Your 2016 Predictions, Part Four: One of Our Spies Is Missing.

§ January 16th, 2017 § Filed under predictions § 1 Comment

Okay, I should be able to wrap up my look back at your 2016 predictions this week…if you need to catch up, here are parts One, Beta, and C. And don’t forget to give me your 2017 predictions!

• • •

Tim B buzzes

“1. There will continue to be a Kamandi shaped hole in DC’s line up. (I know I predicted this last year but If I keep on predicting eventually I’ll be proved wrong)”

You were a lot closer this time ’round, with the Kamandi Challenge Special coming out this week, and the actual Kamandi Challenge series to follow shortly! It was all announced last year, so I’m calling this a hit! Hooray for you!

“2. The Defenders Omnibus/digital release to coincide with the Netflix series.”

No specific tie-in volume to the still-forthcoming Defenders series yet, but I suspect there will be at some point. In the meantime, it looks like that a lot of the Marvel Masterworks volumes for the original Defenders series are available on Comixology.

“3. Have a Good Year (no I don’t mean the tyre…)”

Well, I can’t suppose I can complain. I mean, I made it out of 2016 alive. We’ll see about 2017.

• • •

Gareth Wilson volleys over the following

“1) Deadpool will make a brief cameo in a Marvel movie or TV show. Yes, Deadpool, and yes, mainstream Marvel.”

I think that would be funny, but no go so far. Doesn’t help that the Deadpool media license is restricted to a studio that isn’t Marvel Studios, so no surprise appearances in Avengers Part 6: The Space Phantoms Attack or anything. Probably more likely to see Howard the Duck cameos.

“2) Superman will be killed off on the Supergirl TV show.”

Probably keeping that in the bank for a later, less ratings-y season.

“3) In the comics, the Fantastic Four and several prominent X-Men will be stranded in another universe.”

Apparently at the end of Secret Wars, Reed and Sue are off traveling the Multiverse or some darn thing, so while they’re effectively out of the Marvel Universe for now, the only thing stranding them is the fact that Fantastic Four comics aren’t really selling at the moment. The X-Men also haven’t been kicked out yet, far as I can tell, though I’m sure once everyone buys the Inhumans as the able-to-be-exploited-in-media-Marvel-can-actually-own replacements for them, off the X-Men go!

• • •

My old, old customer Kurt Onstad has a ball speeding in with

“1) Fox and Marvel will finally come to an agreement that brings the FF under the Marvel Studios banner.”

As much as everyone hoped and prayed for this to happen, hopes and prayers had their usual effect of “bupkis” and no apparent movement on this front yet. I was in the minority, probably, thinking that, while that recent Fantastic Four wasn’t, well, good, they could possibly build a worthwhile sequel based on it. I mean, the parts were there, something could be done with them. But I suspect we’ll get yet another reboot or three before Marvel can ever reclaim them.

“2) Superman vs. Batman will not do as well as originally predicted, leading to a glut of ‘Is the Superhero Movie boom finally over?’ articles followed immediately by Civil War breaking previous superhero movie records, allowing us to mock incessantly the previously-mentioned articles.”

I don’t think Civil War broke any records, but it brought in over a billion bucks worldwide, so no one’s complaining, I’m sure. BvS didn’t break the billion mark, but still made about $900 million and again, that’s nothing to sneeze at. I didn’t notice any more “superhero movie fatigue” reporting this time around…we’re probably more likely to get “less bad superhero movies, more good ones, please” articles at this point, since superhero movies don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

“3) Speedball will show up in the Damage Control TV series, leading to him finally getting an ongoing series again. (Of all my Speedball-related predictions over the years, I think this one has the best chance of actually coming true…)”

Damage Control hasn’t made it to the air yet, but I’m betting we’ll see Speedball in a live action something-or-‘nother, sooner rather than later.

• • •

Adam Farrar predicts the farrar future with

“1) DC will at least attempt to celebrate Wonder Woman’s 75th anniversary with as much fan fare as they’ll devote to Green Arrow’s 75th and Barry Allen’s 60th anniversaries. It might not be as big a deal as they did for Superman or Batman so it will still be underwhelming but it might not look as bad. Meanwhile, DC and Marvel will not celebrate the 45th anniversaries of Swamp Thing and Man-Thing to heighten the anticipation for their 50th anniversaries in 2021.”

She got a special anniversary comic, some postage stamps, a “75th Anniversary” logo/label thingie, a special feature in Variety, and some other stuff, so there was some attention paid to her last year! And while I’d love to see special Swamp Thing/Man-Thing 50th anniversary celebrations, I’d keel over dead from shock if DC or Marvel acknowledge this in any significant way. Looks like it’ll be up to me.

“2) Marvel will launch a new on-going ‘Fantastic Four’ comic that reunites the core cast. This will most likely come out of a crossover.”

Not yet, but when it does happen, I’ll bet money that it will indeed be out of a crossover.

• • •

Philippe Leblanc barbs me with

“1) DC Comics and Marvel comics will stop publishing comics altogether declaring the whole thing ‘a pointless exercise.’ They’ll both experiment with a model where they release Excel spreadsheet with adjustment to their respective communities bound and stapled with various full page drawings of Batman (for DC) and Wolverine & Punisher (for Marvel). Marvel will keep Ms. Marvel going as its last comic title while DC will keep a Black Canary as its last title.”

I’m pretty sure Marvel and DC are desperately hoping their parents companies don’t declare publishing comics a pointless exercise! Also, while they’re looking for cost-cutting publishing measures, I don’t think they’ve quite gotten to the point of the Spreadsheet Pin-up Variant comics. And alas, Black Canary‘s solo book has fallen to the wayside (while still appearing in other comics), but I hope Marvel does keep Ms. Marvel going up ’til the bitter end of the company, if only to spite, you know, jerks.

“2) Comics shops will sell less Marvel and DC comics to an alarming degree. Comic shop owner begin largely diversifying their offering in a mad attempt to save their shops. A resurgence of creator-driven, indie comics will save the market. Diamond collapse.”

