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Your 2016 Predictions, Epilogue: The Karate Killers.

§ January 20th, 2017 § Filed under predictions § 6 Comments

Now I’m sure we all have other things on our mind today, but I’m still gonna wrap up my look back at your 2016 predictions, and if you’re just joining us, you can catch up on parts one, two, three, four and five at those handy links there. Also, I’m still taking your 2017 predictions for the time being, so drop ’em in there while you can.

Okay, I’ve covered all the actual predictions, but a few of you had some things to say in response to my last couple weeks’ worth of posts. First off, Andrew mentions in response to my assertion that no webcomics have been adapted into film/TV:

“No actual webcomics have made it to any screen yet, but the first season of SyFy’s Channel Zero is taken from the short story Candle Cove by Kris Straub. He’s the cartoonist behind Chainsawsuit, Broodhollow, Starslip, Checkerboard Nightmare, and a few other things here and there.”

I knew about the show, and the original story, but hadn’t realized its webcomic connection. Thanks for letting me know!

DanielT corrects me on my mistaken belief that no TV shows based on Image properties had cropped up:

“Outcast. Though I’m not surprised you forgot/didn’t know about it because I NEVER hear or read anything about it.”

Geez, you’re right. You could have pointed a gun at me and demanded I name an Image Comics-based show that wasn’t The Walking Dead and I would never have been able to come up with it. I seem vaguely to remember even…giving away promo postcards? Something like that? Anyway, yeah, you’re right, I totally forgot about it. Don’t think I’ve even seen frame one of the show, or who’s on it or even what channel it’s on. Can’t know everything!

A.J. comments

“I gotta say, the section intros are genius. ‘James kings me with’ is inspired.”

Yeah, I do that mostly for my own amusement, though I should note the irony of giving your intro the single most boring one. Sorry about that…it’s been a long day! Anyway, I try to do one for everyone, though sometimes I got nuthin’, and sometimes I make a reference that wouldn’t be obvious to the casual reader, but just to that person in question. (For example, the commenter from Thailand where I used the word “ties’ in his intro.) And that’s how the sausage is made, everyone!

Allan Hoffman clarifies, in response to my Miracleman comments:

“Neil Gaiman has said there are administrative/legal things (yes, still) that are holding things up. When that clears up is anyone’s guess.”

It seems shocking that would be the case, since I thought Marvel through money at whatever barriers there were until they went away. But, I guess it wouldn’t be Miracleman unless there were ridiculous delays of some sort. Now you modern-day kids know what we elderly folks went through when MM was still occasionally coming out through Eclipse!

David Alexander McDonald has more to say…! (I tease because I love!)

“The redemption of Jay Garrick was actually what I’d expected — the thing with the Man In The Mask was a gimme, especially when fake-Jay’s doppleganger on Earth-1 was named Hunter Zolomon.”

Yeah, sorry about that, I sorta read your prediction as “the guy who claims to be Jay Garrick will redeem himself,” because I couldn’t remember the timing of the episodes vis-à-vis the time of your initial prediction. But you’re right…as soon as the Man in the Mask showed up, it couldn’t have been more “LOOK THIS IS THE REAL JAY GARRICK” if it had a caption pop up every time he appeared reading “THIS IS THE REAL JAY GARRICK.”

David also says, as a follow-up to his prediction that he’s spend money with my store

“I never did buy anything from you, but that was because the Dawn figure got sold the day before I went to pull the trigger on it. Ah well. YOUR TIME WILL COME, MIKESTER.”

I’LL GET YOUR MONEY YET, DAVID ALEXANDER MCDONALD!

Thelonious_Nick notes that my Paper Girls/Stranger Things comparison was closer than I thought:

“Ha ha–I thought Stranger Things WAS pretty much Paper Girls, though they changed the girls to boys for some reason. I really irritated my wife by pointing out the parallels/ripped off ideas for each episode.”

Was it really that close? I haven’t read Paper Girls yet, and only have watched the first episode of Stranger Things, which didn’t really grab me. Is this another Invisibles/The Matrix bit of hoohar?

David Alexander McDonald (what, him again?) notes in regards to Defenders reprints

“There’s a number of other Defenders comics releases aside from the Masterworks digital collections. There’s been a Defenders Epic Collection (The Six-Fingered Hand), Doctor Strange And The Secret Defenders, and Deadpool And The Secret Defenders is coming out next month.”

Oh, there’s definitely plenty of Defenders goodies available or soon available. I was just going off the “omnibus” comment, assuming complete, sequential reprints of the original series was meant, which is why I only specifically pointed out the Masterworks volumes. (If I recall correctly, only one of the Defenders Masterworks is currently available, which is why I pointed out their availability via digital means.)

MrJM dares consider the following possibility

“I think a Tarzan/Alf comic would solve a̶l̶l̶ some of our nation’s woes!”

Alf could’ve eaten Sabor and saved Tarzan’s parents, which…well, would have nipped all this “King of the Jungle” business right in the bud, frankly.

philfromgermany says

“Instead of getting on Vertigo’s nuts, people might wanna read some of the titles they put out, like Sheriff of Babylon, Fables ever after, Unfollow or Astro City…
Is this still good natured ribbing or should some people just look for a new hobby if comics makes them so bitter?”

