That's That Shit: 11/8/2012: Krypton Found, Vibe Resurrected and a Song by Alan MooreA comics news article
That's That Shit
Last Week's News, This Week's Comics for 11/08/2012
Hi. That's That Shit is exactly what it says above -- we talk in-depth about everything that happened in the comics world last week, and then look forward to some notable releases slated for this coming Wednesday.
Your panel of judges are Comics Bulletin Managing Editors Danny Djeljosevic and Nick Hanover, who pretty much have paper and ink in their blood, and CB Columns Editor Andrew Tan, who got his start in comics late in life through Adrian Tomine and is slowly dipping his toes into the broader aspects of the medium. So we deliver the news, Andrew asks the questions and hopefully everyone learns something.
BUT FIRST SOME MUSIC
LAST WEEK'S NEWS
DC Forces Real Scientist to Find Fake Planet for Them
Then has child's parents killed before his very eyes
Danny: Here's an odd bit of news: DC Comics enlisted noted astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson to figure out a real physical location for Superman's destroyed home planet of Krypton to formerly occupy, and the results were revealed in this week's Action Comics #14.
According to ABC News, Tyson decided that:
It’s in the constellation Corvus the raven, in the southern sky not far from Virgo and Hydra. The planet Krypton — not that it ever existed — would have orbited a red dwarf star called LHS 2520, Tyson concluded. The star is 27.1 light-years from Earth.
Andrew: This seems like an actually really good way to get some of the kids reading DC stuff into astrophysics. So colleges, prepare for a 0.005 percent increase in astrophysics majors!
I made a funny.
Nick: Yes, kids, you too can become an astrophysicist and get paid by multimedia conglomerates to make their crazy, perpetually renewed IPs more "real" by forcing unnamed, quite real stars to match up with their fiction.
Jeff Lemire to Take Over Green Arrow
EXCLUSIVE: New run will spin out of Sweet Tooth #40 as Oliver Queen hunts down and kills Gus
Danny: Okay, so this explains that backup story in Justice League #13: MTV Geek reported that Jeff Lemire -- creator of indie books like Essex County and The Underwater Welder and writer of offbeat DC comics like Animal Man and Justice League Dark -- will take over Green Arrow with issue #17 alongside I Vampire artist Andrea Sorrentino. Lemire's on his way to be a major figure at DC, and I imagine this move is to not only capitalize on the CW's Arrow TV series but also Green Arrow's role in the upcoming Justice League of America book by Geoff Johns and David Finch.
Andrew: How common is it for someone to actually transition for success as an indie writer into DC? From how I understand the industry, it seems that you'd be giving up a significant amount of control and creative freedom.
Nick: You do give up a lot of freedom, which is why a lot of former indie writers-- like Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka and Robert Kirkman-- built up their profiles and incomes at DC and Marvel before returning to the indie worlds they came from. It's a little like being a brilliant dot com entrepreneur and getting offered a lot of money to have your start up bought out by a much larger but less creative corporation. Then you toil in the corporate machinery for a while, watching your creation get dismantled and broken down as you take a steady paycheck and either make the decision to stick with the stable but perhaps creatively bankrupt conglomerate or run with the finances you've hopefully stockpiled as well as your now better known profile and go back to develop your own IPs, with the added knowledge of what works in a fickle marketplace.
…and yes, I may have personal experience with this sort of thing.
Danny: Pretty much everyone working Marvel these days has an indie book or two under their belts. That's pretty much the only way to get hired as a comic creator -- put out some cool comics, get some buzz and work your way up the ladder to doing Avengers or whatever. It's the closest to a regular job most of these creators get. Success varies -- Brubaker and Rucka are good examples of creators that fared well in Big Two comics, while Kirkman is an example of someone who played with Marvel's toys for a bit and decided it was NOT something he wanted to do.
Orci and Kurtzman to Make a Locke & Key Film
Maybe as a trilogy? People still like those, right?
