I’d like to direct you to the above photo. It’s a little piece of art I call, “Beer done. Now I beat your punk ass silly.” Thank you.

Lots of Marvel stuff this week. Not sure why there’s so much news on the House ‘o ideas, but if this keeps up I’m going to start asking DC to misbehave.. badly.

And now for a word from our fine sponsors, Dynamic Forces… My hotline call to Nick Barrucci this week got diverted to Toney Tapia, DF’s Customer Service Manager. Since Nick is kicking it up in the UK this week Toney T, in a voice reminiscent of Tony S, rasped his way through our conversation. This is what he told me about today’s Daily Special at DF. First up it’s called X Marks The Spot, and in it you get X-Men #1 signed by Sir Ian McKellen, Ultimate X-Men #1/2 signed by Joe Quesada and Geoff Jonhs, X-Men: Search for Cyclops #1 Dynamic Forces Exclusive Cover signed by Tom Raney and Scott Hanna, and Ultimate X-Men #25 signed by Mark Millar. What could be a better way to celebrate the release of X2 than to treat yourself to one of these babies? Click on one of the banner scattered about this page and you’ll be magically (well, electronically at least) transported to DynamicForces.Com.

The Doom that Came to Franklin

A source at Marvel tells me that the jumbo-size Fantastic Four #500 will feature the surprise death of lil’ Franklin Richards. I contacted writer Mark Waid about this and he says, “For now, suffice it to say that I’m not discounting any rumors on FF 500. Why spoil the fun?”

Spoil fun? Hell, no Waid, I’m here to deliver more.

Killing Frankie is a novel idea, but in my opinion, the only way to make the FF jump, is to murder Reed as well. Doing so would finally free Suzy from the domestic prison she’s been living in for oh.. 50 years. Think about it. No brat and no beaker husband means we might actually see the Invisible Woman appear in a bar or even worse.. (gasp) a nightclub!

Sure, Suze might miss all the elongation powers for a few days after the funeral, but that will pass. There’s no way she ever experienced them regularly anyway. It’s all about inventions and super formulas with Fantastic guy. He has more passion for his thermonuclear space modulator than he does for his hot wife, for God’s sake. Suzy is by far the best looking and most bored super-spouse in the entire Marvel U. It’s tragic how her youth is being sucked away by an inattentive ass clown. If wonderscout Cyclops can toss aside his merit badges for some kinky mind petting with Emma Frost, I say Suzy should get the chance to sample some Namor.

Getting back to the death of Franklin Richards… obviously it would be a pretty big blow to our friends in the Baxter Building. Especially if Doom does the deed. It’s important to remember that Waid claims he will use Doom in a way that fans have never seen, at some point during the “Unthinkable“ arc (see http://www.newsarama.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=000124 ). I’d say killing Frankie certainly qualifies.

But here’s my issue — Doom ALWAYS carries on about what he plans to do to the FF, but has the man actually backed up his bravado with a quality homicide? Hell, even the wannabe gang members on last Tuesday night’s NYPD Blue know you need to score a 187 on enemy ass to be an Original Gangsta.

Lines like..

Doom shall bleed your son until he is nothing more than a shriveled, lifeless husk. Doom will enjoy watching him die. Then Doom will have a cocktail and Doom will laugh.

..sound menacing, but words alone don’t get you OG status, dog.

This Has A “Gang Bang” Factor Of Eight Out Of Ten

Always Naysaying Everything I Create!

I’ve been hearing that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby won’t get a creator credit for the new Hulk movie because Stan is suing Marvel Comics for allegedly failing to pay him a cut of the Spidey film profits. The “Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby” credit may be replaced with “Based on the Marvel Characters”.

Apparently it isn’t mandatory that Marvel give credit to Jolly Jack and Smilin’ Stan. It’s just a courtesy. And given the lawsuit it seems plausible that Marvel may be pissed enough to shaft Stan the Man.

But personally I don’t see this happening, especially since it would be unfair to the late Jack Kirby. I’d bet money that Marvel keeps the creator credit in the film, no matter what happens with the case. No need to add fuel to the fire.

This Has A “Credit Balance Due” Factor Of Three Out Of Ten

Off The Clock

People have been telling me that Marvel has already rejected a whole lot of Epic submissions. I can’t say this is surprising, given that every fanboy on the planet has probably written a script and sent it in.. Man, typing that line suddenly gave me a vision of Olaf, from the film Clerks, atop a soiled Superfriends bedspread, declaring, “I have written the greatest Wolverine proposal ever! Freakin’ berserker, man!