Now, in fairness, the person who made the initial comment about Vertigo is a longtime customer of mine who reads probably 95% of Vertigo’s output. His reaction was more “I can’t keep up!” than “I hate all this Vertigo stuff!” honest! But, without impugning the quality of any of the Vertigo output, I do have to note that it’s not quite generating the interest or excitement it once did. A lot of comics aren’t, nowadays, so it’s not all on Vertigo. There’s just no “gotta read it” book with more widespread appeal that would attract attention to the imprint as a whole, like Preacher or Sandman or even Fables once did. And frankly, I keep forgetting Astro City is under the Vertigo brand now.

Mike Loughlin sez, he sez

“I like that they put the Young Animal series in their own imprint as I think Vertigo should be creator-owned (or at least co-owned) comics vs. DC properties. Incidentally, would love to see what the Young Animal creators would do with Tim Hunter or Black Orchid.”

I’ve often said to customers that DC’s Young Animal imprint feels like early DC property-based Vertigo, which seems to help sell it to more than a few folks who miss that particular era. I think keeping creator-owned books and the DC-inspired “edgier” books in separate imprints is a good idea, too, but I can’t help but feel maybe a new Vertigo title based on an established DC property could bring more eyeballs in that direction.

And finally, Bully, the Little Bull Stuffed with Just Plain Sugar, Honest cracks wise with

Hey, I’d buy an Angel Love hardcover treasury! that is, if I had enough money left over after buying my

[youalreadyknowwhatpicturegoeshere.jpg]


Well said, Bully and Angel!

Thanks for sticking through all this, pals, and let’s do it again next year! Don’t forget to leave me your 2017 predictions…and I’ll see you on Monday with some non-prediction stuff, hopefully!

Your 2016 Predictions, Part Five: The Spy in the Green Hat.

§ January 18th, 2017 § Filed under predictions § 4 Comments

We’re in the home stretch of looking at your 2016 predictions…parts one, two, three, and four are still right where I left ’em. And please, give me your 2017 predictions if you so desire.

• • •

Longtime customer Rob marches in with

“I’ve only got one, but from the last 6 months, it appears that DC Vertigo has a new strategy. So I predict that DC Vertigo will launch a new (ongoing or mini-series) title every week for the entire calendar year, in an effort to make me not care about Vertigo comics anymore.”

It seemed like they were cranking out a whole lot of ’em for a while there, didn’t it? They seem to have scaled back some now, while still searching for the new Vertigo “killer app” to put the imprint back on its feet.

Hwy, maybe if they did an actual weekly Vertigo comic…an anthology series featuring short chapters of old favorites and new concepts, just to see what people respond to. That sounds neat to me, if only because I’m not the person who’d be handling the logistics of it.

• • •

vester invests in the following:

“1. DC Comics will recruit an artist or writer who has worked in recent years in Marvel”

Darn it, I’m always terrible at this sort of thing because I never can keep track of or remember who’s going where and doing what to whom. I checked some of DC’s recent “exclusive creator” hires (for example), but it’s usually someone who’s worked for Marvel and DC among others. But I can’t think of anyone on par with, like, John Romita Jr., a longtime mostly Marvel dude, coming over to work on Superman, like he did a couple of years back. Maybe someone out there with a brain that isn’t old and decaying like mind can clue me in.

“2. The Iron Fist actor for the Netflix series will probably be a white person.”

Yeah, that certainly turned into a thing.

“3. Batman v Superman will be ok, but not AS GOOD as it looked like in the trailers and Ben Affleck will be named the best Batman in DC Comics movie history.”

Welllll…I thought it was okay, and I thought it was better than promised in the trailers, but I hear tell I may be in the minority opinion on this. I do believe most people thought Affleck made a good Batman, and are looking forward to his turn in a solo Batman film…however, there is only one Best Batman in the movies, and I think we all know who I’m talkin’ about.

• • •

Mike Loughlin laughs it up with

“Marvel sales will take a sizable hit, mostly due to 1) audience indifference and 2) Marvel Unlimited.”

On a case-by-case basis, certain new Marvel series launches haven’t…done entirely well, far as I can tell. But overall, their market percentage, per Diamond’s stats, seem to have hovered around the same levels throughout the year. Now, maybe per-unit sales have dropped across the board for everybody, and, say, 40% of the market at the beginning of the year represents a lot more than 40% at the end of the year, but relatively speaking Marvel’s in about the same position it was.

• • •

Mick slips me the following:

“1. Dynamite hires Jim Shooter to provide a satisfying conclusion to the Dark Horse Gold Key revival. This leads to”

I’d actually forgotten Dynamite had the Gold Key characters. No Shooter on the project, it appears, alas.

“2. Dynamite and Valiant work together to get Unity 2000 finished and published as a trade, along with most of the old Valiant/Acclaim stuff in all of its awkardly-licensed glory. This, strangely enough, leads to”

I’d like to read a completed Unity 2000. Again, sadly, did not come to pass.

“3. Jim Shooter updates his blog.”

He did! A few times!

• • •

Dan mocks my pain with

“DC will publish Absolute Editions of ‘‘Mazing Man’ and ‘Angel Love.’ Dark Horse will celebrate their 30th anniversary by releasing an Omnibus edition of ‘Boris the Bear’ including all the post-DH issues.”

Would buy the hell out of all these. Well, okay, I’d have to think about Angel Love for a minute. But I own all the ‘Mazing Man and Boris the Bears and would love to have nice, permanent editions of them. …I don’t know if there’s a market that would support this sort of thing, but it’s nice to think about.

• • •

Kid Kyoto has got no time for The Man’s rules with

“1-A second tier publisher (Valiant maybe, or even Dark Horse) will go digital only. Publishing is so much easier when you dont have to futz with those pesky atoms.”

