The news and announcements flowed freely on the first day of the brand new C2E2 convention, as well as at the Diamond retailer’s summit on Thursday. Here’s a quick summary, in case you missed anything …
- At the Diamond retailer’s summit, Diamond polled retailers on the possibility of moving from a Wednesday to a Tuesday ship date for comics. This would put them in line with DVDs, music and books.
- Marvel kicked off the con with a lot of announcements, not the least of which was two different Captain America mini-series. First up, Steve Rogers jumps into action in Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier, a four-issue miniseries by Ed Brubaker and artist Dale Eaglesham that kicks off in July. Eaglesham will no longer be drawing Fantastic Four as a result.
- That same month brings Captain America: Patriot, by Karl Kesel and Mitch Breitweiser. The four-issue series stars Jeff Mace, the former Patriot who took on the uniform while Rogers was frozen in a block of ice.
- Marvel also discussed the long-talked about Shadowland, a five-issue series by Andy Diggle and Billy Tan during their Mondo Marvel panel and their retailer presentation on Thursday. “You’re going to see a ton of heroes from Spider-Man and Wolverine to Luke Cage…some are fighting to keep New York safe, and some are fighting to keep it unsafe due to Daredevil’s takeover of the ninja organization The Hand,” said Editor Steve Wacker.
So you’ve seen the X-Men teaser images Marvel’s been putting out featuring (among other strange character choices like Elektra and She-Hulk II) Blade and what sure looks like Vampire Jubilee, right? So has Ultimate Comics Avengers writer — and current toast of Hollywood thanks to Kick-Ass — Mark Millar.
Apparently the “X-Men vs. vampire mutants” storyline people have deduced from the teaser images is awfully similar to an upcoming Ultimate Avengers storyline Millar’s been talking about for years…and he’s very, very upset about this. Like, to the point where if I were Marvel, I’d worry that he might show up at the office in a green-and-yellow jumpsuit with a crowbar or two.
Here’s the rundown of Millar’s furious posts on his message board, in a thread titled “I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS X-MEN/ BLADE THING” (all-caps in original):
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.
This week on Totally Biased Opinion with No Real Numbers Backing up a Gut Feeling Theater, I’ll put on my comic shop clerk hat and say that, as a retailer, there was a drop off of customers reading Ultimatum as the issues chugged along.
Keep in mind, this is not me as a comic fan or as a critic (as laughable as the term is in my case), but for awhile the comic shop I work for sold Ultimate Spider-Man, Ultimate X-Men and Ultimates like gangbusters. That is, with a loud and explosive beginning; I can recall barely getting my copy of Ultimate X-Men #1 as Marvel’s newest set of titles did remarkably well and the speculator market turned its Saruman-like eye on the brand. Years went by and we continued to put our stock in the Ultimate titles, through the rocky road that was Ultimate Fantastic Four, through the non-existent road that was Ultimate Hulk vs. Wolverine. Yes sir’ee, if it had word ‘Ultimate’ on the cover, you could practically call it the ‘Gold Standard’ by which Marvel Comics could be judged by!
Man, remember those days?
Oh no — apparently someone left the gate open, and foil covers and hologram covers have bred to produced something far more sinister: Foilogram covers.
“This is Marvel doing the nineties right,” explained David Gabriel, Marvel Comics Senior Vice President of Sales & Circulation. “We’re taking two of the most popular cover treatments of all time–foil and holograms–to create an all new kind of cover, as a ‘thank-you’ to fans who’ve been demanding this kind of variant! Retailers and fans don’t need to worry. We’re only doing this on a limited basis. You won’t see one on Ms Marvel #46 or Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers #4. We’re using them to mark very special occasions…such as the launch of Ultimate Comics line.”"
No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No.
Okay guys, this is September. Time to get serious. The summer blockbusters are either put to rest or coming to an end, and we have 11 different #1 issues to sort through, not to mention the other 11 #2 issues that are kicking it into high gear from last month. And what about the eight issues we know NOTHING about?? Pencils down, kids. The Marvel U just got real.
Or kind of ridiculous in regards to the ongoing narrative. But don’t be afraid, not everything is all new and different. Let’s take a gander at the September solicitations for the House of Ideas and see what we can look forward to hearing about when we’re darn good and ready.
Okay, no joke, there are indeed 11 #1 issues coming out, from the benign Thor and Punisher Annuals (I actually find myself missing when they used to number annuals by the year they came out) to the long-awaited Spider-Woman #1 and Wolverine: Old Man Logan Giant-Size #1. There’s even the ridiculous, but I’ll get to that later. Point is, this is just as much a month for starts of things to come as August, which tips the scales at 14 #1 issues. Marvel may tout their 600th Captain America, Spider-Man or Incredible Hulk, but let’s face it: #1 on a cover gives the book that delectable little collector’s spice.