Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
In the wake of Comic-Con International, The A.V. Club launched a week-long celebration of comics — called, appropriately enough, Comics Week — that’s included a discussion about diversity by Janelle Asselin, Karl Bollers and G. Willow Wilson, an interview with Becky Cloonan, a spotlight on the comics-inspired song “Alley Oop,” and a comics tribute by Ryan Brown (God Hate Astronauts) to his influences.
However, as much as I’ve liked all of the pieces, my favorite so far is easily cartoonist Chad Sell‘s touching ode to Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch’s The Authority #8, and how the depiction of Apollo and Midnighter’s relationship affected him as both a closeted teen and as a budding artist.
When DC Comics relaunched its superhero titles in 2011 with the New 52, one of the effects was the integration of characters from the former Wildstorm imprint into the DC Universe. Those Wildstorm heroes had a good showing in Flashpoint and in the New 52’s debut titles, but by way of attrition, their presence soon dwindled.
After already seeing series like Voodoo, Grifter,Team 7 and the Wildstorm-esque Ravagers canceled, today we learned that Stormwatch will end in April with Issue 30. It gives a little bit of time for recently hired series writer Jim Starlin to wrap up, but its cancellation is another bad sign for fans of Wildstorm.
Conventions | Wizard World Chicago Comic Con kicks into full gear today in Rosemont, Illinois. Special guests for the four-day event range from creators like Stan Lee, Chris Claremont, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo to such television and movie personalities as Zachary Quinto, Norman Reedus, Summer Glau and the cast of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. [Daily Herald]
Retailing | Retailer Brian Hibbs breaks down what’s problematic about DC Comics’ announcement that it will allocate its “Villains Month” 3D covers, which essentially means to publisher won’t completely fill all the orders. Instead, the company has added a 2D variant to make up the difference: “You have to understand, as well, that a lot of folks weren’t at all happy about the idea of a line of $3.99 covers, and there was a certain amount of ‘talking people into’ signing up for them. So, to find out just three weeks before shipping that there’s suddenly going to be a version of these comics without the stunts, for $1 less, well this is migraine inducing, at best.” [Savage Critics]
One of the biggest returns in DC Comics’ New 52 relaunch last fall wasn’t a specific character or team, but the return of Travel Foreman. The artist burst onto the scene on Com.X’s Cla$$war and did a string of titles like Ares and Iron Fist for Marvel, but it wasn’t until his work on Animal Man that he came into his own. With news last month that Foreman is moving off Animal Man to join Birds of Prey, it got him thinking about other heroes he’d done in the past — some of which you’ve never seen.
On his Tumblr blog, Foreman showed off several unfinished pages for a Justice League vs. Authority comic that he worked on sporadically for fun from 2001 to 2004 in 2001. Foreman’s drawn The Authority on several occasions, but all of it for fun and not for DC publication.
But just imagine. With Marvel’s Avengers vs. X-Men coming in a few short months and DC looking for the next big step in its successful line-wide relaunch, what an actual Justice League vs. Authority series could do. Look at these pages from Foreman for a possible idea:
In the wake of X-Men: Schism, Marvel’s mutants are split down the middle and heading in two divergent directions. While Wolverine’s team is following in the footsteps of Xavier’s original plans for the X-Men, the Cyclops-led team based in Utopia is on a different track. Dubbed his “Extinction Team,” the primary purpose of the team is to stand between mankind (not just mutantkind) and threats that would render them extinct. It sounds like a unique kind of mission for the X-Men, but an interesting question on writer Kieron Gillen’s Formspring reframes it in a familiar way.
Gillen was asked: “The x-men seem a lot like the old superhero team The Authority lately. is that intentional?”
“The Authority are certainly one of the big influences on [Uncanny X-Men],” answers Gillen. ” The Extinction Team are certainly the closest the MU has ever had to something that occupies the niche the Authority dominated in the Wildstorm U.”
While saying that most modern super-hero comics were inspired by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch’s The Authority isn’t too far off-base, seeing this straight correlation by Gillen fires off my fan synapses and helps define a team that, frankly, I was having trouble with even after reading Uncanny X-Men #1. Although I don’t want to see Gillen and crew follow this analogy too closely, it makes me more interested to see where the book goes next.
Also, isn’t it interesting that in the pin-up for Avengers vs. X-Men that it’s Cyclops’s X-Men versus the Avengers pictures? Both Wolverine and Beast seem to be lunging after their former teammates in the X-Men rather than the Avengers, who they currently owe more allegiance to.
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. Among the various adaptations, though, some creators have emerged as magnets for Hollywood types — and one writer in-particular has more to offer than anyone else: Warren Ellis.
Warren Ellis emerged in the late 1990s as the foremost sf writer working in comics. Starting with the seminal DC/Vertigo series Transmetropolitan and moving into his re-invention of the superhero genre with The Authority, Planetary and later Nextwave, Ellis became a rare thing — a successful writer in both the creator-owned field as well as the super-hero dominated work-for-hire mainstream. Along the way he became a prolific writer, with seemingly more graphic novels and trade paperbacks on shelves than any other comic creator. He’s produced more than 40 creator-owned series, with the recent film REDderived from the three-issue series he did with Cully Hamner. Ellis himself is no stranger to Hollywood — he’s worked on animated films for G.I. Joe, Castlevania and the upcoming anime based on Marvel’s Iron Man and Wolverine.
With such a broad and intelligent ouvre of work, Hollywood’s already lined up several more Ellis works they’d like to put on the big screen — but here are some ideas they may have not thought of (yet).