Haven’t made that jump yet!

“2-The Legion of Super-Heroes will return in a new reboot. (Early 2017 prediction, the LSH will be cancelled)”

Close, but wrong year! Also, OUCH.

“3-Batman and Superman return to normal, for a bit anyway.”

Well, yes, kind of…Superman is back to “normal” in the most abnormal way, but we’re still seeing how that plays out.

“4-Image passes DC to become the #2 publisher, at least for a few months of the year. Maybe just one. But still the writing is on the wall.”

Boy, lots of people predict Image passing DC pretty much every year. If Image had more than one Walking Dead, that might happen.

“5-Big Vertigo push at DC, since nothing else seems to be working.”

Vertigo seemed to slow down a bit, in favor of other big pushes at DC!

“6-Which brings me to the big one… DC. Wow things are dire sales wise. I took the New 52 thing 5 (!!) years ago as a jumping off point and I think many others did too. So… what might work? Maybe move to the multiverse? Each title is a self-contained universe, not linked to the others. That would be neat huh?”

“Rebirth” is kinda/sorta a return of multiversal storytelling, in a way, considering what’s going on, so you’re not too far off!

“7-Which brings me to the bigger one… DC management. At this point Didio and Lee’s record has to be making for some awkward questions in Warner. I would expect new management soon.”

They’re still hanging in there!

“Sorry didn’t notice the 3 prediction limit…”

WHY, KID KYOTO, WHYYYY

• • •

Harvey Jerkwater nicely suggests

“1. ‘Batman V. Superman’ will be pretty good and do very large business, further encouraging other studios to push for (a) more superhero/comic book movies and (b) more shared universe movie series. This will lead to some horrible boondoggles. But not in 2016.”

I don’t know if BvS specifically encouraged more superhero movies, shared universe or otherwise, since everyone still seems to be pretty gung-ho about them right now regardless. I mean, Universal is still gonna do their Universal Monsters shared-universe movie thing, right? That would sound like a boondoggle, unless it gives us more Creature from the Black Lagoon, which would be great. Also, this movie would suddenly be official canon.

“2. Sam Wilson will continue to share the role of ‘Captain America’ with Steve Rogers through the year. The Fantastic Four will not return to the stands in 2016.”

Correct, and also correct. …I’m actually sort of getting anxious for a new Fantastic Four series. Hope it’s good.

“3. The ‘meatball party’ episode of ‘Teen Titans GO!’ will inspire a crossover led by Cyborg and involving meat products fired at high velocity. It will be awesome. I CAN DREAM.”

Had to look up this episode and what the hell is even going on over there. One can only hope the live-action Cyborg in the forthcoming Justice League movie follows this characterization.

• • •

DavidG whizzes

“The Suicide Squad movie will out gross Superman/Batman. Captain America will outgross both of them, but will prove to be the high water mark of Marvel movies.”

SS didn’t quite match BvS’s take, but Civil War did beat them both in the box office. It wasn’t Marvel’s top-grossing film, but whether it’s the high-water mark of Marvel films quality-wise depends on you, the viewer at home!

“Someone at Marvel will notice that the Inhumans are not and never will be the X-Men, and that there is a reason they have never sustained a title for more than a couple of years (hint: it’s because they are very very dull). So the X-Men will feel the love again, despite the minis use marketing push they give to the movies.”

They’re still trying withe the Inhumans, while also doing a new X-Men launch this year. Having their Inhumans and their muties, too, it appears.

“DC’s Rebirth will just make everything worse, hard as that is to believe.”

I think by and large people like “Rebirth,” to be honest, and it appears to have done a good job correcting some of the missteps from the New 52.

• • •

Bruce Baugh breaks the following

“Either Marvel or DC will start providing digital sales figures. Because of Amazon’s longstanding disinterest in doing things like that, the figures will be aggregated so that it’s impossible to distinguish sales via Comixology and anywhere else. The data and its limits will set off horribly ugly, horribly dull arguments.”

I don’t think they’ve been providing digital sales figures aside from generalities, as you’ve noted, but apparently Mad‘s recent statement of publication includes digital sales. Since Mad is published by DC, I’ll call that a hit! Now to see if we get specific sales figures on more titles in the future…not that I can recall a statement of publication appearing in an actual comic book lately.

• • •

Tec15 predicts

“1) Suicide Squad will comfortably out gross Captain America: Avengers 2.5, despite all the Hot Topic, Edgelord Joker jabs the internet makes.”

As discussed above, Civil War beat it out by quite a bit, though SS’s take was nothing to be ashamed of.

“2) Warner Bros will announce a number of AAA games based on DC characters. In response Disney will announce a mobile tie in for Marvel.”

Not a big mobile gaming fan, but there was a DC game app that seemed to have a bit of money put into it. And there seems to be no shortage of Marvel mobile games, judging by the number of screenshots I see on my Twitter feed.

“3) DC will announce a new digital first Lego Batman title.”

Not yet, far as I can tell, and if they don’t, it can only be because DC Comics hates money.

• • •

Crowded House pushes me out of the room with

“1. Superhero movies will continue to be massively profitable and will dominate the entertainment industry for at least a while longer, though the cracks in the facade of sustainability will begin to show.”

They certainly seem to be not leaving us any time soon. As I’ve said here and elsewhere, it looks like a bad superhero movie is now generally seen as a bad movie, and not necessarily an example of why superhero movies are going to die Any Second Now. That shores up the sustainability a bit.