Danny: While the Fox TV pilot failed to make it to air, screenwriter Roberto Orci revealed via Twitter that he and co-writer Alex Kurtzman are working on a big-screen adaptation of Locke & Key, the popular series by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez. Those guys are bad screenwriters but maybe they'll get a good director.
Nick: Their hackiness is what turns me off about this project. There are so many excellent horror directors and screenwriters working out there-- Adam Green, Eli Roth, James Gunn, to name just the most commercially successful-- and yet you hand over one of the most promising new horror franchises to the two guys who are arguably the most responsible for Hollywood's current glut of shiny, unimpressive blockbusters?
Andrew: Oh man, these guys have the weirdest resumé: Star Trek, Cowboys and Aliens, Transformers and The Proposal, the hit Sandra Bullock movie about America's oppressive immigration policy against Canada.
Nick: "Hey man, that oppressive immigration policy cuts both ways!" Says the man who failed to land himself a Canadian bride. Call me, Sandra!
They're Making a Fucking Vibe Comic
Also, a Katana comic which bodes a little bit better
Danny: What was once a not very good April Fool's joke has now become a reality in Feburary 2013: there's going to be an ongoing series about Vibe, who Maxwell Yezpitelok and I decided was the worst member of the Justice League. Anyway, Geoff Johns is co-plotting the first issue of this series, which will be written by Andrew Kreisberg (showrunner of Arrow) and drawn by Pete Woods, which means it'll look pretty good at least.
That same month, DC will debut a spin-off of Birds of Prey featuring Katana, written by Ann Nocenti and drawn by Alex Sanchez.
Y'know guys, say what you will about the profile of these characters, but that's a nice grab at diversity -- a comic about a Latin American superhero and one about a Japanese woman. Granted, the original Vibe was an ill-conceived breakdancing chicano street tough, but if there's one thing we can take solace in, it's that this new Vibe won't be nearly as embarrassing as the original one.
Andrew: Vibe and Katana just sound like offensive stereotypes for minority characters.
Nick: Neither character was exactly made with the best of intentions in mind, but Katana has enjoyed a better run in comics, with a memorable role on the original Outsiders line-up and some key moments with the Batfamily. I don't exactly trust Johns to suddenly flip Vibe's terrible history and while I appreciate DC reaching out to female creators, Ann Nocenti is an odd choice to take on Katana. Nocenti is still best known for her run on Daredevil, a run that was pretty controversial with fans and is perhaps mostly remembered for the introduction of Typhoid Mary, and though she's never been shy about introducing hot button political topics to her storylines, she's always struck me as an uncreative writer who leans far too much on exposition and dialogue for comics. Nobody asked me, obviously, but is there any reason why either of these titles couldn't have been handed to creators with better understandings of these characters' respective cultures? I know it's not likely that Los Bros Hernandez would take on Vibe or that Stan Sakai would be eager to explore Katana, but surely there were some creators from these backgrounds available and eager for the gig.
Danny: I dunno, I think the intentions behind Vibe were sound; I just think the execution is the practice of "engineering a character to reflect a certain culture" gone horribly wrong. On a basic level, a Latino guy named Vibe with earthquake powers is completely inoffensive (curiously, the X-Men have a similar character), but once you add breakdancing, street gangs and unreadable dialect written by nerdy white guys, shit goes completely off the rails and any good intentions are irrelevant. Everyone in comics knows Vibe is the worst, most of all DC devotee Geoff Johns. I think we can expect, at best, a lame vanilla superhero comic.
I'll defend Katana, though -- she's a pretty respectable, well-established character and has a sword.
Alan Moore Made a Song for Occupy
It's pretty English.
Danny: Alan Moore, whose V for Vendetta (with artist David Lloyd) was the inspiration for a whole bunch of protestors, has recorded a politically charged song called "The Decline of English Murder," released by Occupation Records, a record label created as part of the Occupy movement.
