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The Next Page in Comic Books 2012

It’s month two of the new year.

As your resident comic-nerd, I’m providing a list of things we can look forward to in 2012.

In no particular order…

 

1) The Sophomore Story Arcs in the DCnU.

DC Comics’ giant risk with the complete relaunch/reboot of all their book has proven to be a massive success. DC captured all 10 slots for the top selling comic books of January… that means Aquaman has sold more books in January than any of Marvel’s titles.

Did you ever think you’d live to see the day? Short answer: no.

DC has wrapped on 5 issues of all their titles, and with that, most of the first story arcs of said titles. Now  I’m curious as to what comes next. While most of the books are going gang busters, some promising titles have crumbled to pieces (I’m looking at you, Savage Hawkman). DC is cutting the fat on the books not selling (OMAC, Blackhawks, Men at War, Hawk & Dove) and shaking up the creative teams on the books that are “on the bubble.”

Here’s what I can’t wait for: Justice League to catch up to the present. The origin story is great, but I want to see all the new members I was shown back before the books relaunched (Atom, Mera, Deadman, etc.). Earth 2 and World’s Finest, which will focus on Earth 2 characters like the Justice Society, Huntress and Powergirl. Awesome.

 

2) The Defenders

As a fan of the old-school Defenders, I’m hoping that the creative team of Matt Fraction and Terry Dodson can pull off what Marvel has been trying to recreate since the mid 80’s. What I’ve read so far is fun and the art is clean and beautiful. All that’s missing is Hellcat. I’m just saying.

 

3) Avengers vs. X-Men

Apparently this upcoming kerfuffle revolves around the Scarlet Witch (a personal favorite), formerly of the Avengers, and Hope Summers (meh) of the X-Men. Mix in a little Phoenix Force and voila, fist-in-face time. As a fan of both teams, I’m ready for some choice match-ups. It’s reminding me of the “Contest of Champions” miniseries from 1982 (don’t judge) that thrilled me as a young reader.

 

4) Before Watchmen

DC has recently announced that it will be producing a collection of Watchmen prequels this summer.  7 miniseries (Rorschach, Minutemen, Comedian, Dr. Manhattan, Niteowl, Ozymandias & Silk Spectre) will focus on the exploits of the different characters before the events in Watchmen.

This announcement has been met with no small amount of controversy from the creators (Alan Moore in particular, who seems to be having a whole grumpy-old-man-get-off-my-property attitude) as well as some fans who consider Watchmen to be untouchable. As for me, I say, “gimme.” DC is putting some of their top talent (Brian Azzarello, Darwyn Cook, J. Michael Stracynski, Amanda Conner) on the project and are taking this very seriously, and it’s a great way to keep people talking about DC as a publisher and about the comic book industry. I don’t think they’d risk the momentum they’ve got going just to release some garbage. It’s gonna be good.

 

5) Avengers: the movie. ‘Nuff said.

 

SINGLE ISSUE STANDOUT

The best single issue I read this month is Secret Avengers #20. I’ll spare you any spoilers. Just do yourself a favor and check it out.

 

BEST PANEL OF THE MONTH

This is kind of a cheat; The original issue came out in 1978 but was collected and re-released on January 18th. This is how people talk in real life.

The next time you’re with a group of friends and somebody says something you agree with, be sure to use everyone’s full name, including your own (in the third person) when you respond.

For example:

“Wow, the Madonna half-time show was really awesome.”

“David echoes the thoughts of Arnie.”

 

Thanks for reading,

Your Pal, Arnie

 

You can follow me at twitter.com/yourpalarnie

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8 comments

  • Lemme just leave these here for ya:

    – Final issue of Moon Knight (/snif. so sad)
    – Brian K. Vaughn’s new series: Saga
    – Introduction of Helspont (of WildCATS fame) to the DCnU
    – The ends of both Incorruptible and Irredeemable
    – The ends of 6 DCnU titles and the start of 6 new ones

  • Okay, I’d like to first say that I am not some kind of obsessive fan or literary prescriptivist or whatever. I don’t even like Alan Moore terribly much (as a comic writer, rather. As a person he’s fascinating).