Well, a lot of Marvel relaunches of late have not sold quite to expectations, but both Marvel and DC are hanging in there. I wouldn’t want to see Diamond collapse, however. The plan we have in place now may not be perfect, but I think we’d all be much happier improving what’s already there, rather than just stripping it away without an improved replacement, or even just any kind of replacement, ready to go. Too many livelihoods would be disrupted or outright demolished. I am in no way creating an allegory to any other thing that may be going on right now.

“3) Copra will become the best-selling comic of 2016”

Imagine a world were this could be true.

• • •

Erik swings in with

“People will start reading Tarzan comics again, having finally realized how awesome Tarzan is.”

We got that Tarzan/Planet of the Apes series, and that’s doing okay! Probably not exactly what you meant, but it’s a start. But honestly, I don’t know what would make Tarzan a major player in the comics market again. Everything that comes out now is a niche in an already niche market, and once relatively popular licenses like Tarzan, or the Shadow, just struggle along or depend on oddball crossover events to get attention. Not that there’s anything particularly wrong with oddball crossover events (Tarzan/POTA and the recent Shadow/Twilight Zone series are fun!), but it’s hard for them to get traction on their own. Not impossible (Shadow: Death of Margo Lane did okay), but sometimes properties can get a bit long in the tooth and harder to sell to new audiences. (Says the guy who still sells plenty of Batman.)

There’s probably a much longer essay in this answer than I’m making time for now. Let me think about it a bit more.

• • •

Andrew ventures in with

“1. Dark Horse will announce a deal and/or ongoing talks to develop one of their company-owned properties as a live-action streaming series. Early reaction is ecstatic as most commentators forget that most of the publisher’s best and highest profile output is creator-owned.”

Does Dark Horse have any properties they outright own? The Mask, maybe? I can see them pushing a new media exploitation of that over, say, trying to get a Concrete movie going. But nothing that I saw this year, alas.

“2. Deadpool will fail to meet expectations at the box office. Not to Fantastic Four levels, but enough that studio executives should realize that R-rated superhero movies are a tough sell. They won’t, but they should.”

Hoo boy, pretty much the opposite happened. It seemed like they were falling over themselves to make edgier, R-ratings-er superhero movies after Deadpool took off.

“3. IDW will somehow manage to hang onto their Disney licence. The books will, however continue translating European stories and sell at a price point beyond the reach of most kids’ pocket money.”

I don’t know, kids have a lot more pocket money nowadays. And they’re buying comics…but mostly not Disney ones. Well, okay, that’s not true, they’re buying Frozen and Disney Princess…but the traditional Duck and Mouse books are still going to the older fans.

• • •

Bret Sector subdivides his predictions as follows:

“1. Your standard Marvel comic will clock in at $4.99.”

Not just yet, though that price point does seem to pop up a little too often.

“2. iPad Pro will come in a giant-sized treasury edition for optimal reading of digital giant-sized, bronze age treasury editions.”

I would love this, but can already feel my eyeballs drying from the heat.

“3. Omnibus omnibi (i.e., 10,000+ page omnibus collections of omnibus collections with stainless steel reinforced spines and their own mahogany pallets) will be all the rage, in particular Deadpool OO.”

I can see archaeologists from future civilizations digging up books like these and wondering “just what sort of gods where these people worshiping, anyway?” So perhaps we lucked out that these sorts of books haven’t popped up in Diamond’s solicitations yet.

• • •

Wayne Allen Sallee sallies forth with

“1. DC will continue to put out mini-series throughout 2016, rather than introducing ongoing titles.”

As we know, we got “Rebirth” instead. Still got plenty of minis squeeze in there, though!

“2. Someone, somehow, will find out what Jim Lee actually does on a daily basis. I hope that someone is you, Mike Sterling. Please keep a journal.”

I tried, Wayne, but, you know, the restraining order an’ all.

“3. PAPER GIRLS will be developed into a film. Set in 1988, it does well enough that other films will be made that take place in the fairly recent past, much as we saw a lot of films set in the 50s a few decades ago.”

Not just yet, but that’s not a bad prediction. Though it seems like the Netflix show Stranger Things may have some influence pushing people into that recent-nostalgia TV/movie-making phase.

• • •

Rob S. sneaks in like a thief in the night with

“1. There’ll be a new Legion comic announced by the end of the year. A big-name writer poached from Marvel will write it.”

No announcement yet…time will tell if you’re right about the second part.

“2. Afterlife with Archie will ship a dazzling two (2!) issues in 2016.”

DING DING DING winner winner chicken dinner! Unless you count second printings, in which case three issues shipped.

“3. DC will continue teasing connections to old timelines, but keep the general context of the New 52 universe.”

I believe you just described the entire “Rebirth” event.

• • •

That’s enough for now. Come back soon for the exciting conclusion!

Your 2016 Predictions, Part Three: One Spy Too Many.

§ January 13th, 2017 § Filed under predictions § 3 Comments

…Aaaaand welcome back to Mike Goes Over Your 2016 Predictions at Excruciating Length, but if you’re just joining us, parts One and Two of this Predictapalooza may be found at the links attached to the words “one” and “two” that you just read. Also, if you want to chip in with your comic industry predictions for 2017, here is where you’d want to go.

• • •

googum googums:

“1. When Marvel’s ream of new titles aren’t all immediate million-sellers, a lot of them get cancelled. But the criteria for what gets cancelled and when is going to seem completely arbitrary. One critical darling gets cut, while another with worse sales goes on; and so forth. Feelings are hurt.”

Marvel’s cycles of relaunches and cancellations seem to have been just business as usual, though it appeared the ending of the Squadron Surpeme spinoff Nighthawk got a lot of attention. I suspect we’ll be seeing a lot more cut-short runs in the near future, based on how some of the newer launches have been doing.

“2. After doubling-down on Batman doesn’t immediately yield huge profits, DC is forced to go further down its list of properties to reboot. House of Mystery, Kamandi, and Sgt. Rock are all brought back; with varying levels of success.”