Cue heavy metal music
Poke his claws through your skull.. BER-SER-KER!!!
Heal real fast and pound a beer.. BER-SER-KER!!!

Take Jean Grey to his bed.. BER-SER-KER!!!

Stab your eye and call you Bub.. BER-SER-KER!!!

Okay, musical intermission over. As I was saying, the reports I’m getting also mention that the rejectees aren’t just unknowns. I’m hearing that established creators are being turned down as well. One of the names that’s been tossed my way is Jim Krueger (Earth X, Clockmaker). I emailed Jim to find out if this rejection rumor was true and he told me that it was definitely false:

    Actually, I never pitched Epic. I met with someone for the first time involved with Epic a day ago. AND that was just a ‘hey, how are you meeting.’ I don’t know where this rumor would have come from.

Jim mentions that a number of artists have contacted him about working on a possible Epic project.:

    If they presented something to Marvel without my being aware of it, they might have been rejected as artists and that’s how things went. As far as me officially doing/not doing anything with Epic, time will tell.

Jim also wanted to point out that creative people are always pitching things in the comic book biz, just like in Hollywood.:

    It’s the nature of what we do. I’ve never heard of anyone complaining publicly when an idea is rejected. That’s not good for the health of a creator. No matter who they are.

Jim Kreuger is currently writing The Clockmaker for Image Comics. If you haven’t picked it up it’s a great read presented in a completely new format — the pages open up to mini-poster size. For more info. on Clockmaker, visit http://www.imagecomics.com.

This Has A “Thank You For Your Submission, Unfortunately…” Factor Of Two Out Of Ten

Severe Thunderstorm Warning for New Marvel County

Had a conversation the other day with an anonymous source who had some interesting things to say about Marvel’s new Tsunami line. This person (I shall dub him Taco) claims that Marvel is using some sly distribution tactics for their new imprint. Originally slated as an ongoing title, The Quest is now being solicited as a 6 issue limited series beginning with the second book (see May Previews).

Taco says:

    Marvel is back to their old pre-Quesada tricks. When the preorder numbers for the first issue aren’t high enough to their standards, they cancel the series before the first issue even hits the stands, screwing over the retailers who already ordered through the first 3 issues. They used to do this a lot when they were merged with Toy Biz, because they had sales quotas. If sales didn’t meet the quota, the books were cancelled no questions asked. To avoid bad press, they would try and change the books to mini-series of however many issues they were willing to publish until cancellation… so it didn’t look like they cancelled anything. It got so bad that retailers started to avoid buying new monthlies, because they knew Marvel wouldn’t sustain the book long enough to allow readers to check it out. So the life expectancy of books were determined by the pre-orders of the first issue.

Taco adds that the new ongoing series The Call will suffer the same fate. He points out a recent Pulse Interview with Spider-Girl artist Ron Frenz, who says:

      One of the behind-the-scenes things going on is

The Call

    is no longer an ongoing series, but just six issues.

Taco thinks that Marvel will lose credibility with retailers when it comes to new monthly books. He also points out that the company may be launching so many titles at once in order to mask the cancellations. But Taco is mostly concerned about the effect that last minute changes will have on comic store owners.

    Marvel is hefting all the risk onto the retailers. Except without overprint. So the retailers have to order higher. Even more responsibility considering the smaller nature of today’s industry. If the Tsunami bubble bursts, it’s the retailers and the industry that pay for it.

This Has A “Message Of The Emergency Broadcast System” Value Of Eight Out Of Ten

JMS Develops Some Show

I heard that J. Michael Strazynski is developing another TV show and it may be superhero related. Um.. that’s all I got.

This Has A “JMS Develops Some Show” Value Of One Out Of Ten

Always Naysaying Everything I Create!: Part II

More merry Marvel news. I’ve been told that J. Torres, writer of X-Men: Ronin asked to have his name removed from the book because Marvel made major editorial changes without consulting him. And supposedly, no one is answering his e-mails or phone calls.

There seems to be a number of creators at Marvel who have been running into this problem lately. Gail Simone on Agent X and Steve Uy on Eden’s Trail come to mind right away. Joe Casey (Uncanny X-Men), Mike Grell Iron Man) and Darko Macan (Soldier X) have also run into difficulties. But none of these creators have tried to disown anything like Torres allegedly has. I emailed J about this and he declined comment. I also posted a note at Steve Uy’s message board to try and get his opinion on why Marvel can’t seem to get along with some creators, and he had this to say:

      I don’t know anything about the Torres rumor, this is the first I heard of it. Rumors can cost a man his career in this business, especially if he’s working under a company like Marvel. We all can’t be Peter David, I’m afraid, so don’t expect to be getting any dirt from anyone against a major publisher, much less if they’re still working for them.

