So for those of you waiting to tune out my website when I started looking at everyone’s predictions from last year, now’s the time, because I’m about to spend a week doing just that. Also, don’t forget that I’m still looking for your 2013 predictions so that next year you all can stop reading my site for a week in January 2014.
Anyway, just hang in there, and it’ll all be over shortly:
Roger Green predicted
“Despite mediocre reviews, the Avengers movie will win its opening weekend box office. But it won’t have legs. I’ll be bored all summer reading about how the movie makers screwed up.”
It certainly won its opening weekend, but it did hang in there and keep on making money like a thing that makes a lot of money, so there you go. However, I didn’t see a whole lot of people going out of their way to criticize the film…I mean, they were out there, of course, but I didn’t get the impression that there were waves upon waves of people itching to tell everyone how terrible the Avengers movie was, unlike, say, Prometheus. (Probably because, after seeing how some fans reacted to someone’s extremely mild critique, nobody wanted to engage with those lunatics.)
I should note that after running my commentary on the film with its deliberately baiting title, I started seeing lots of search engine referrals in my site logs for people looking for “avengers sucked” or “why did captain america suck in the avengers” and that sort of thing, so clearly there’s some kind of stealth Avengers-hating movement out there.
• • •
“1. Marvel will not relaunch its entire line in 2012.”
Well, yeah, technically the whole line didn’t relaunch. But, you know, not for lack of trying. I’m pretty sure Daredevil is keeping its current numbering.
“2. Watchmen 2 will top the sales charts but have little staying power over the long-term beyond the initial trade sales.”
I think the very first issues were ordered in high numbers, but at least for us, they’ve settled down to solid mid-rangers. I am curious to see how trade (or, let’s face it, hardcover) sales will do, though I’m reasonably certain the answer is “not a patch on actual Watchmen sales.”
“3. Mike Sterling’s hair will get even better.”
The pompadour is coming along quite nicely, thank you.
“4. Comics in general (from all publishers) will continue to be awesome all year long.”
I’d certainly like to think so! There’s a lot of good stuff out there. I mean, we’ve got two ongoing Popeye comics! That’s more beauty than we deserve.
• • •
Jay V doth sayeth
“DC’s big event will be a 12 issue mini series called ’12 Funerals and a wedding’. Every issue will feature a different character suffering a grisly fate, and a previously deceased character will be brought back with a new costume. At the end, Wonder Woman and Power Girl get married.”
Marvel’s recent Death of Spider-Man (or…is it?) hijinks did inspire in me the following Tweeterings, which I suppose in retrospect may owe something to this prediction:
• • •
“Paolo Rivera drops off of the ongoing Dardevil title; a new artist comes in, and my interest in the title plummets. Mark Waid still writes it solid, but it no longer remains Marvel’s flagship book.”
Rivera’s still on as cover artist, but we’ve had Chris Samnee most of, if not all, of 2012, and he’s not too shabby. Still a good-looking book. Don’t know if it ever really achieved “flagship” status, but it, like Hawkeye, are critically acclaimed, if not top-sellers.
• • •
“I predict that I won’t read any new comics in 2012 but I will still continue to be enthralled and amused by Progressive Ruin.”
I don’t know if he did read any new comics, but surely Progressive Ruin enthralled him, as it enthralls everyone, young and old!
• • •
William Gatevackes soothsays
1. Marvel will retake the market share and Diamond Top 10 from DC.
A quick glance at the last few months’ worth of data from Diamond shows things pretty much neck and neck, with Marvel and DC alternating at the top. There aren’t any year-end numbers yet, nor numbers for December, but I’ll try to make a note of them when Diamond finally releases them.
2. DC will cancel low performing titles and replace them with concepts that didn’t come in the first wave and but people were asking for (Captain Marvel, JSA) and some they might not have (Challengers of the Unknown, Adam Strange)
DC certainly did cancel some of their New 52 relaunches, and one of them replacements was Earth Two, essentially a Justice Society title.
3. Bob Harras will hire more creators from his tenure at Marvel. Most outlandish prediction? Peter David being hired at some point to write Supergirl. Expect J.M. DeMatteis to get work as well.
DeMatteis did work at DC for a while there recently, on Booster Gold around 2009/2010 or so. I don’t think either he or David did anything in 2012 at DC, though I could be wrong. Whether Harras hired anyone else from his Marvel days, I’m not sure…maybe Scott Lobdell?
4. The Dark Knight Rises will earn less money and be less well received critically than The Dark Knight. It will still do great business and be a great movie, but since it didn’t surpass The Dark Knight in grosses and praise, it will be deemed a failure and experience media and Internet backlash.
Domestically, Rises didn’t do well as its predecessor, but overall, including international receipts, it did surpass the second film in ticket sales. At least, according to Box Office Mojo, and they’ve never lied to me before.
And, according to Rotten Tomatoes, Dark Knight is sitting pretty at 94% Fresh, while Rises is at a slightly less pretty 87%. I don’t think anyone considered the third film an outright failure, but it did feel like people were a little more quick to mock elements of this film (like, oh, say, Bane’s voice) than anything from the second film.
5. That being said, Warners will want to lock in plans for the post-Nolan future of the franchise, and will announce a reboot while DKR is still in theaters. A name director such as Sam Raimi or Guy Ritchie will be given the task of rebooting the franchise.
Haven’t heard anything yet, but I would absolutely bet they’re cooking something up behind the scenes right now. We probably won’t hear about it ’til the current sales cycle on the Nolan trilogy is a little closer to being done.