“2. In response to these cracks, both Marvel and DC launch their newest plans to continue their dominance at the box office-a sentient virus that turns their viewers of superhero movies and TV shows into members of that movie/TV show. Now they can never end, because everyone you know will be touched by the virus, and you have to know what happens to them. And then you’ll be caught, and you’ll be part of them now. Yes. You are one with them, they are one with you. The superheroes never have to stop. Never. They will always be with you, in you, within you. Feel them in you. They come for you. But don’t worry, it’s all for the best.”

I, the living embodiment of Frank Miller’s The Spirit, finds this a tad farfetched.

“3. Disappointingly, none of post-end credits reveals at the end of any Marvel or DC movie will feature Herbie Popnecker.”

Our country’s second-greatest shame.

• • •

And that was that! Thanks for participating, everyone, and remember to leave me your 2017 predictions! Probably one more post following up on your comments to these posts from the last couple of weeks, so I’ll see you Friday for the exciting epilogue to our journey!

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

§ January 16th, 2017 § Filed under predictions § 7 Comments

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!

“When all else is lost, the future still remains.” – Christian Nestell Bovee

§ December 26th, 2016 § Filed under predictions § 44 Comments

Okay, unlike last time, I’m actually asking for your comic industry predictions for the next year before the next year begins, so if you have any ideas about where you think this crazy business is headed in 2017, feel free to pile them into the comments section for this post. Just please follow these simple rules:

1. Don’t read the other predictions before entering your own.

2. Don’t criticize other people’s predictions.

3. Don’t predict any real person’s death.

4. Limit of three predictions per person, please! Let me repeat that: THREE PREDICTIONS PER PERSON, PLEASE. Please don’t get carried away with the lengthy multi-part predictions per bullet point! I am grateful for the enthusiasm, however I am but a mortal man, and can only carry so much.

Starting after the first of the year, I’ll go back and look at your 2016 predictions, and thus I foretell testing your patience with about a million posts in the process.

Seriously, though, every year I do this, you folks definitely come through with a bunch of great responses, and it is always appreciated. I know that reader comments in social media gets a bad rap nowadays, and not without reason, but my readers have always been an essential and welcome part of this site and I greatly look forward to your participation. Thanks to you all in advance, and fire away!
 
 
 

image from Richie Rich #77 (January 1969)

Your 2015 Predictions, Epilogue: The Jean Genie.

§ January 29th, 2016 § Filed under predictions § 4 Comments

Hold on there, we’re almost done, as I’m going to cover some responses to the comments for the 2015 predictions posts.

From Part One, I had a couple folks mention, in response to Tony‘s “someone will be offended” prediction, the troubles surrounding this comics editor that certainly, and rightly, did cause great offense. As I was Googling about to remind myself of what had happened over the past year, this situation definitely popped up, but I ended up going with the Batgirl variant cover controversy as my sample of a situation that stirred up some unpleasantness. I didn’t really put much more thought into it than deciding to go with the thing that was about a piece of art rather than an actual person, which…well, I can’t say it was to keep things “lighter,” as there were clearly negative circumstances surrounding that Batgirl picture, but I should have at least noted the business with that editor.

Longtime reader Wayne wants to know if Titans Hunt is doing well at my shop. It’s doing…okay. Of the Convergence spin-offs, it doesn’t have quite the traction of Lois and Clark, but it does seem to appeal to folks who like the Titans, but don’t follow the New 52 version. Which, I guess, is the exact purpose of the comic.

Interstate Shogun commented on the fact that the new Star Wars may have been a bit similar to previous installments, and, well, yeah. Like I said in my pseudo-review…the situations were familiar, but how the characters dealt with them and pursued their own motivations weren’t, so that helped I think. I mean, it’s Star Wars…we’re going to get the lightsaber fights and Something Big the Bad Guys Own Will Blow Up, as that’s just part of the package. However, I don’t want to see one grain of sand or one snowflake in the next couple of films.

Sorry, got nuthin’ to say about the comments to Part Two. You’re on your own, David Alexander McDonald!

From Part Three, JD and Matt Jeske both reminded me that Ragman did appear in New 52 continuity, in Batwoman, which I’d actually read and forgot about because I’m old and the gears are beginning to slip.

Several folks also report that the first gen iPads seem to work okay with Comixology, with the occasional glitch.

My comments about the supposed “Paul Rudd Jinx” was answered by DavidG, who tells me that Ant-Man was the first 100 million dollar-plus hit that starred Mr. Rudd. Well, how ’bout less a “jinx” and more “his first breakthrough blockbuster!” That sounds a little more positive!

Also in that third post I noted I wasn’t sure about DC’s digital line going down to $0.99, but in my research for something else I came across a whole bunch of DC digital releases at that price point. Whether that was special event pricing or the regular deal, I’m not sure. I’m too analog to comprehend all this digital stuff.

In the comments to Part Four, Touch-and-go Bullethead mentions that there was apparently some in-house memo about possible Marvel media adaptations, and Squirrel Girl was put on the “TV” list. Not that it was a done deal, but more of a list of potential translations, which may have been interpreted by the more-excitable as “definitely happened.” Well, not yet, though I bet a Squirrel Girl TV show would be fun.