    However, Watchmen prequels just can’t work. Watchmen is a complete piece as it is, designed that way, and was made by Alan Moore after he was denied DC’s leftover Charlton Comics characters due to his bad-for-marketing style of basically destroying any possible future use of the continuity he was creating. It is fairly backhanded of DC to then turn around and take his original characters that they essentially convinced him to make and shuffle them out. But that’s kind-of beside the point, I’m sure one could make the point that Moore has basically parachuted out of the comic book industry- I’m just saying, it’s in bad taste in the first place.

    But more saliently, this is like saying “sure, Hitchhiker’s Guide is good, but what about Arthur Dent’s highschool years?” It’s beside the point of the story and simply doesn’t work when set next to the actual main opus. It’s also pandering. It’s the stuff of fan-fiction. It’s blatant fan-service, verging on fan abuse. Such is the nature of the mainstream comic industry now, I guess.

    Either way, I guess I’m saying I disapprove from an artistic standpoint. The adaptation was one thing, and very carefully made- interesting in its own right. I’m sure this will be similar, but just that bit zombie-like. Especially considering Watchmen’s point and theme is pretty much done with in our modern, No-Future life we live now. I think the writers who are doing this would be better off doing something original, but if they can bring new meaning to extremely dated (not so much old as obviously from a certain mindset and a certain era) characters then good for them. Nevertheless I’d rather just consider this venture an entirely separate concept from Watchmen itself.

    -V

    P.S. Strange that “the Next Page in Comic Books” is entirely superhero. That seems a bit more like “the Last Thousand Pages” :-p

    P.S.S. For a more funny take on Watchmen continuations, I direct you to this NSFW display by Chip Zdarsky: http://www.warrenellis.com/?p=13655

  • I was really excited about the DCnU because I was having a lot of trouble getting into DC due to continuity and characters I didn’t know popping up everywhere. This was exactly what DCnU was supposed to fix. I will admit I picked up two new books from my original DC titles (Animal Man and Wonder Woman) with zero regret. But I was brought back to DC a while ago with the Green Lantern Sinestro Corps stuff and Blackest Night, etc. Now the DCnU has taken all that love I had for the Green Lantern stories and decimated them in DCnU. I’m at a point where I’m dropping every single Lantern book (Green Lantern, Lantern Corps, and New Guardians) except I am keeping Red Lantern Corps but that needs to pick up a little speed.

    I was hoping to finally get into Superman, but he’s trying to be “edgy” it feels and that’s ok for ANYONE BUT SUPERMAN from my understanding. It seems like they are trying to turn Superman into Ultimate Captain America. They don’t get that Ultimate Cap worked because he wasn’t the real Captain America. He was in a whole universe that was styled like that.

    I couldn’t stomach Justice League past 4 issues. All they did was quip and whine and boast. I get that they are “young and brash” but ugh. No substance combined with this new re-imagined Super Annoying Hal Jordan just killed it for me.

    I was hoping to get interested in Flash, but they still have the Speed Force and that just doesn’t work for me. Based on everything I read the Speed Force only exists to give superspeed powers? It needs to have some actual purpose in the universe besides that to feel plausible to me.

  • Viktor,
    You make a great point about “‘the Next Page in Comic Books’ is entirely superhero”. I do read other genre comics (Scalped, Walking Dead, Northlanders) but my heart-of-hearts wears a mask and cape… and sometimes wig.

  • Arnie,

    Nothing wrong with that! I read superhero comics sparingly, mainly because my introduction to comics were more graphic novel, British dourness like Transmetropolitan/Sandmen/Hellblazer/etc. Also because superheroes are best played as basically Greek God/mythical figures and there’s sometimes too much focus on “oh, what did Peter Parker like to eat as a kid? Does Batman wear boxers or briefs?”

    Not to harp too much on it but I feel (and this is just a personal aesthetic kind of thing, not a GENRE DEFINING OPINION-AS-FACT) that Watchmen kinda finished off “realistic” superheroes for me. It played them as hard and straight as possible and then killed them.

    But hey, how about some more indie comics anyway? The Boys (by Garth Ennis and Darick Roberston) has a mini-series coming out in March. That even has superheroes in it! Though maybe not the kind most people feel comfortable reading about. What with the pedophilia and drug abuse. There’s a bunch of other stuff coming out from Avatar and Oni Press (amongst others), I’d love to hear your opinion on that bidness.

    -V