California, here we come!
Doomsayers put in their two hundred and ninety nine cents when they caught wind that the venerable Number Two company was making the move from NYC to sunny CA, Burbank to be exact. One comic news site was very open it its criticism about this change and how it would affect the New 52. Fiction became reality in June. To ease the massive trek, DC Comics published the weekly event CONVERGENCE along with eighty tie-ins over a two-month span. There was a lukewarm reaction to the mini and mixed reviews regarding the one-shots. The decrying died down when DC You dropped in June. Or did it?!?
Third time triumphant
Die-hard readers clamoring for a continuation of Frank Miller’s opus had their wish fulfilled. The publicity behind DARK KNIGHT III: MASTER RACE was ginormous and to be expected. However, many morsels made the entire event all the more attention-worthy. Firstly, Mr. Miller’s name is attached to the entire eight-part maxi-series but he credits Brian Azzarello with the concepts and the dialogue. Secondly, the so-called cap to the trilogy is now a tetralogy with Frank Miller himself penning the future title. Arms were raised, fists were clenched. To continue on a more positive note, DKIII topped the Diamond sales chart for November finally toppling mighty Marvel and its crop of new material (more on that later). Mostly likely issue two will reign again this month but those figures won’t be revealed for another month. Ending it all, at least seventy-five covers produced for DKIII #1 at $6 apiece. One would have to be Bruce Wayne to purchase them all. The crazy train stays on track!!
Wars are fought over this
Love it, hate it, or be indifferent, there is no mistaking the impact of Jonathan Hickman’s and Esad Ribić’s SECRET WARS. The completely different take on the same-named event from thirty-one years prior has engrossed all sides in the conversations. The impeccable Alex Ross covers were not sufficient to fan the flames. Readers were given a sneak peek with a zero issue on Free Comic Book Day. The first two issues shipped bi-weekly in May and were hefty tomes. It seemed like the series would be on schedule with a planned ending in October to make way for All-New All-Different Marvel. PPPFFFTTTT. The best laid plans…The detestable late-shipping began after issue five. Another blow was dealt when the announced eight would extend to nine. Fine. Marvel did not want to change the creative team. I respect that. The promise that the penultimate and ultimate books would double ship in December could not be kept. The highly anticipated number nine will not arrive until January 2016. Mr. Hickman claimed that his story kept growing. Therefore, necessary changes had to be made. Fair enough. The real black mark is that the universe-changing saga was supposed to clean house and make way for ANADM which began shipping in October regardless of delay. The higher-ups at Marvel claim that SECRET WARS’ lateness does not affect any of the current titles in the least. So far, that is true. This title has been killing it in sales. Ergo, no publicity is bad publicity and bad publicity can be good.
All in all, can’t complain
Don’t call it a reboot. That’s a forbidden word at Marvel Comics. Unlike the Distinguished Competition’s bold undertaking four years ago, the folks at MC tweak their expansive universe overtly, progressively, or subtly. Save your breath. Quit boo-hooing! The campaign has been an unprecedented sales success story and has garnered critical acclaim on the more obscure offerings. There are sleeper hits like The VISION and WEIRDWORLD as well as darlings Ms. MARVEL and The UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL. Seventy-two series are slated between October and April 2016. Actually, that number is now seventy-four with the news that GWENPOOL is graduating to her own on-going. Jeebus!! As of Dec. 30th, with DEADPOOL/CABLE: SPLIT SECOND as well as ROCKET RACCOON & GROOT, fifty-two (mostly monthly) have launched on top of two one-shots. There is diversification aplenty!! The Avengers and The X-Men have their respective worlds, but the Guardians of the Galaxy own their own ‘umbrella’. The Inhumans are the real rising stars with five titles under their belt. My beef is that Axel Alonso wants to make Tony Stark the face of Marvel Comics. I’ll admit that I’m reading INVINCIBLE IRON MAN by Brian Michael Bendis and am enjoying it immensely. This will be paired with INTERNATIONAL IRON MAN in March 2016 by the same author. I’ll always equate The AMAZING SPIDER-MAN as MC’s super-hero number one. Even though the Fantastic Four first set foot in the MCU, Peter Parker is my perennial pal. The direction the down-on-his-luck character has taken is a 360 but I’m intrigued by it, especially with Mockingbird as his S.H.I.E.L.D. liaison. This entire occurrence could not be complete without the standard blank variants, Skottie Young covers, and now by default the hip-hop variants. Make mine Marvel!!
“Welcome home”. Two simple words. That was the phrase ushering the re-entrance of the STAR WARS comic world to Marvel!! This was the coup d’état of 2015. No other publisher can trump this! Where to begin?? Twelve months have passed and for every single one of them the main titles STAR WARS and DARTH VADER have roosted in the Top 10 sales chart and gone to several printings. The hoopla escalated with the acknowledgement of the extended universe with the delivery of KANAN: the LAST PADAWAN. Three mini-series featured faves CHEWBACCA, LANDO and PRINCESS LEIA. As of Dec. 30th, there’ll be a third added to the mix: OBI-WAN & ANAKIN. It was definitely planned to have a prequel to the top-grossing “The Force Awakens” flick of all-time with the four-part mini SHATTERED EMPIRE. The output regarding all these works is impressive: the minis were pretty much bi-weekly. The Dark Lord of the Sith is ahead of the rebels by one issue. Each series also had an annual come out this month. I wrote an extensive article about Marvel’s re-acquisition of this franchise. In fact, one must applaud Disney since it has complete ownership of Marvel Comics and Lucasfilm. Nothing can stop this juggernaut!!!
There you have it!! One half of the ‘teens’ behind us. We’re at the midway of the second decade of the second millennium. Scary!! Do you agree or disagree? I can discuss all day long J I love to hear the differing opinions. It’s been a momentous year with Comix Asylum. I was not expecting to be as immersed as I have been with all the indie, oddball, offbeat books out there. I really have fostered an appreciation and interest in them. My own mandate was to take a detour and not constantly cover nor read the Big Two. Up until last year, you could not get me to crack open an ‘unheard-of’ or unnoticed title. I would buy (and continue to) certain books for their monetary value and/or rise in importance but I would not touch them.
I have eternal gratitude towards my editor and publisher. My editor has given me free reign each and every week much to his delight. The publisher instructed me on how to use WordPress and always gave me assistance (sometimes urgent). The two gentlemen also provided me with the opportunity to do video interviews at Montreal ComicCon and FANeXpo. Hobnobbing with celebs was all the sweeter when I got to speak with them face-to-face 😀
From April 1st until the very end of this month, I’ve savoured forty glorious weeks with this proudly Canadian comic book news site, online magazine, and channel. I wish everyone an even better 2016. The most important things are family, friends, and health. Aside from comics >_^