I spoke out on Eden’s Trail because at that time, I had ALREADY left Marvel and was working full-time on Feather for Image comics. I thought that since I was working under a different publisher, I was finally free to clear my name. I never spoke out about the publisher, I simply was trying to clear my name and baggage so I could concentrate on Feather. If I didn’t say anything, I would have gotten the blame for Eden. One way or the other, I wasn’t getting out of this scott free, so if I was gonna go down, I was gonna at least gain some of my dignity back with me. I have no intentions, at least at this moment, of speaking on Eden again. It was a stepping stone in my eyes, nothing more.

For Marvel’s side of the issue here is Joe Quesada’s response to a question about editorial interference, which he gave during a recent Waiting For Tommy interview:

      First, let’s look at how many issues we publish over the course of a year, then times that by the almost 3 years I’ve been here, don’t you think that our track record is pretty amazing with respect to creator satisfaction to be bringing up the slight few cases when it might not have work out? How many times during the course of your day do things not work out? Quite a few I’d venture to say. I work in a very creative field and in that world things are subject to different peoples opinions, sensibilities and feelings. Here’s breaking news, sometimes people are not going to see eye to eye! However, I can’t think of any case where work was changed that the talent wasn’t aware it was going to happen.

Sometimes you cast people on certain books and sometimes you get something great and many times it just doesn’t work out. When it’s working you have to know how to step out of the way, you would be surprised at how many people want to screw with something even when it’s successful. When it’s not working out is when you have to step in and offer some guidance, if that works, great, everyone is happy, if it doesn’t, then people see it as editorial interference when all you’re trying to do is save a book and its creators.

After talking to Matt and Dan about this we agree that Marvel shouldn’t be the bad guy just for editing a book, especially if it’s a title by a new creator. However, the communication with that creator is incredibly important. No one should have to crack open a preview copy of their comic book and find that it’s been completely re-written (I think this actually happened to Mark Waid on Captain America some years back). The changes should be discussed first and hopefully the editorial staff and the creator can work together to make a better book.

You know, if that sounded like some kind of Church of Latter Day Saints commercial, let me say that I’m not actually talking out of my ass. I am an editor at my real job. You know, the one that pays me.

This Has A “Communication Is The Key To Healthy, Productive Relationships” Factor Of Seven Out Of Ten

Rob on the Rocks

On the Millarworld forums Rob Liefeld is voicing some anger over the current Captain America storyline, Ice. A poster mentioned that the latest Wizard magazine’s description of the arc sounds a lot like what Rob did to Cap during Heroes Reborn. Rob had this to say:

      I saw the Cap thing and it pissed me off how it was coming off as an original idea. Wow. Some other writer decided that the story I wrote and Jeph Loeb brilliantly scripted was good enough to do again. Surprise, surprise.

It is the exact story from Heroes Reborn. Conspiracy and all. Nick Fury spearheading the movement, etc.

In a later message Rob adds:

    Wizard as the expert industry source they claim to be, should certainly be aware of the fact that the story is a re-tread of the Heroes Reborn story. Prior to HR, Cap had not been revealed to have been re-activated since the 1940’s and then have his mind wiped afterwards. The catalyst was his opposition to Hiroshima, as told in HR Cap # 2-3. The gov’t wiped him out after his position against Hiroshima and the bomb were expressed and he was a sleeper for them until his official re-awakening. His contentious relationship with Fury was also pretty non-existent prior to HR, they were always chummy but in the Reiber re-do, the HR relation continued.

Rob also states that Heroes Reborn “was the blueprint for the new Marvel regime.”

Man, it’s too bad I got this at the last second. Matt and Dan are already passed out or I’d ask them to comment on this story. Ah well, maybe next week.

Thanks to Derek for the lead.

This Has An “Anger Reborn” Factor Of Eight Out Of Ten

That’s all. Oh, before I go, I just wanted to say X2 is incredible. Go see it on the big screen if you haven’t already.


PS If anyone has any rumors to share please send them to me immediately. Just click on my name at the top of the page and you’re halfway there. If you don’t want your name revealed then just give me an alias or let me know that you don’t want to be mentioned in any way. Thanks to everyone who has been sending stuff in. It’s appreciated.


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