You were close on Kamandi, which is coming back in a month or two…though not really a “reboot” so much as a gimmick “round-robin” series, which still looks like fun anyway. I mean, in a wider sense, DC did sorta reboot everything mid-way through the year, but there wasn’t really any chance-taking with most of the books, as far as properties go. I mean, the most oddball book of the bunch is Hellblazer, really.

“3. Batman v. Superman might do well in theaters, but not as well in the action figure aisles. With a glut of ‘Batfleck,’ it lingers on shelves and causes future superhero figure lines to be cut back.”

I haven’t noticed any scaling back of the action figure business in the wake of BvS, but we’ll see what they do for Wonder Woman. If anything, I’m seeing an upswing in solicitations for the high-end figures…the $50 to $100 ones in the fancy boxes with too many extra hands or heads. That’s in addition to continuing offers for the standard-issue figures, so it’s not as if they’ve backed off from general interest figures in favor of boutique collectibles. …To be honest, I haven’t been in a store’s toy aisle in quite a while, so I don’t know what’s warming the pegs.

• • •

Anthony hops in with

“1. Flash/Arrow universe will NOT crossover with Gotham or Supergirl”

Not with Gotham, but definitely with Supergirl. Twice, even!

“2. Marvel glosses over Miles Morales being in the 616”

He has an ongoing, and he was part of the Civil War II event, so Marvel hasn’t started ignoring him yet!

“3. Godzilla Resurgence doesn’t get released in America”

Had to Wiki it up, but it looks like it had a limited release and did manage to make a not-insignificant amount of cash. Not bad for an old radioactive monster.

• • •

PTOR conjures up

“The Dazzling Dystopian Disney/Marvel Mighty Marching Merchandising Machine for the Benedict Cumberbatch Doctor Strange movie will CRUSH me under its brobdingnagian weight, and I’ll be selling off internal organs in a vain attempt to keep up.”

Whether he was crushed beneath said Doctor Strange merchandise, I don’t know…can one of you guys swing by his sanctum and check up on PTOR? Anyway, there was a lot of Strange merch, because 1) it’s Marvel, and 2) it’s Disney, so that should come as a surprise to nobody. But really, all you need is an Eye of Agamotto replica pendant. And maybe the cape.

• • •

David Alexander McDonald tries to do me in with

“1) DC. Dan DiDio remains in place. Geoff Johns, surprisingly, doesn’t get sucked into Hollywood yet again. On the comics front, nobody can make up their mind what they’re doing any more because everything seems to be falling down and failing, even The Dark Knight III, which collapses under its own weight of hubris as it bangs on. Grant Morrison’s Wonder Woman Earth-One becomes the focus of increasing amounts of hate, until DC pulls the book and issues an apology for daring to take the character back to her roots. The DC Multiverse ends up confusing everybody because one faction wants to run with ‘anything goes!’ while another faction is terrified by the financial hits DC took in 2015 and wants to contract the whole damn thing back to core books.

“The dregs of the New 52 finally stagger to issue #52 and DC reconfigures all over again, without actually bothering to reboot. Due to the stress of all of this, in October Dan DiDio grows hair.

“Batman v Superman comes out, staggers, and dies, continuing Warner Bros’ disastrous streak, but Suicide Squad makes it. Heads roll at Warner Bros, and rumours of strange things being done to the Wonder Woman film emerge from the darkest corners of gossipville.

“The TV front continues to cook along. The end of Flash season 2 kills Harrison Wells off again (nobly), redeems Jay Garrick, and makes it clear that there’s more than two universes to play in, enabling a possible Supergirl crossover (that everyone will deny can ever happen, until it does.) Legends Of Tomorrow will sneak Booster Gold in. Now on a mad streak, the Berlantiverse will bring back John Constantine once again, on the way to launching him into a fourth DCCW series, this time DC’S HOUSE OF SECRETS.”

So, that’s prediction #1, eh? Geez louise. Well…Dan and Geoff, still around. DKIII is actually still selling very well for me, despite delays and adding a ninth issue. WW Earth-1 is still around, and people seemed to like it. Folks seem okay with the multiverse shenanigans. Don’t know if anyone was “terrified,” but DC did reconfigure without exactly rebooting, so good call there. Dan’s head remains bald and beautiful.

NEW PARAGRAPH. BvS and Squad both did fine, if not the billion point five everyone expects superhero movies to make now. Haven’t heard anything odd about the WW movie, and heads could be rolling at the WB, but when aren’t they at any major media company?

THIRD PARAGRAPH FOR PREDICTION ONE, DAVID: They did replace Wells with another Wells, and I hope they serve up a new Wells every year. Jay Garrick was redeemed, but probably not in the way you were expecting, and yes indeedy we have the DC Multiverse on people’s televisions, somehow (including that Supergirl crossover!). Booster Gold apparently does have something in the works, but not tied to the other shows. Constantine ain’t back on TV, though the actor from the TV show will reprise the character for the animated Justice League Dark movie. I’d love a House of Mystery show, however.

“2) Giant-Size Man-Thing. Er, Marvel. Marvel’s All New, All Different not-a-reboot (honest) will run into major issues because of the Perlmutter decision to screw with the Fantastic Four and the X-Men and promote the Inhumans. Editorial will try to push more graphic novels out, and more omnibuses. There will be mass confusion.

“On the film front, Deadpool will do okay, X-Men: Apocalypse will not. Captain America: Civil War will fall a bit short of expectation financially, but this again won’t be superhero fatigue but ongoing cinema trends. Doctor Strange will do okay, if not gangbusters, although production will be fraught due to a very tight time frame.

“Marvel TV…will see Jessica Jones given a second season, Luke Cage being a huge hit, Daredevil officially getting season 3, and all of the shadows around Iron Fist being blown away as though punched by a fist that’s become like unto iron! Um, anyway. Agents Of SHIELD will get a fourth season, and inexplicably have a story that gives us Man-Thing in time for the Doctor Strange movie. Agent Carter will get a third season as well, this time with twelve episodes. Other mooted Marvel TV shows will fade quietly away again, both MCU and otherwise. There will be a big foofawraw as Fox, in desperation, attempts a Fantastic Four TV show, having drowned the FF sequel in the bathtub.”

