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Monday, December 31, 2007

OMD: More fallout

“One More Day” is being ripped this way and that way on the Internet today. Fans are NOT happy, at least not the ones bothering to post their opinions online. One aspect I hadn’t initially considered that fans are irate about is that Peter Parker made a deal with the devil. The devil! And why? Not to save his aged aunt as much as to ease his conscience over Aunt May being shot because of him.

Other fans are as confused by this reboot as I am. How can the rest of the Marvel U not be messed up by the ripples from this? It’s not just that Peter and MJ never married. Harry’s alive, Peter never unmasked in front of a global TV audience, Aunt May doesn’t know his secret anymore. ... Why not junk the whole Marvel Universe and move everything to the Ultimate line if they want a new, younger Marvel U?

Check out Newsarama for a reader poll and Comic Book Resources for an indepth, multi-part interview with Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada.

Friday, December 28, 2007

"One More Day," the conclusion

(SPOILERS AHEAD) Well, they did it. “One More Day” wrapped up today with “Amazing Spider-Man” No. 545, putting an end to the marriage of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. Mephisto wiped it away, along with the public’s knowledge that Spider-Man and Peter are one and the same.

Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada had long said that Peter’s marriage to Mary Jane had been a mistake, that it was tough to sympathize with the perpetually unlucky Peter when he was married to a hot supermodel. And that wasn’t just his view, Quesada told me recently. Other editors and writers who had worked on Spider-Man had found the marriage a hindrance, he said.

Fair enough. Maybe it was a mistake, but I think I would have preferred them living with it. The events of “One More Day” essentially add up to a reboot and leave a lot of questions behind. Which adventures of Spider-Man over the years stand and which don’t? Take “Civil War,” for example. Did Peter’s unmasking never happen, or do people just not remember it? If Peter and MJ were never married, they obviously never lived together in Tony Stark’s high-rise. Did Peter? In “One More Day,” Mephisto erases the marriage by cutting out “a thread in time.” But removing that one thread seems to make a lot of things unravel. It makes my head hurt.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Just a few bests

I'm back from a short Christmas break; my holiday gifts included Superman night wear (OK, pajamas) and a Spider-Man poster book. I worked a bit today on a story about Marvel’s plans for 2008, which had me reflecting on 2007. I won’t bother with a big “best of” list, but a few gems that leap instantly to mind include:

The Sinestro Corps War. “Green Lantern” writer Geoff Johns assembled a truly astounding roster of bad guys for Hal Jordan and his comrades to face. The whole epic had a great, summer blockbuster action feel and will shape Green Lantern for the years to come. I also applaud Johns for his work on “Justice Society of America” and “Booster Gold.” I never cared about the character of Booster until now.

A close No. 2 in the summer blockbuster category: “World War Hulk.” The ending was a bit lame - the Hulk nearly cracking open the Earth by stamping his feet? — but I couldn’t wait for each issue.

Ed Brubaker on “Captain America.” Captain America killed! Yawn. After all, we’ve seen the deaths of Superman, Green Arrow, Green Lantern and on and on. But Brubaker has continued to keep us guessing — and to write a compelling, character-driven series minus the title character.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The new Cap

So who's going to be the new Captain America come January? Marvel whittled down the choices a bit with this image released today. I'm still thinking Bucky, aka the Winter Soldier, but what do I know?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Marvel in March

Marvel released its March solicitations today. “The Dark Tower” returns with “The Dark Tower: The Long Road Home.” I didn’t follow the first series, instead catching up later with the trade paperback. But it was so good I may have to keep up monthly with the new. Other musts: the continuing adventures of Captain America, Daredevil and the Fantastic Four. And I need to catch back up with the Avengers, since “Secret Invasion” is looming. On the bubble: “Amazing Spider-Man.” Still torn about whether to continue with Spidey’s adventures if, as feared, his marriage to MJ is wiped out of continuity.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Marvel 2008

I talked this morning with Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Joe Quesada about Marvel’s plans for 2008. The big event, as everyone already knows, is “Secret Invasion,” which follows up on the discovery that some of Marvel’s heroes are actually Skrulls. “Basically you don’t know who’s who,” Quesada said. And this climate of mistrust comes as the Marvel Universe is still dealing with the aftermath of the last big Marvel event, “Civil War.”

“This is a very big test of Tony Stark’s new intitiative and the new landscape of superheroes,” Quesada observed. “Does it work or does it not work?"

I'll have more on Marvel 2008 in a future Comics Fan column.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Anderson's next novel

"The Last Days of Krypton," by writer Kevin J. Anderson, was released recently. Now there's this "news flash" from AnderZone, the official Kevin J. Anderson fan club:

"Kevin has just contracted with DC for his next novel, 'Encounter,' which centers on the first meeting between Batman and Superman in the 1950s, during the height of the Cold War and the flying saucer craze. He is just starting to outline the book now."

Sinestro Corps War

Here's a good reason to head to your friendly, neighborhood comic book store today. Out today is "Green Lantern" No. 25, wrapping up the Sinestro Corps War. It's been a great summer blockbuster by writer Geoff Johns, even if it has extended into December. To further whet your appetite, Troy Brownfield has an early, spoiler-free review at Newsarama.

Friday, December 07, 2007

A Bat book bonanza

I received DC Comics’ graphic novel catalog for summer 2008 this week. As expected with a new Batman moving coming out next year, there are a lot of Bat books in the catalog. They include “Batman: Jekyll and Hyde” and “Batman: Faces,” both with a focus on Two-Face, and “Batman: Going Sane,” with the Joker. Both the Joker and Two Face, of course, appear in the upcoming “The Dark Knight,” with Heath Ledger as the Joker and Aaron Eckhart as Harvey “Two Face” Dent.

I’ll be looking forward to “The Legion of Super-Heroes: 1,050 Years of the Future.” This first “best of” Legion collection, out in May, celebrates the teen group’s 50th anniversary.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Brody as the Flash?

The Los Angeles Times reports that Adam Brody will play the Flash in director George Miller's "Justice League of America.” What the story doesn’t delve into is Brody’s round-about relationship with the Flash. Brody, who played Seth on “The O.C.,” had a on- and off-screen relationship with Rachel Bilson, Summer on “The O.C.” And Bilson is the daughter of Danny Bilson, who co-created “The Flash” TV show and also was a writer on the comic book for a while. Brody, meanwhile, helped Bilson and his writing partner, Paul DeMeo, write “Red Menace,” a comic book minseries for DC’s WildStorm imprint.

Monday, December 03, 2007

"All Star Batman and Robin" No. 8

I keep picking up “All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder,” but usually wonder why. But I kind of liked the latest issue, No. 8. If you view Frank Miller’s “All Star” Batman as an Elseworlds tale or a what-if? (what if Batman was truly as deranged as a guy who dressed up like a giant bat should be?), then it’s OK. Yes, his treatment of Dick Grayson continues to constitute child abuse. But at least things happened in this issue: the introduction of a really sick Joker, Batman’s contempt for a brave but brainless Hal Jordan, and Dick Grayson’s first attempt at a sidekick identity.