And in the comments to Part Five, The Mean Geek wonders why I thought Age of Ultron was so bad, and fellow Troublemaker Alan David Doane mentions that it’s grown on him now that he’s been able to watch it at home. Maybe once I catch up on all these other things I’m watching, and after I’ve seen Frank Miller’s The Spirit again, I’ll give Age of Ultron another go. My main problems with the film was that it seems very…disjointed to me, and that a lot of the novelty of seeing all these characters together was gone, and there wasn’t really anything there to replace it. It didn’t engage me at all, I had no interest in the story, the villain didn’t do anything for me, and it just felt like a mess. The first film was about as deep as a puddle of water, but it was a fast-paced machine designed to get you from one action sequence to the next, with some amusing moments and basically kept you interested throughout. I just didn’t get that from the second film. But maybe I was just having a bad night at the moving pictures, and I’ll give it another shot to see how it goes the second time.

Your 2015 Predictions, Part Five: Suffragette City.

§ January 27th, 2016 § Filed under predictions § 5 Comments

Huzzah! It’s part five of going over your 2015 comics industry predictions, and if you missed the previous installments, here are parts one and two, three, and four. You’re welcome!

Plus, give me your predictions for 2016…THIS I COMMAND.

Before I get started…be sure to check out my contribution to the latest Question of the Week over at Trouble with Comics, this time covering the favorite debut appearance of a character or super-team.

And new this week at your local funnybook store is the Bill & Ted’s Excellent Comic Book Archives, reprinting the Evan Dorkin comics from a couple o’decades back. If you look closely at the first couple of pages in the book, you’ll see a special thanks to yours truly and my former boss Ralph in there. We helped editor pal Ian obtain some necessary material for this collection, and he was kind enough to give us credit! Almost makes me feel bad for all the terrible things I’ve said about Ian in the past. …Almost.

Enough of that…now let us attend to the last batch of predictions!

• • •

Jeff R. rites

“Of these three, one will see an issue at least for sale in 2015, one will be solicited before the end of the year, and one will have no sign seen: Mage III, Frank Miller’s Xerxes comic, and a brand-new Miracleman comic from Gaiman. (which is to say not counting the one that’s already written and drawn but never published.)”

Just a tad early…this week the Previews comes out containing the solicits for the first new (or rather unpublished) Gaiman and Buckingham Miracleman story, with brand new installments to come!

“Of the 19 remaining First Wave New 52 titles, less that half will make it to the end of 2015 without a cancellation or relaunch and thus be on track to actually reach #52 sometime in 2016.”

Trying to go over the titles gave me a headache, but I think most of the original 2011 launch titles that made it to 2015 made it into 2016, though, again, you may have been a bit early, depending on whatever this alleged “REBIRTH” thing is DC is leading up to.

“For late in the year, well after the movie, Marvel will solicit an event that looks like the return of the Fantastic Four. When it comes out it will actually not just not bring them back but salt the earth, rendering the characters as toxic and unusable as they can possibly manage.”

Maaaaybe another thing that happened in 2016, depending on what you think of the ending of Secret Wars. I don’t believe anything’s been made unusable yet, but we’ll see what goes on in the future!

• • •

Michael Jones has a jones for the following

“The 8-page ‘Attack on Titans vs. Avengers’ storyline that debuted in Japan in Nov/2014 will be reprinted as a backup story in an Avengers comic. This will entice the original author to finish the story.”

Half a hit, since it popped up in the Free Comic Book Day giveaway from Marvel!

“Mike Sterling will franchise out his store to three new locations.”

…Followed shortly by my death.

“Ant-Man won’t do Guardians-sized box office but will bring in a surprising amount of cash for Marvel.”

As discussed previously…no one’s sneezing at Ant-Man half-billion dollar take.

• • •

Hollywood Hogan bars no holds with

“Avengers 2 is a box office disappointment (not a bomb, but does worse than the first one or GOTG) and Marvel proceeds to completely re-tool future movie plans.”

Age of Ultron did almost as well as the first, box office-wise, but hoo boy it wasn’t a good movie. Thankfully Ant-Man cleansed that palate.

“The Marvel comic universe will be rebooted ala the New 52. Major changes are the elimination of the Fantastic Four completely (they never existed in the new universe), Nick Fury having always been Samuel L. Jackson, and the X-Men being shuffled off to an alternate universe where they are the only superheroes. There will be no regular X-Men book published, but they will make cameos.”

That was the rumor, or at least one of them, and honestly I’m surprised they didn’t do this.

“DC’s September event will be a showcase for characters from cancelled titles and writers to go completely crazy. Expect things like Swamp Thing with an H-Dial, Hawk and Dove joining the Blackhawks, and Larfleeze stealing a Mother Box.”

Almost wish they had done this…what would they have to lose, right? But DC kinda/sorta did some different stuff with some new titles, though sadly some of it died off right quite. I mean, who was expecting both a Bat-Mite and a Bizarro series?

• • •

Jay the Ray has his say

“The multiverse will be introduced in an episode of The Flash, when Barry accidentally is trapped on Earth-2 with Jay Garrick. The twist will be that another Earth out there is the cinematic universe – leaving the door open for future crossovers.”

We did get the multiverse, but they haven’t done much with it aside from Earth One and Earth Two interaction. Getting some vague hints and rumors here and there (like with Supergirl), but nothing with the movie universe just yet. Boy, funny the DC went through all the trouble to get rid of the multiverse in their comics way back when, and here we are with the media adaptations bringing it all back.

“Agents of Shield will be cancelled, Agent Carter will be cancelled, ABC/Disney/Marvel will move Daredevil from Netflix to primetime TV to fill the gap, where it will also flop.”

Nope nope nope and nope. Thank goodness!