Well, FF is still out of the picture, and the confusing X-Men promotion will actually be this year, 2017. Nobody gets the huge Inhumans push, though their comics are doing…okay, mostly. Marvel’s graphic novel program is still pretty much business as usual, and folks seem to be taking it in stride.

Deadpool way exceeded expectations, while Apocalypse did okay but not as well as people hoped. Civil War and Doctor Strange both did extremely well. People still like their superhero flicks!

Jessica Jones was indeed renewed, Luke Cage went over well, Daredevil was also renewed, and I don’t know how Iron Fist will do, and in fact I’m not quite sure what your prediction means! Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. did get a fourth season, but we’ll see if a fifth is in the offing. …Ooh, too bad about Agent Carter, though. And oddly enough, Fox is attempting an X-Men tie-in show, but that doesn’t start ’til next month.

“3) At some point during the year I will contact the Mikester and buy something from him. Why will this happen? Because. Mike’s one of the good guys, has been generous with his time and words, and deserves our support. SO SAY WE ALL (c’mon, you poozers, SPEAK UP!)”

LISTEN TO THIS VERY WISE, IF VERBOSE, MAN.

• • •

Jer sez

“1) The big events this year will revolve around movies. Batman v. Superman, Captain America, and Doctor Strange will all do well. Audiences will respond to Suicide Squad with a baffled WTF, though it will probably do well financially. None of these movies will do much for comics except that we might have a shot at finally getting all of the original run of Suicide Squad into print.”

Well, a movie called Civil War certainly played a part in getting a Civil War II on the stands. And I think you called it on Suicide Squad, though some people did react well to certain aspects of it (like Harley Quinn). And yes, the classic Suicide Squad is coming out in trade!

“2) On the TV front – Legends of Tomorrow on the CW will do reasonably well, but not better than the Flash. Supergirl will probably get picked up for a second season, but if it doesn’t it’ll move to CW. It’s a coin toss as to whether Agents of SHIELD gets a fourth season or not, but I’ll go ahead and say that it gets the axe but ABC puts together a different Marvel show to fill the timeslot. DC will fumble the ball with the Legends of Tomorrow comic book to the surprise of no comics fans, but to the bafflement of fans of the TV show looking for tie-ins.”

A quick look at some articles on the matter noted that Legends of Tomorrow didn’t do all that great, though its ratings doubled during the “Invasion” crossover. And as noted already, Supergirl did move to the CW, and S.H.I.E.L.D. got its fourth season. And while I liked DC’s Legends of Tomorrow comic, it definitely wasn’t the TV show, though it’s not like I had anyone asking for a specific tie-in for it anyway.

“3) On the comics front – no big events this year and the great jumping off point for old readers that both of the Big Two gave to readers last year means that there will be lots of handwringing and gloom-n-doom analysis and we’ll get dozens of articles all year about the decline of the Direct Market.”

We did get big events from DC and Marvel, which did fine and didn’t cause an attrition of readers, that I noticed, though DC’s Rebirth numbers are beginning to normalize, and a lot of Marvel’s post-CWII relaunches are landing with a big “thud.” There’s always “the end of comics” market analysis talk, but some of these flops ain’t helpin’.

• • •

Interstate Shogun hits the road with

“1. With the reprinting of Master of Kung Fu in Omnibus editions becoming a big hit for Marvel, a new ongoing series will once again be tried. That’ll be the good news. The bad news? Kaare Andrews will write and draw it.”

No new ongoing, which just slightly surprises me. With eveything else Marvel is throwing at the wall, I mean, why not?

“2. With the success of Dark Knight III, and with DC looking for anything that will sell, another series will be announced, Dark Knight IV: Dark City. In this one, a beaten down Bruce Wayne travels to Russia to box a heavyweight contender with spiky blond hair. Along the way, Bruce also tracks down a serial killer with a taste for hookers. He even takes one bowling to try to lure the killer out. Great family fun for all!”

Well, in all seriousness, there seems as if there will be a Dark Knight IV, which was announced in 2015. Of course, if it’s out by 2018, I’ll be shocked.

“3. The new Miracleman material will finally come out in 2016 and it won’t seem like such a big deal. Miracleman will be subverted into the 616 with little fanfare and become buddies with the Sentry.”

No new MM stuff out yet, but they longer they wait, the less anyone’s going to care. I mean, I’ll care, becaues I’ve been waiting for the continuation of that story for decades, so what’s a few more months/years?

• • •

Back on Monday for more! And give me your 2017 predictions!

Your 2016 Predictions, Part Two: The Spy with My Face.

§ January 11th, 2017 § Filed under predictions § 3 Comments

I continue my long march through your 2016 comics industry predictions (part one is here)…and if you have any predictions for 2017, please park ’em right here so I can discuss them next year!

• • •

Thelonious_Nick monkeys around with

“1) Marvel announces next slate of movies for 2020-21, includes Howard the Duck, She-Hulk, and Defenders.”

There appear to be some untitled Marvel projects in the offing, so…well, who knows. She-Hulk is probably the only (slight) possibility, since Defenders will be a Netflix thing, and as a friend once said to me when discussing the possibility, no studio exec wants to the person who says “yes” to a new Howard the Duck film. (A new Howard film isn’t necessarily impossible, but the previous film casts a long shadow…I’d be happy with weird cameo appearances in future Marvel films!)

“2) Image passes DC in sales, becomes second-largest comic company. Unfortunately, this is due largely to DC sales dropping and only slightly to modest rise in Image sales.”

Not yet! Though I bet some people at DC would push Grandma down an elevator shaft to get anywhere close to Walking Dead numbers on any given title.

• • •

Longtime blogging-this pal Gordon D. predicts these:

“1) Although BATMAN V SUPERMAN will do well at the box office, DC will shift their efforts towards their television output, developing a stronger partnership with the CW. ARROW will announce that 2016 – 17 will be its final season, and SUPERGIRL, after being removed from CBS’ schedule, will find a new home on the CW.”