I dig it, mostly because it reminds me of a Billy Bragg song, and I like Billy Bragg more than I like most foods.
Nick: The Billy Bragg remark makes sense given that Moore himself was a part of that scene before he focused on writing comics instead of fronting a punk band.
Andrew: Honestly, I was hoping that Alan Moore would sound fucking terrifying. I was kind of disappointed he just sounds like a regular dude.
Danny: This should be up your alley then, Andrew: "March of the Sinister Ducks" by Alan Moore. Just, um, ignore the video portion.
THIS WEEK'S COMICS
Prison Pit Vol. 4
(Johnny Ryan; Fantagraphics)
As always, a plot summary of the latest installment of Johnny (Angry Youth Comix) Ryan’s hugely popular sci-fi-prison-planet-gore-fest-slugfest-a-thon serial must, in order to be presentable to normal, decent human beings, be cut into fine Belgian lace. And so, with apologies:
“Cannibal F***face discovers the only way to escape the Caligulon is to brainf*** the Slorge and create a giant, brainless oafchild that only knows how to annihilate everything in its path. And what happens when the Slugstaxx show up and use their nightj*** to turn this mindless monster against CF? Total F***ing Mayhem.”
Danny: HOLY SHIT NEW PRISON PITTTTT FUCK EVERYONE WHO ISN'T ME
Andrew: I'm glad to see Prison Pit sounds like the kind of comic that would be called Prison Pit.
Nick: No matter what you think Prison Pit is like, Andrew, in reality it is a billion times crazier and better.
Iron Man #1
(Kieron Gillen, Greg Land; Marvel)
Tony Stark-Iron Man: Technological visionary, wealthy playboy, unparalleled engineer, and armored Avenger. His greatest invention becomes his greatest mistake. Iron Man must act fast and Tony Stark must build faster! The lethal techno virus Extremis is out in the wild and out for grabs to the highest bidder! It's up to Tony Stark to contain it and that means creating a new suit of armor NOW!
Danny: And here's our first major Marvel NOW! solo series, which has me conflicted. Kieron Gillen's a dude I like a lot, who writes really great, fun stuff like Phonogram and Journey into Mystery. Greg Land, unfortunately, is an artist who -- how shall I say this? Greg Land is an artist whose artistic method and aesthetic choices substitute gloss for substance. This is really tough for me.
Nick: Is Land even popular anymore? I mean, I can understand Liefeld's stint on the New 52, because love him or hate him that guy is still hugely popular. But it seemed to me that Land's star fell pretty quickly after his use of porn stills for reference (and blatant tracing and ripping off) became widely known and turned into an industry joke. I feel for Gillen, I really do.
Danny: The way I see it, Land's been drawing Uncanny X-Men, a title that sells by virtue of being an X-Men comic. So, on some level, I can imagine it creating the illusion that he's popular because a good deal of readers either 1) buy it for the writer or 2) buy X-Men comics even if they're bad. So, Land stays, for better or worse.
Andrew: A quick GIS of Greg Land revealed this. Yikes:
Danny: And THAT is exactly what Land is notorious for these days.
(Ian Brill, Josh Covey, Felipe Smith; BOOM!)
Val and Cassie are two women trying to make it in L.A. who just happened to grow up in a Kung Fu Orphanage, and now make their way in an ultra-competitive world of bounty hunting . They've watched each others' backs since they could stand, and those bonds are tested daily as they navigate a city where loyalty usually only runs as deep as one's bank account. Val and Cassie take the most dangerous jobs, and watch as others bask in the glory. But now, as their former mentor becomes L.A.'s most wanted fugitive, Val and Cassie will fight through L.A.'s glitziest and grimiest hoods as they learn just what sacrifices are necessary to make Hollywood dreams come true.
Rising star scribe Ian Brill (Darkwing Duck) and red-hot newcomer Joshua Covey team up for this raucous series full of wild nights, beautiful dreamers, and knock-down brawls in between trips to the newest food trucks.