“Convergence will lead to the September DC event where ‘anything goes.’ Similar to what the All-Star line was supposed to be, it’ll be iconic versions of characters in their own universes, written by top talent.”

If only they did, Jay the Ray…if only they did.

• • •

Travis gets a little randy with

“To capitalize on interest in the upcoming movie, DC Comics will launch a mini-series entitled ‘Batman v Superman’ depicting the two heroes in a legal battle for custody of Gleek.”

Of course the big problem with this is the idea anyone would want Gleek.

“The trend towards ‘realism’ in adaptations of superhero properties will reach its nadir when a realistic take on ‘The Doom Patrol’ is announced, in which none of the characters will have superpowers/be a robot, there will be no villains, and all of the weirdness will be excised.”

Agreed, that would be terrible. Thankfully the trend seems to be toward embracing all the goofy stuff in comics. If there’s ever a Doom Patrol movie/TV show, there’s going to be a freakin’ Robotman in it, I guarantee!

“People will continue to love ‘The Walking Dead’ for some damn reason.”

Well, they got folks invested in the characters, and it’s probably the one continuing property left where you can have zombies and everyone doesn’t go “(sigh) zombies again?” The spin-off they attempted this year didn’t seem to get quite the same positive reaction, so maybe the main Walking Dead series has some special formula that allows it to continue where other zombie shows just sort of shamble along or crumble into nothingness.

• • •

Hey, who let this Augie De Blieck character in here?

“Valiant will start showing cracks from growing too big, too fast without the sales levels to justify it or the movie deals to float them.

“In other words, Valiant will be the new CrossGen. Marvel will get flooded with resumes by December, because DC isn’t in NYC anymore.”

So far, Valiant has shown some restraint…the occasional mini-series here and there, and that “limited variant chase comic” with a story that only appeared in that comic was a little annoying, but otherwise they haven’t gone too overboard. As for the résumé thing…I mean, I think I’ve heard stories about folks trying to switch over to Marvel just so can stay in the same industry and remain in the New York area, but I suspect Marvel’s overrun with résumés anyway, and any “loss of DC” bump would hardly be noticed. I’ll bet you the big résumé jump came when Disney bought ’em.

“Marvel WILL reboot its universe, but mostly for the sake of diversity. The characters who are seen now as ‘place holders’ will be the official new POC characters in the new Marvel Universe. More will be added in. (I’m guessing an Asian Henry Pym and a Latina Wasp.) The Avengers will be the United Nations of the Marvel U.”

As noted, we didn’t get the full reboot, just a bunch of new #1s. There is a little more diversity in the line-up, but not much more than was already there before the wave of relaunches, and in the cases of the Big Characters (like Spider-Man and Captain America) it’s pretty clear that the new versions of the characters will be there alongside the originals, rather than replacing them. All-New All-Different Avengers did turn out to be a team of a lot of the new characters, which seems to be doing okay so far!

“Ant-Man will do very well at the theaters, but since it won’t set any records, the press will declare it a bomb.”

It did do well…did about 500 million dollars more than I expected an Ant-Man film to do. And we’re not at the point where anyone’s declaring any Marvel movie a bomb yet…folks tend to save that kind of talk for DC movies.

• • •

Bret Sector parts out the predictions as follows

“ALL books published by Marvel and DC will tie-in to a larger over-arching group of titles: Avengers, Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Defenders, Batman, Superman, JLA, Green Lantern, and New Gods.”

Not quite yet…we’ll see where DC’s “Rebirth” thing (which supposedly is going to focus on retooling the line to jibe more with the media adaptations) is going.

“Vertigo will cease to exist.”

Hoo boy, if anything, it’s the opposite, to the point where my Vertigo customers are all “man, enough already.”

“Valiant will re-acquire their Gold Key characters.”

I know you can’t go home again, but it’d be nice to see Doctor Solar and X-O Manowar teaming up once more, right?

• • •

Jay Potts pans me with

Prediction: In advance of his introduction to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel will announce a new Black Panther ongoing series. It will be written by David Walker, current writer of SHAFT from Dynamite Comics.

There is a new Black Panther series coming, but it’s by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze. And, you know, that ain’t bad.

• • •

Old pal Dan Latta slugs me with

“The Marvel reboot won’t be as rebooty as everyone thinks.”

Correct!

“Star Wars VII will be better than the prequels, but not as good as Guardians of the Galaxy was”

I…uh…you know, I can’t really argue that.

“Pictures from Mike’s sordid past as the trumpet player for Saticoy-based 2Tone Ska band will emerge.”

I’ll have you know that our band Ska-mp Thing will hit it big someday!

• • •

And finally, Pogressiveruin.com‘s biggest fan Crowded House predicts

“Mike Sterling will look to sell something else at his comic shop to attract more customers. It will almost definitely be pogs.”

This will almost certain never happen maybe.

“Around the same time, Ventura County will bear witness to a series of incidents involving a mysterious masked crimefighter who leaves tiny circles of holofoil and cardboard at crime scenes to announce his victories over evil.”

Nobody can prove anything. What are you implying?

“Months after his initial appearance, the masked man appears on TV to reveal himself as…The Night Slammer! California’s first and greatest pog-based superhero, whose exploits are chronicled in his own monthly comic that can only be purchased at Sterling Silver Comics! Business booms, and all the while no one notices how the Night Slammer and Mike Sterling have never been seen together in the same place at the same time.”

okay, maybe

• • •

AND THAT’S THAT. Thanks for participating, everyone…and don’t forget to give me your comic book predictions for 2016! Plus, like I said before, I’ll still respond to some of your comments, and post some corrections, and so on. Thanks for reading, and I’ll be back soon!