As per that Newsarama link, DC ain’t scaling back their movie plans…Batman V Superman did do well, but it fell just slightly short of the 1.5 billion bucks that some Marvel movies have made, which apparently disappointed somebody. Hell, I’d be happy with that. But anyway, DC’s TV presence still remains strong, with Geoff Johns announcing a new as-yet-unidentified CW show in the near future, and Arrow (along with all the other CW shows) getting renewed for the 2017-8 season. And yes, Supergirl did move from CBS to the CW.

Plus there’s other DC shows, like Gotham, and several cartoons, and…yeah, they’re doing okay.

“2) Companies like Image, Dark Horse, Dynamite, and IDW will form part of a ‘second tier’ of major companies (like DC and Marvel), with many smaller companies vying for increased consumer dollar.”

Well, that’s kind of how it is now, sorta. It’s The Big Two, and the Not Exactly Tiny Four-or-So Companies, and Everybody Else. That’s how Previews is arranged, anyway. I suppose we can call that a “hit” since, at least, things haven’t changed away from that, at the very least.

“3) SWAMP THING will get its own CW show. Yes, I’m calling it here and now.”

From your lips to God’s ears. Don’t think it’s too likely in the near future, though with Swamp Thing as a regular on the new Justice League Action cartoon, he’s at least on our TVs!

• • •

Andrew ties me down with the following:

“1) I will send you an e-mail asking about the status of my pull list.”

It’s true, this totally happened.

“2) Tomorrow I will have porridge for breakfast.”

Not unless Goldilocks got to it first.

“3) At lunch time tomorrow I will eat a sandwich.”

The judges will also accept “hot dog.”

“4) At least one person will send you more than 3 predictions.”

Nope. Never happened.

• • •

Boosterrific boosts his favorite topic with

“The much rumored, long delayed live-action Booster Gold project will finally see the light of day. (And we will rejoice!)”

There seem to be a few articles about such a project being in the works (like this one), so while the movie’s not out yet, it may be out eventually!

• • •

Jeff R. rites

“1) There will be a Legion of Super-Heroes book by the end of the year.”

Alas, no, but…

“2) Unfortunately, by the end of the year the entire DC Universe will either be or be on an announced path towards being either rebooted or retrobooted, and this will, as these things generally do, make the Legion’s continuity unworkable.”

…things were rebooted, kinda sorta, and as part of this re-fiddling of the DC Universe, some small amount of groundwork was put down for the Legion’s eventual return. So don’t give up hope yet!

“3) Meanwhile at Marvel, no regular series called ‘Fantastic Four’ will be published or solicited in 2016.”

The Fantastic Four is still out of commission, sadly. The Thing’s been hanging around in Guardians of the Galaxy, but that’s not quite the same, really.

• • •

Signal Watch chimes in with

“1. Inexplicably, the DC publishing wing PTB will remain in place, and everyone comes into the office silently for a full year, not making eye contact”

They’re still all there, more or less. As to the state of their interactions, I cannot say.

“2. Old-age Steve Rogers will get a book where he spends his days wondering if he should get some of that life insurance that only costs pennies a day and there’s no physical required. Also, Sharon has to keep showing him how to use his phone.”

Old Steve was reverted back to Young Steve relatively quickly, so none of this came about, I’m afraid. Instead, they quickly put him out in a new comic that nobody had any complaints about and continued on with no trouble whatsoever.

“3. I dunno. Probably some cross-over thing at DC where, afterward, some B-lister swaps identities with one of the major characters.”

There was a crossover/event thing of sorts, in Rebirth. And, oddly enough, there was some identity-switching, but it involved the “pre-Flashpoint” Superman and Lois Lane and their New 52 counterparts, so no B-listers involved there, I guess. Unless you count the New 52 Superman as a “b-lister,” which I wouldn’t blame you for.

• • •

demoncat_4 summons up

“1 cw will announce as part of their flash and arrow crossover oliver and barry will team up with swamp thing .”

With John Constantine popping up on Arrow this would have been a nice followup, but it was not to be, I fear.

“2 dc will at last figure its time for ragman to get his due and announce a ragman limited series.”

On the other hand, Ragman made to Arrow, so there’s at least that!

“3 marvel studios will reveal at last they have the fantastic four rights back but will have them just guest star in an avengers film. plus also have the rights issues for namor and hulk okayed and films are part of wave four. marvel will announce a she hulk film along with omega the unknown film.”

I think we all hope the FF will fall under Marvel’s studio’s auspices someday, but not this year. I’d be okay with seeing all those other films, even if they weren’t announced last year, but darned if I don’t want to see an Omega the Unknown movie right now.

• • •

ExistentialMan ponders the following

“Sterling Silver Comics deservedly wins the Eisner Retailer of the Year award!”

Why, that’s my store! I did try for the “Best Free Comic Book Day” category, but didn’t take top place. Darn that Electoral College! But we had fun and I think I had the Best Free Comic Book Day anyhoo.

• • •

MrJM slams down the following

“Alf makes a big comeback.”

I checked and double-checked my huge in-store pog selection, and I’m afraid the answer is “no.”

Actually, I’m surprised we haven’t had more attempts than we already had at an ALF revivial. I know the fella who wore the ALF costume for the full-body shots passed away. There seems to be plenty of free-floating nostalgic amusement re: ALF but not enough demand to actually support a new ongoing ALF-anything.

• • •

Michael Grabowski manhandles the following

“1a. DC will try publishing a Batman title semi-weekly in 2016. Two issues of the same title in sequence each week, released on Wednesdays and Saturdays for a full month for an 8 issue arc.”

Not yet, though if they’re going to do this, it’ll have to be digital since standard comics distribution couldn’t handle two new comic days in the same week. Unless they did the “street date” route, which would make some retailers quail about having to hold back a Bat-book ’til later in the week.

“1b. Due to a mix-up in the production sequence, two issues will appear out of order, spoilng whatever events were intended to be a dramatic surprise.”

