Up, up and away! A place for comic-book fans to gather.

Monday, December 15, 2008

So long. Farewell. Outta here.

I'm putting this blog to bed. Maybe at some point, I'll revive it on another platform linked to Gazette.com. But for now, it's gone. I expect my Comics Fan column in The Gazette to continue, though. So if anyone out there has comments, suggestions for stories, etc., you can send them to bill.radford@gazette.com.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Dark times

I talked with Joe Quesada, Marvel's editor-in-chief, this week about Marvel's plans for 2009.

The Marvel Universe, struck first by a civil war, then a Skrull invasion and now in the control of bad guys like Norman Osborn as part of "Dark Reign," has not been a happy place for some time.

Quesada acknowledges that, but says there will be light amid the darkness. And besides, he says, drama is fueled by conflict.

"If everything were happy-go-lucky and hunky dory and everything was rays of sunshine, while it might make people feel comfortable on the inside, there'd be no reason to buy our books."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

"Dark Reign," "Final Crisis"

Two key books out this week, "Final Crisis" No. 5, continuing DC's big event, and "Secret Invasion: Dark Reign," an epilogue to Marvel's just concluded big event.

I found "Final Crisis," as in some past issues, to be choppy and hard to follow. I'll try a second read and see if it holds together better.

"Dark Reign" explores the secret gathering of villains brought together by Norman Osborn in the final page of "Secret Invasion." It's the bad-guy version of the Illuminati, and pretty interesting. Emma Frost is the most intriguing member of this secret inner cabinet, since she's been both villainess and heroine. I liked the art, with one exception. I agree with the posters over at Newsarama who found the depiction of Namor disconcerting; looks like he's balding, out of shape and in need of a shave, not a very impressive presence.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

"Final Crisis" preview

Can't wait for this week's "Final Crisis" No. 5? Newsarama has a preview of the first several pages. Good stuff, even if it does look more like an issue of "Green Lantern" than "Final Crisis."

Friday, December 05, 2008

"Dark Reign"

Now that "Secret Invasion" has wrapped up, Marvel has pulled the cloak of secrecy from "Dark Reign." Seems that Norman Osborn and other select baddies are now running things in the Marvel U. And Tony "Iron Man" Stark is on the outside looking in - and on the run, it seems.

So, yet another status quo for the Marvel Universe. Certainly, things are never dull, and I find the new status for Iron Man to be intriguing - and likely to make him a bit less arrogant. I have trouble believing it would be acceptable for Norman, Dr. Doom and the others to be handed the keys to the kingdom, though. Also: Too many Avengers. Mighty Avengers. New Avengers. And now Dark Avengers?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

"Secret Invasion" No. 8

Well, I'm not sure I'm going to leave the office and brave the slick streets for my comics fix today, even though "Secret Invasion" No. 8 arrives. If you're in the same boat, but can't wait to see what happens, wander over to Newsarama and check out the review of the final issue, where you'll also find a link to a New York Times item that reveals the twist ending. I'm scheduled to talk with Marvel's Joe Quesada next week about where the Marvel U goes from here.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

DC in '09

I talked this morning with DC executive editor Dan DiDio about what's coming up in 2009. Looks like DC's biggest guns, Batman and Superman, will be MIA. Batman, of course, vanished at the end of "Batman R.I.P" last week; Bruce Wayne's ultimate fate will be revealed in "Final Crisis" No. 6 in January, DiDio said. Superman, meanwhile, will be leaving Earth for a journey through space and vacating the pages of "Action Comics."

DiDio cleared up one thing for me. With the events of "Final Crisis" happening apart from the monthly books, there may have been a little confusion about the timing of story lines. "Final Crisis," he said, happens after "Batman R.I.P." The effects of "Final Crisis" will be felt throughout the DCU in the first half of next year, but not all in the same month, as in the year-ahead jump that followed "Infinite Crisis."

More on DC's plans in Sunday's Comics Fan.