6. It will be announced that the two Marvel films Disney has scheduled for 2014 will not be Guardians of the Galaxy and Inhumans as is rumored. There is a chance neither film will get a spot. The two spots most likely will be taken up by some combination of these three films: A sequel to the Avengers, a sequel to the Incredible Hulk, and/or another reboot of the Punisher franchise.
I hadn’t heard about Inhumans, but if it includes Lockjaw, I’m all for it. It does seem like Guardians is a go, though, so it seems unlikely anything’s going to bounce it at this point.
I suspect a new Hulk film is probably in the offing even though it’s probably best just to save him for another Avengers movie, though again, I haven’t heard anything. I also think we’re pretty much done with Punisher movies for the time being. Why there isn’t a Punisher series on AMC or something, I have no idea.
7. Warners will push another long in the works DC property in to active development. Either Flash, Captain Marvel or Swamp Thing.
Word is going around again that Guillermo Del Toro still wants to do something with DC’s creepy characters, including our pal Swamp Thing. And I thought they were toying with the idea of a Captain Marvel movie…I thought one of the reasons for the name change to “Shazam” was to improve marketing/licensing issues and avoid conflict with Marvel Comics. …I’m not sure I’d want to see a Captain Marvel movie where he isn’t called “Captain Marvel” anyway. Yeah, I’m a reactionary fanboy like that.
8. Every article written about digital comics will mention somewhere that the death of paper comics is imminent. But paper comics will survive the year. There will be more of a focus on digital-only content that is vital to continuity, however, to try and convince more readers to migrate there.
Paper comics: still here! I haven’t seen any attempt to force readers into the digital realm, though Marvel is still doing that “Augmented Reality” stuff and I have no idea who that’s doing.
9. The film world will have a quieter presence at SDCC this year, a sign of an inevitable shift of focus from Hollywood back to comics.
Going by my extremely vague and imprecise recollections, it did seem like there was less talk about the general media presence at Comic Con than before, though I don’t know if it was only slightly less, or if I just didn’t pay attention to SDCC news this year. I barely even noticed that it happened, frankly.
10. NYCC, however, will experience an upswing of movie companies peddling their wares, especially studios with big holiday releases.
Someone who was at that con will have to tell me what their perception was, I think. A quick Googling reveals plenty of comics content, and even the panels on TV shows that show up were those based on comics (aside from the Firefly thing). But my general impression is that there wasn’t too much out-of-place studio content there. …If you’re laughing out loud at that assumption, please correct me!
• • •
Steve adumbrated the following
“1) More than 90% of the comics released each week will be released the same day in digital and print.”
I don’t think we’re at the 90% mark yet, since a lot of the indies aren’t doing simultaneous digital releases, but the Big Two and a couple of the Not-So-Big larger indies are. So, I guess that day is coming.
“2) Marvel will not copy the New 52 in terms of either rebooting their continuity or relaunching their whole line.”
Well, Marvel kinda/sorta followed DC’s lead here, in restarting purt’near everything, but the old continuity, such as it is, is still in place.
“3) Marvel and/or DC will launch an ongoing book based in the continuity of one or more of their movies.”
There was a mini-series or two Marvel cranked out that took place in their movie continuity, but nothing really ongoing, as such. The first issue of Avengers Assemble, at least, did feature all the characters from the Avengers film, though still in the regular Marvel Universe, I think.
There are the usual comics based on the TV shows, however, like Smallville and Arrow and Ultimate Spider-Man and whatever that one is called based on the Avengers cartoon.
“4) A front-of-Previews publisher will experiment with digital prices lower than print. (I mean, aside from those cases where print is $3.50 and digital is $2.99 because iTunes only likes prices ending in 99 cents.)”
Doesn’t seem like it yet, from my brief research, but it could be I missed something. I know there are regular deep discount sales on digital comics from time to time, but that seems to be mostly older material, not the brand new releases. …Again, I’m sure it’s just a matter of time.
“5) A group of higher-profile Big Two writers and artists will publish creator-owned work through a new imprint at an existing publisher.”
It seems like a lot of high-profile talent is simply doing their own thing. If you meant, like, an Image-style exodus from the Big Two…not that I’ve seen, but it certainly feels like it could happen at any moment.
• • •
“A lot of the independent titles that have been making strong inroads into the market will be wooed by the Big 2.
D.C. will use those titles to launch another ‘Vertigo’ line to keep up the ‘New 52’ charade, but develop other titles not in continuity to keep fan base happy.”
I haven’t seen DC or Marvel going after specific indie titles, though it seems like they’re always keeping an eye out for any creators that may grab their interest. Also, I don’t think DC is in a position to launch another imprint, as Vertigo itself may be on the ropes. I do notice DC publishing several out-of-DCU-continuity books, licensed material or stuff like Lot 13, which simply have the DC logo on them and aren’t part of their own line.
• • •
Mike Nielsen prophesied:
“1) We still will not have a collection of the Miracleman stories that everybody wants.”
Nope, of course not. I haven’t heard any news on Marvel’s Marvelman front in, like, forever. Let’s get those hardcovers out, already.
“2) Showcase Presents Tomahawk will be announced.”
Not yet, those jerks.
“3) There will be a crackdown on internet piracy from Marvel and/or DC. And it won’t really change anything.”
Seeing as how scans of Amazing Spider-Man #700 were up on the filesharing sites a week ahead of its release (when stores got the issues shipped early due to the holidays, and were asked to hold them for the following week’s on-sale day), if there is a crackdown on Internet piracy going on, it’s not cracking hard enough.
• • •
Okay, come back…oh, probably Thursday for more of my enthralling responses. I’LL BE DONE SOON, I PROMISE.