Not that I’m aware of. Unless it happened and it was covered up immediately!

“2. Tony Isabella will be named editor for Best American Comics 2017.”

Alas, no, but I name him Best All-Around Comic Book Guy, and hopefully that’ll make up for it!

• • •

James kings me with

“1. The last $2.99 comic will be published by the Big 2”

They’re still hanging in there, though only barely at Marvel.

“2. Tom King will be the next talented writer that DC fails to keep (I’d love to see him on Detective or even Batman if Snyder is wrapping up his run)”

DC’s still hanging onto him, and you got your wish with him on Batman!

“3. Mike Sterling will appreciate that I only made 2 predictions, while also pointing out that this is technically my 3rd prediction”

This is the sort of thing Captain Kirk would use to overload a tyrannical supercomputer.

• • •

That’s enough fun for now…To Be Continued in the Very Near Future, friends! And don’t forget to leave me your 2017 predictions!

Your 2016 Predictions, Part One: To Trap a Spy.

§ January 9th, 2017 § Filed under predictions § 2 Comments

And we’re off to the races! Today I begin covering your 2016 predictions that you left for me way back when, and there’s a lot of them, so gird those loins, where applicable, and let’s get crackin’. Also, don’t forget I’m still taking predictions for 2017!

• • •

Jeanne D’ank clears out the must with

“1. DC will reboot yet again”

Well, dang if you didn’t call this one. Yes, yes, DC’s danced around calling “Rebirth” an outright reboot, but c’mon, it’s close enough for horseshoes.

“2. A big event comic will be heavily delayed”

Civil War II had some minor delays here and there. And…does Dark Knight III count as an “event comic?” Because hoo boy.

“3. Stan Lee will refuse to die”

“Face front, Grim Reaper! I’ve got too many conventions to attend…I’ll have to catch up with you later. Excelsior!”

• • •

Pal Skinslip slipped in the following:

“This is the year we will see the Harry and the Hendersons gritty reboot.”

That sounds like a gag prediction, I realize, but that would really fit right in with the various relaunches/reboots we’ve been seeing in comics and TV and movies and whathaveyou. I’d bet a year’s salary (someone else’s, not mine) that the idea has been floated, that someone’s looked into the rights situation, that someone’s leaned back at his or her desk and thought seriously about it. …Harry may not have come back this year, but I bet it’ll happen eventually.

• • •

SpectralNight lights things up with

“Super Hula: Tropical Multiverse”

Man, I don’t even know. Here’s a blurry picture of Hula from the Plastic Man cartoon being propelled through the air:


Let us never speak of it again.

• • •

Michael Jones has a yen for the following:

“(1) Another year will go by whereupon I shall read very few comics yet continue to be amused by the antics of Progressive Ruin.”

I don’t know about the first part of the prediction, but I’m going to say “yes, but of course” to the second!

(2) Batman v. Superman will result in a lawsuit, ‘Batman v. Superman.'”

Here you go!

(3)”My request from last year for an ‘Attack on Titans vs. Avengers’ sequel will yet again go unabated.”

Not that I’ve seen, but that would be like printing money! Though to be honest, Attack on Titans doesn’t seem to be quite The Thing it was about a year or so ago.

• • •

bkmunn sequentially asks

“1. Animated version of Jessica Jones announced, no comic.”

The opposite happened, actually!

“2. DC makes sure Ron Rege Jr signed to a Wonder Woman miniseries.”

That would be the smart thing for DC to do, except that might accidentally expand their audience. Alas, we’ll just have to be satisfied with this.

“3. Walking dead comic series ends.”

A bold guess! Walking Dead is still too much a money maker right now to go away, but one has to wonder what happens once the TV show is done.

• • •

LondonKdS is falling down with

“1. DC and Marvel will destroy the audience for their quirky/diverse-protagonist titles by tying them, to a degree that makes them unreadable, into wider-universe events centred around characters that those titles’ fans either don’t have any interest in or actively dislike. Narrow-minded old fanboys will claim that this proves that those titles never had a real audience.”

It sort of looks like the quirky/alt titles from the big two (though mostly Marvel) have been having problems getting traction regardless of event tie-ins. I mean, yes, that can be a problem with any title…I skipped the latest Justice League, a tie-in to the crossover with Suicide Squad, because I’m not reading that particular event. But in today’s marketplace, a second-stringer title already has two or three shots against it from the get-go. As an example, Mockingbird felt like it was on the short road to cancellation even before the Civil War tie-ins kicked in. Nothing to do with quality, everything to do with a general reluctance to start sampling new titles when the general impression is that it’s not going to be around long enough to “matter” anyway. I don’t like that happening, either, but when even something with the name “Avengers” in the title is having trouble making numbers, well, What Can You Do?

In fairness, Marvel hasn’t let event stuff interfere with established oddball titles like Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, which is still doing okay!

“2. At least one live-action-TV or film project derived from a free-to-read webcomic will be released.”

I’m not 100% up on my webcomics, but I don’t think this happened. Unless there was a live action Great Outdoor Fight movie and I missed it. Please don’t tell me I missed that.

“3. A live-action-TV or film project derived from a well-known Image title will crash and burn because the things that made that title popular don’t translate outside the comic medium.”

I know at least a couple Image things are in the hopper for mass media adaptation, but I don’t believe anything’s come out yet. A brief Googling brings up this page with some forthcoming comics-to-video-screen projects. We’ll see how these go in the next year or two.

“4. ‘Fruits Basket’ repackaging leads to increased Anglophone promotion of modern shoujo manga titles, leading to that genre returning to the level of cultural prominence that it had in the 2000s.”

Heeeeey, wait a second…that’s four predictions! Well, because I like you, I’ll go ahead and answer with “I don’t think this happened.” I don’t know, maybe more kids are sitting in the aisles of your local Barnes and/or Nobles and reading them for free, but I haven’t noticed much of an uptick for this particular style of manga.