Your 2015 Predictions, Part Four: Ziggy Stardust.

§ January 25th, 2016 § Filed under predictions § 3 Comments

Here is installment número cuatro of going over your 2015 comics industry predictions, and you can look fondly back at previous parts one and two and three.

Don’t forget to give me your predictions for 2016 as well!

A further note before I start in on this batch…I do plan on going back and addressing some of your comments on these posts once I’m done going through the predictions. I’m not ignoring you, I’m just trying to take things one step at a time!

That’s that, so here’s this:

• • •

Tim B. chim chim cher-ees

“The Fantastic Four Movie will make $1 more than it cost, Fox will triumphantly announce it’s the first part of a trilogy, as well as a slew of spin off films which are pretty much them trolling Ike Perlmutter. H.E.R.B.I.E. goes bananas is the only title I can think of.”

Ooh, I’m pretty sure the word “triumphantly” is in no way attached to anything regarding the FF film.

“Marvel cancels The Fantastic Four and launches Phantatsic Phore, a comic featuring Inhuman FF analogs that gets fast-tracked into movie development with the film called ‘4’, Perlmutter believing that there’s no way anyone can trademark or copyright a single number.”

Well, actually, the Fantastic Four comic has been…put into hibernation for the time being, so there’s that.

“In Age of Ultron characters keep on talking about how Tony Stark invented an indestructible metal called Adamantium all by himself. After the destruction of Ultron the film ends with Stark declaring that there’s enough Adamantium left to make a skeleton whilst looking at the camera archly. Post credit scene is said skeleton giving the finger to a passing fox.”

Alas, did not happen. That kind of blatant shade-throwing between film companies in the actual films would be a little amusing but almost certain burning any kind of bridges and preventing the eventual Spider-Man and the Avengers Guest-Starring Wolverine dream movie we’re all hoping for.

• • •

David Alexander McDonald had a farm-full of predictions:

“DC. Dan DiDio will remain with the company, but Geoff Johns will depart after the move to California is complete, seduced away by the film industry. A new Dan DiDio-penned title will come out towards the end of the year and surprise everybody by selling like Justin Bieber records. Constantine is canceled, finally, and Gotham picked up, though retooled. Arrow and Flash continue to do well, and a third CW/DC show joins them. Supergirl debuts on CBS to middling ratings…but does sometimes fly. Convergence flops, the New 52 overall struggles to stay afloat, but thanks to Convergence gets a stay of execution due to Justice League #52 being pushed outward. DC will continue to expand digital titles and try to get traction with the OGNs, but fail. DCE will quietly remove several films from the roster, one of which will be Wonder Woman.”

GOOD LORD, MAN. I said three predictions! Three! Well, let’s see: DiDio and Johns are still there. | No new DiDio comic. | Constantine (the TV show) cancelled, Gotham‘s still with us, and mostly the same, but slightly nuttier. | Legends of Tomorrow, debuting last Thursday on the CW! | Supergirl‘s ratings are fluctuating a bit but are more or less steady. | Convergence sold okay to stores, but perhaps not so much to readers, and the New 52 branding is gone, but the continuity remains…for now. | Digital titles are hanging in there, and they’re continuing OGNs with the “Earth One” imprint, which is doing just fine. | All those movies are still there. In fact, they probably added a couple. Who can tell?

“Marvel. Ike Perlmutter will finally piss off the right Disney honcho and be quietly ‘retired.”’He’ll spend his sunset years swimming in pools of dollar bills. Business at Marvel Comics will mostly return to normal, fans will still bitch about Dan Slott, yet still buy the books. After convincing everybody that they’re not doing a Crisis-style reboot, Marvel will do a Crisis-style reboot. Readers will roll their eyes, expecting another Heroes Reborn. Avengers: Age Of Ultron will do great business, but it won’t catch up to the first film. Ant-Man won’t bomb, but it won’t be spectacular either — Hulk-level business, possibly, maybe as well as the first Thor. Commentary will ensue about the death of the superhero film and how the Marvel mojo has finally worn off. Sensible people will point out the truth…it will be ignored. Agents Of SHIELD will be renewed by the skin of its teeth again, and Agent Carter will get more episodes. Daredevil gets raves and viewers, but also a lot of snarking about how it’s just like the Daredevil in that Hulk TV movie because black costume FAIIILLLL and once again the facts will not impinge. Squirrel Girl gets her own TV show, possibly featuring Howard The Duck. Her comic does unfortunate numbers, sadly. Fox’s Fantastic Four dies sad and lonely.”

Ike’s apparently not as involved in the film process now, I guess? This stuff just makes my eyes cross. | Marvel didn’t really do the full Crisis-reboot as much as lay a bunch of #1s on us again. | The first Avengers film outdid the second one by about $100 million in worldwide box office, but given that their respective takes were $1.5 billion and $1.4 billion, I don’t think anyone cares. | Ant-Man actually outdid the first Thor movie by about $70 million. I don’t think anyone’s pushing “The Death of Super-Hero Movies” at the moment. | Agents of SHIELD sounds like it’s doing okay, and Agent Carter certainly did continue. | Folks liked Daredevil, and I think putting all the episodes out at once probably kept everyone from complaining that it took so long to get to his real costume, since apparently everyone buzzed through all 13 episodes that first weekend. | No Squirrel Girl show…yet. Her comic’s still doing okay, despite Marvel’s best efforts at killing sales by restarting it almost immediately after its debut. | Dead on re: FF.