Danny: This inaugural issue's only a buck, so there's no excuse for anyone. Freelancers looks like fun -- besides being scripted by the underrated Ian Brill, the concept was co-created by awesome artist Felipe Smith, who does a great-looking backup story in this issue. I'm picking it up just for that.
Nick: This concept sounds like a mesmerizing mishmash of all kinds of '70s staples, with the bounty hunting and kung fu and sleazy Hollywood antics and all. Which means I am totally down for it.
(Chris Wright; Fantagraphics)
One part Melville, one part Peckinpah, Blacklung is a sweeping and visually startling tale of a man determined to commit as many acts of evil as possible in order to ensure reuniting with his dead wife in hell.
It is a story of violence, amorality, fortitude, and redemption and is unquestionably one of the most impressive graphic novel debuts in recent years.
Danny: That's a gorgeous cover.
Andrew: This is like the exact opposite of What Dreams May Come. I hope it stars Sparrow Pennyilliams, known for his ability to only act somewhere between dramatic and manic.
Nick: I hope that gets used as a pull quote, Andrew. Because your "bizarro What Dreams May Come" remark made me even more interested than otherwise because HOLY SHIT YOU'RE SO RIGHT.
(Brian Posehn, Gerry Duggan, Tony Moore; Marvel)
Dead former United States presidents, from George Washington to Gerald Ford have been resurrected, and that's BAD. The Marvel heroes can't be the ones to stop them, someone is needed with the reputation, skills and plausible deniability to take out these com-monsters in chiefs...NOW! is the time for Deadpool! In Wade We Trust!
Danny: A comedy book with writing from legit comedians. A cover by Geoff Darrow where a dinosaur pukes kittens. Tony Moore drawing stuff. While Marvel did all they could to overexpose Deadpool with countless spinoffs a few years ago, this might not only be the Deadpool comic fans have been hoping for, but one of the more audacious creative team choices of this Marvel NOW! initative.
Andrew: I've been coming around on Posehn's material lately and if it's a fraction of the funniness he usually is, it will definitely be amazing.
Nick: Posehn was fucking born for this. While you're dead on about the glut of Deadpool material, Danny, I feel like this series could strike that perfect middle ground between mainstream Deadpool stuff and the gleefully psychopathic middle finger of a take that David Lapham and Kyle Baker brought to the character with Deadpool MAX.
Danny Djeljosevic is a comic book creator, award-winning filmmaker (assuming you have absolutely no follow-up questions) and Co-Managing Editor of Comics Bulletin. Follow him on Twitter at @djeljosevic or find him somewhere in San Diego, often wearing a hat. Read his comic with Mike Prezzato, "Sgt. Death and his Metachromatic Men," over at Champion City Comics and check out his other comics at his Tumblr, Sequential Fuckery. His webcomic The Ghost Engine, with artist Eric Zawadzki, updates twice a week.
When he's not writing about the cape and spandex set and functioning as the Co-Managing Editor of Comics Bulletin, Nick Hanover is a book, film and music critic who has contributed to Spectrum Culture, No Tofu Magazine, Performer Magazine, Port City Lights and various other international publications. By which he means Canadian rags you have no reason to know anything about. He also translates for "Partytime" Lukash's Panel Panopticon and you can follow him on Twitter at @Nick_Hanover.
Andrew Tan spends his days working on a bunch of different stuff he can't really explain here. Before that, he majored in Journalism at the University of Florida, where he worked for a few newspapers. He loves comics (obviously), sad music, duck confit and San Francisco. He also has a sentence published in McSweeney's that he is proud of. He was also mocked in Gawker for said sentence, which brings him roughly the same level of pride.
Andrew is one of the many people on the internet vying for the moniker of Tandrew. Some are him, some are not. You can find him on Twitter at @TandrewTan.