• • •

joecab pulls up to the curb with

“DC/Warner Bros, heady from the success of Batman v Superman, will decide that their future movies will be darker still, so their next superhero movie will be 2 hours of a completely black screen. With very dramatic music.”

Given that I saw that recent Harry Potter tie-in movie and I’m pretty sure they didn’t even take the lenscap off for some scenes, that’s not entirely implausible. And honestly, after seeing the trailers for Wonder Woman…I think the movie looks like it’ll be a lot of fun, but in my mind’s eye I’m pretty sure it’s black and white.

• • •

Thom H. hits me with

“Only one: after another series of initiatives fails to raise sales levels of DC comics, leadership at that company is changed. (i.e., no more Didio/Johns/Lee).”

To be frank, I was absolutely certain the New 52 thing was the last hurrah for DC as we knew it…either this fixes things, or DC gets parted out to the licensing department where Warner Brothers can finally make some real money with it. That’s why I was surprised by “Rebirth,” with all the same folks in place still calling the shots. I suspect there’s still some measure of flopsweat involved, though.

• • •

William Burns scorches me with

“1. Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Black Panther will be lavishly praised by people who share Coates’s politics, and equally lavishly condemned by people who oppose his politics, without regard to its actual merits as a comic book.”

Honestly, I haven’t heard much in the way of negative reaction to Black Panther, politically or otherwise. I popped in over to Amazon to look at reviews of the first trade paperback, and the lower-ranking reviews were mostly from self-proclaimed Coates fans disappointed in the quality of storytelling. I did see one “I don’t want politics in my funnybooks” comment, but that was in the minority. Hardly a scientific overview, I realize, but I think people who would object to Coates’s politics wouldn’t be likely to pick up a Black Panther comic in the first place.

“2. The recent wave of transgender inclusion in comics will finally extend to transmasculine folks.”

We’ve got Koi Boi in Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, who’s been identified as transmasculine…Comics Alliance has a good article about it here.

“3. Moves will be made to put in place the first Marvel Universe/Star Wars crossover.”

I’m surprised this hasn’t happened yet. I’m sure it will eventually.

• • •

John swamps me with

“1. DC’s Wein/Jones Swamp Thing mini-series will be successful, inspiring talks for an ongoing series”

I think it did okay, but no Swamp Thing ongoing is forthcoming, far as I know. He’s in Hellblazer, so there’s at least that!

“2. A film based on DC’s Justice League Dark will start production. There will be rumors that Batman will make an appearance.”

We’ve got the animated movie coming out within the next few weeks, but I haven’t seen anything on the live action film beyond director and writer announcements. I’ll keep this page bookmarked and see if anything changes.

“3. More lenticular/hologram covers will make their way into stores, blowing our minds”

Surprised that we didn’t get more lenticular covers. Maybe we don’t need an entire month’s worth of releases from DC again with the fancy-pants covers, but I wouldn’t mine the occasional special release or two. You know, keep it within reason.

• • •

Bill D. sticks me with

“1. DC Editorial will finally accept that the Superman armor is clunky, ugly, and hard to draw, and will relent to get rid of it. It will be replaced by the Henry Cavill movie costume in the name of cross-platform synergy.”

Well, it’s not exactly the film costume, but it’s definitely an improvement on the New 52 armor. Best of all, that stupid collar is gone. Gone, I say, and good riddance.

“2. Despite the obvious love that fans showed for traditional Shazam stories in the wake of Multiversity: Thunderworld Adventures and Convergence: Shazam, any attempt at new series will be just as wrongheaded as the last few.”

I know Shazam is intended to be part of Rebirth, since I see him and other Shazam Family members on the Rebirth poster I have hanging in the front window, but I don’t think they’ve really done much, or anything, with him yet. I’d love to see a light and fun comic with him like the comics you mention, but…I don’t know, I don’t want to be cynical, but I’m not holding my breath, either. Also, just straight-up calling him “Shazam” is dumb. Yes, yes, I know, “Captain Marvel” is harder to market what with “Marvel Comics” existing, but I’m old and cranky and I don’t like it. I mean, at least call him “Captain Shazam” — don’t demote the guy.

“3. Marvel will announce that the Kamala Khan Ms. Marvel will make some sort of live-action media appearance… not sure if it will be a movie, guest shot on Agents of SHIELD, less-violent Netflix series, or whatever, but she’ll show up somewhere.”

Another thing I’m surprised hasn’t happened yet, but given that even with CGI, doing stretchy-type effects in live action tends to be a bit on the dodgy side, it’s probably just as well.

• • •

Okay, that’s enough trouble for one day. Come back soon for more 2016 prediction coverage…and don’t forget to leave me your 2017 forecasts!

Let us all bask in the soothing glow of this Youngblood trading card featuring Cougar.

§ January 6th, 2017 § Filed under sick day, trading cards § 3 Comments


Ahhhh…just what the doctor ordered.

The post I almost titled “I don’t want to go on the cart” except I’d already used that on a previous entry.

§ January 4th, 2017 § Filed under low content mode, sick day § 3 Comments

Well, the intention was to start going over your predictions for 2016 today, but I’ve been trying to shake an illness that’s been hanging on since Christmas and perhaps I’d be better off resting than blogging. I am feeling better, but at this stage spending hours typing away my usual pages of text into the wee hours will likely be more harmful than helpful. Blogging and family stuff and the holidays and running a store and household chores all at once while sick results in not doing any of them well (particularly at work, where errors are interfering with making a living), so now that things have calmed down a bit on most fronts, I’m going to enter “low content mode” on the blog as well. Just for a few days, while I finally, hopefully, get over this bug.

Current plan is to start tackling those 2016 predictions next Monday. I may check in here with a smallish post before then, and you can always email me or catch me on the Twitters.

Also, in the meantime, don’t forget to submit your comic industry predictions for 2017, so I can write about them in excruciating length in early 2018!

Thanks for your patience, pals, and we’ll be back to full operation soon.

