toro. “The idea behind Young Allies is that it’s literally a group of young allies,” McKeever told Comic Book Resources in March. “It’s not so much a team in the conventional sense as it is a group of like-minded people of the same generation.”
Young Allies got off to a rough start, with the first issue selling less than 21,000 copies — teetering on Marvel’s traditional “line of death.” By the third issue, that figure had dropped to 14,000.
McKeever, who’s carved out a niche with teen-superhero dramas like Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane and the Nomad backup story in Captain America, confirmed the cancellation, writing on Twitter that Young Allies #7 “was only at the plotting stages when the hammer came down, so there is no ‘missing issue’.” (Marvel told Comics Alliance the series is “on hiatus.”)
McKeever will continue to write the Nomad serial in Captain America. His next big Marvel project, Onslaught Unleashed, was announced over the weekend at New York Comic Con.
“More discussion of Young Allies in the last 24 hours than there had been since its announcement in March,” McKeever tweeted this morning. “Le sigh.”
The sixth and final issue of Young Allies arrives in stores on Nov. 3.
“On sale today: HAWKEYE & MOCKINGBIRD #1. Guaranteed to have 100% less heroin use and impotence than the average comic starring an archer.” —Marvel Executive Editor Tom Brevoort, implicitly comparing H&M #1 to DC’s much-maligned Justice League: The Rise of Arsenal, on his Twitter account last week.
“On sale tomorrow: YOUNG ALLIES #1 by Sean McKeever and David Baldeon. It’s like what you wanted Sean’s TEEN TITANS run to be!” —Brevoort, contrasting McKeever’s new teen-team title with his creative-differences-marred previous teen-team title, on Twitter this week.
It’s been said that Sean McKeever has a survey group of teenage girls chained in his basement and, in exchange for their opinions and feelings, they get one hour of Gossip Girl a week and a poster of the Jonas Brothers to encourage development.
Wait. That’s probably not true. But it has been said, mostly cited as a reason for why his Mary Jane-focused series-mini-series-then-series-again comics were such absolute joys to read for fans of all ages and genders. By the time we got Mary Jane Loves Spider-Man (a very Joanie Loves Chachi title for me but that reference was so not in the target demographic), we had to say goodbye as our Pal left for the Distinguished Competition. Never fear, I thought to myself, some good could come from this! Maybe they’ll put him on Supergirl, another can-do gal who could easily be put into that rich and delicious McKeever high school setting that feels oh my gosh, just like <i>mine</i>. At DC, the plucky can-do gal can fight super-villains at the same time she’s trying to get her best friend on speaking terms with the friend’s ex and oh, the stories just write themselves! Sean McKeever can really set the stage of high school life without making it feel hackneyed or childish so I expected they’d really let him work with the DCU.
Short answer: it didn’t go very well.