“Mike Sterling succeeds beyond his wildest expectations. In December 2015 Michael Uslan pays the store a visit and signs Mike up to executive produce a brand new big-budget Swamp Thing movie from the script he’s been working on for twenty years. The resulting income allows him to finally buy that Adrienne Barbeau RealDoll he’s been wanting for the past decade.”

ALL DOCUMENTED, ALL TRUE.

• • •

Scott Rowland rows the boat ashore, hallelujah, with

“DC’s Convergence event will lead to an ‘Earth-2’ like book taking place in the pre-New 52 DCU, confusing everyone.”

Wellllll…we got a couple sorta pre-New 52 continuity titles taking place in New 52 continuity after Convergence, and people seem to be okay with them. So there’s that!

“Marvel will reach an agreement of some kind with Fox regarding the movie rights to some of the characters, after considering how much potential revenue was lost because the Batman TV show was held up in rights issues for so long. An Avengers vs X-Men movie will be the first project announced, and the post credit teasers of the Marvel movies that come out will be about the assembling of the X-Men as anti-mutant hysteria increases.”

Marvel and Sony did manage to strike a deal, since somehow the combined nearly-$4 billion box office take of the Spider-Man films was apparently disappointing, I guess. Fox is probably still perfectly happy with the performance of their X-Men movies, so I don’t expect a deal just yet. …My guess is when the current X-Men casts go away, and they’re trying to launch a new cast of our favorite mutants, maybe then we might see some talks about studio crossovers.

“Sterling Silver Comics will be nominated for the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailing award (or whatever it’s actually called), but will be disqualified because on a surprise inspection, the judges will discover the life-size Swamp Thing Statue that has been put towards the back of the store is actually a functioning compost heap not a statue at all. Sterling Silver Comics will then win a Champion of the Environment award from the Sierra Club.”

Also all true. …It’s been a weird year at Sterling Silver Comics, what can I tell you.

• • •

John shambles in with

“An Alec Holland book will be developed to take the place of Swamp Thing’s series”

They developed another Swamp Thing series, instead. Oh, those guys.

“Constantine (tv) will be picked up for future seasons resulting in Swamp Thing being brought back into the homes of millions of Americans.”

Don’t depress me, John.

“2015 Comic Book Day: folks will travel far and wide to Sterling Comics to give free comics to Mike rather than the other way around.”

That would have been startling. Though, I have had several donations over the past year, so you weren’t too far off!

• • •

Rome wolfs down the following

“comic prediction: All the crazy Thor, Iron Man, & Cap identity switches will be returned to the old status quo in the pages of comics before the release of the next Avengers Movie.”

Well, not before Age of Ultron, but surely before the next one, due in 2018. Cap’s already on his way back with a new series this year, sometime.

“1 U.S. prediction: I predict that none of the current front running presidential candidates (Namely Hilary Clinton and Jeb Bush) will actually still be in the running by the end of calendar year 2015.”

Hilary’s still in the running, and Jeb…technically is, too, I suppose.

“1 space prediction: After Pluto finally gets a close up, scientists discover that for some reason it is indeed a proper planet, and we go back to having 9 planets in the solar system again.”

Not in 2015, and not Pluto, but….

• • •

Robert in New Orleans tosses the following beads at me

“Superman will start wearing red underwear over his blue tights again.”

Not quite yet, but maybe they’ll do more of that in the Lois and Clark series.

“Big two single issue comic prices will go up (on average). I’ve already noticed a tendency for Marvel to price “key issues” like the #1s & finales of events at $4.99.”

Things are slowly inching upward, aren’t they? There are certainly more $3.99 books at DC.

“A bizarro version comic shop will open up directly across the street from Sterling Silver Comics called Gold Standard Comics. It will exclusively stock nineties-boom back issues sealed in yellowing mylar bags sealed with scotch tape.”

You know, there is an open spot in the mall across the street. “MIKE’S BLAZIN’ 93 COMICS” here we come!

• • •

Xanadude shines his neon lights for me with

“After the conclusion of Supreme: Blue Rose, Rob Liefeld will decide to continue the series as writer/artist. An ashcan or 1/2 issue will come out in time for convention season and then we will hear nothing more about the project.”

Surprisingly, Supreme was left alone after that series finished, far as I can tell. …I need to reread Blue Rose again…that was a good’un.

“Bluewater will publish a bio comic of Backdoor Teenage Mom Farrah Abraham.”

Had to Google who this person was, because I had no idea, and now I wish I hadn’t. But I’ll be damned if that Bluewater comic isn’t a thing.

“Two of the Multiversity titles will have spinoff miniseries, while two others will be announced as on goings with high profile creators, but will not go to press due to corporate politics at DC.”

Nothing yet, but I think Morrison was saying something about a tie-in graphic novel, maybe, but that’s probably still a ways off.

• • •

Rob S. takes us out with

“The Power Company will have at least a cameo in Convergence.”

I didn’t read every Convergence comic, but Googling brings up nothing and my usual other resources don’t mention anything, so I’m saying “no” until someone corrects me.

“Marvel will keep its Star Wars comics off of its Marvel Unlimited app, launching a separate app for that.”

Star Wars is definitely there with the rest of the Marvel titles.

“Roger Landridge will return to Popeye, to do a special or miniseries.”

Unfortunately, no. Which is too bad.

• • •

Okay, I will try to wrap things up next time, so keep watching the skies!

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