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ January 2nd, 2017 § Filed under End of Civilization § 10 Comments

It’s 2017, and here comes the End of Civilization! …No, come back! I mean my regular journey through the new issue of Diamond Previews (the January 2017 edition, in this case)! Anyway, come along with me and we’ll see what the coming year has in store for us…and before you get mad about the crayon joke, I remind you it could be referring to the pantsuits.

p. 78 – He-Man and the Masters of the Universe: A Character Guide and World Compendium:


At last, a comprehensive listing of high tides, sunrises and sunsets in Eternia, as well as a copy of its constitution and all sporting event results. Skeletor may have tried to keep all this important information to himself, but no more, I say!
 
 
p. 123 – Dark Knight III The Master Race #8:


FINALLY, after all the delays the exciting conclusion is h–


…sigh.
 
 
p. 125 – Booster Gold/The Flintstones Annual #1:


Of course this paves the way for the Flintstones to go up against the menace of Vandal Savage, or for them to meet Bomba or Anthro…don’t tell me you don’t want to see that.
 
 
p. 162 – DC Designer Series The Joker by Brian Bolland Statue:


“It was at around this point of the development of civilization that humanity first started associating recording devices called ‘cameras’ with evil clowns, for reasons that now elude us,” declared the future clown-historians of the year 12,000.
 
 
p. 203 – Top 100 Comic Book Movies:


I’m going to have to warn you, there’s a huge drop-off in quality between the number one movie and number two.
 
 
p. 291 – Millennium Asteroids T-Shirt:


Okay, for a second there you almost had me, since in Previews it’s hard to see the detail of the Millennium Falcon in there. I’d probably wear actual (and licensed!) t-shirts of old Atari games. They’d probably sell a million of these. And surely you’d get plenty of irony-sales to computer programmers for this design. And who wouldn’t want to wear this? Just Boston fans alone….
 
 
p. 291 – Uncivil War Inaugural Edition Coloring Book:


MEANWHILE, AT CRAYOLA INDUSTRIES: “I don’t get it? Our orange crayon sales are through the roof!”
 
 
p. 310 – Bart Simpson Suckerpunch GN:


I don’t think anyone expected a Simpsons adaptation of this Zack Snyder film. You’ll never look at Agnes Skinner the same away again.
 
 
p. 319 – The March of the Crabs Vol. 2 HC:


I didn’t look very closely at this at first and I immediately thought “oh no, poor John Lewis.”
 
 
p. 348 – Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys The Big Lie #1:


Finally, a follow-up to this comic where our favorite junior detectives finally dig down to THE TRUTH.
 
 
p. 361 – The Badger Color Therapy for Adults Coloring Book:


In case you wanted to make up your own conclusion for the previous Badger mini-series, since the last issue was unfortunately cancelled and, far as I can tell, not resolicited.
 
 
p. 488 – Doctor Who T Is for TARDIS HC:

“D is for Dalek, the Doctor’s arch-foe
Who make us say ‘not THEM again, oh no'”

“R is for River, the Doctor’s Wife
Of whom we’ve seen enough in this life”
 
 
p. 489 – Marvel Spider-Man 1000 Dot-to-Dot Book:


“Wait…it’s his webbing again!? Gosh darn it!”
 
 
p. 493 – Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Mad Libs:


“‘I am [name of giant plant member of the Guardians]!’ shouted [name of giant plant member of the Guardians].”
 
 
p. 554 – Squeezeez Donald Trump 3-Inch Rubber Toy:


Features authentic dialogue! Oh, wait, that’s not supposed to be a word balloon.
 
 
p. 595 – Table Museum The Scream:


Look, if they’re going to be doing figurines of classic paintings, I’m gonna hold out for the full “The Garden of Earthly Delights” playset.
 
 
p. 604 – Star Trek Titans 2016 New York Comic-Con Figures:


“Captain, the gravity on this planet is much too strong. We must depart immediately.”


“Ladies, please…not all of me is squished down to 4 1/2 inches.”
 
 
p. 614 – Jurassic World Inflatable T-Rex Costume:


Order now to receive just in time for the prom!

OR

Finally, the official Sterling Silver Comics store uniform.

OR

This Is A Fetish for Somebody.
 
 
Marvel Previews p. 109 – Color Your Own Guardians of the Galaxy:


Good, because I’m coloring Drax a solid green, with purple clothes, just as God and Jim Starlin intended.
 
 
Marvel Previews p. 111 – Classified Prelude TPB:


Written by CLASSIFIED, penciled by CLASSIFIED, cover by CLASSIFIED, and by complete coincidence, my orders on this will be CLASSIFIED, too, until I actually know something about this thing. (And by “CLASSIFIED,” I mean “diddly-squat.”)

Yappy Hew Nears!

§ January 1st, 2017 § Filed under happy new year § 2 Comments


Thanks for sticking with me through 2016, pals, and I look forward to providing you semi-daily entertainment (or “entertainment”) throughout 2017!

…Long after the thrill of livin’ is gone.

§ December 30th, 2016 § Filed under sir-links-a-lot § No Comments

Your pal Mike is a little under the weather, so I just have a few links for you today:

  • Longtime Mad stalwart Don Edwing has passed away. I remember taking more notice of his material (or, at least, his material becoming more prominent) near the end of my initial run of Mad reading, sometime in the early 1980s. I even bought an original Mad paperback or two of his, though as is noted in the linked article I probably read a lot of his work without realizing it was by him.
  • Bully, the Little Bull Stuffed with the Force, says goodbye to Carrie Fisher with a couple of choice scans.
  • Pal Andrew speaks sagely about mortality.
  • And life, presumably, goes on into 2017…so I’m still asking for your comic industry predictions for the coming year. Hey, it gives us something to look forward to!

Carrie Fisher (1956 – 2016).

§ December 28th, 2016 § Filed under obituary § 2 Comments


I know Carrie Fisher was more than just Princess/General Leia. She was a gifted writer, a funny person, a mental health advocate, a dog lover, a heralded script doctor, a talented actor in roles beyond That Big One which made her famous, a survivor, and someone who just had no time at all for anyone’s horseshit.

She was something else, and I’m sure going to miss her.

So long, Carrie.

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