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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.”


“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,‘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.”


• • •

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!

Your 2015 Predictions, Part Three: Changes.

§ January 22nd, 2016 § Filed under predictions § 8 Comments

Here we are…part 3 of 53 consecutive posts examining your 2015 comics industry predictions…you can find parts one and two…um, right where I just linked them, actually.

And, of course, give me your predictions for 2016 so you can experience all this fun next year, too!

And awaaaaay we go:

• • •

Dave Carter presents yet another list of comics predictions:

“We will get a LEGO Batman comic from DC, likely as a digital-first offering.”

I haven’t seen any straight-up Lego Batman comics offered through Diamond or digitally just yet, but I suspect it’s just a matter of time with a Lego Batman movie heading our way in 2017. I mean, I don’t keep track of every digital comic, so I don’t think there’s been one yet, unless there was some kind of exclusive download with a Lego set or game or something I missed.

“The Fantastic Four movie will not stink, but will nevertheless underperform at the box office.”

Sir, you were half-correct!

“We will get a Complete Matt Howarth’s Bugtown reprint project. (Hey, I can dream, can’t I?)”

That would be pretty neat, but not in the cards yet, it seems. There is a Bugtown ebook, so maybe that’s how we’ll eventually get a complete collection.

• • •

Michael Grabowski seizes me with

“One of DC’s special cover months will be actor-in-costume photos augmented with artistic elements. Some of the images and actors will be from films or television shows currently in production.”

Pretty close…Marvel had their cosplay variants just a few months ago. They didn’t have any added “special effects” like you were suggesting, but we’ll probably see something like that soon. (I mean, it’s been done before.)

“IDW publishes Moore/Bissette/Totleben Swamp Thing Artists Edition, with the promising subtitle Volume 1.”

Alas, not yet. Believe me, I’ll let you know when it happens.

“Comixology stops supporting ios 5.1, stops working on 1st gen iPads, and then the next day offers all Fantagraphics Books at half-off. (More of a dreaded personal nightmare than a prediction, I suppose.)”

Okay, Googling didn’t tell me anything, and I can’t find anything on the Comixology site that tells me one way or another, and I 1) don’t have an iPad, and 2) don’t use that service, so I have no idea if this is true or not. I did see some complaints about something or ‘nother not working, but every computing machine or app or what-have-you gets those. Thus, I am asking you if this was a Thing That Happened because I have no idea. I did have a pal report he’s had no problem with his iPad 1, so that’s my one point of data I have for this.

• • •

demoncat_4 uses up one of his remaining 5 lives with

“dc will finaly decide the new 52 did not work and do a crisis and bring back the old dc universe.”

Well, no one’s admitting that the New 52 isn’t working, but they did drop the logo from the covers, and Convergence kinda sorta brought back various versions of old continuity.

“marvel will anounce that neil will begin picking up where he left off on miracleman.”

I’m pretty sure that was a given from the get-go, but we should be seeing those new stories sometime this year!

“dc will launch both a suicide squad tv show and new comic with swamp thing as a member.”

No to both, aside from the Squad kinda/sorta being on Arrow, but we are getting a Suicide Squad movie this year, and I have no idea what’s up with that del Toro movie starring Swamp Thing and some other less important characters. Not holding my breath.

“dc will finaly let see print the legendary rick veitch story where swamp thing meets jesus. in a new trade of his swamp thing work.”

DC skipped right over it, the jerks.

“ragman will finaly get another shot of being a dc big gun in his own mini.”

I don’t know if Ragman even popped up post-New 52? Has he? Did I miss him?

“the constantine tv series managing to survive will have john cross paths with swamp thing.”

Unfortunately, the show was a goner, but we did get one last hurrah on Arrow. Hey, Arrow’s green like Swampy…that’s close!

• • •

James, who’s appeared in this round of predictions previously, the big sneak, has a BONUS PREDICTION:

“Wolverine will come back to life. However he will promptly die from a heart attack when he finds out Marvel is publishing Uncanny Inhumans.”

Boy, not just Uncanny Inhumans but All-New Inhumans and a theoretically-monthly Karnak series. That’d be enough to put the old Canucklehead into shock three times over! But he’s still dead, so I guess that works out.

• • •

Philippe Leblanc barbs me with

“DC Comics moves to Burbank California proves disastrous. Their ‘Convergence’ event undersell (except for Swamp Thing and Harley Quinn, maybe Jean-Paul Valley’s Batman). The move was incredibly more costly than they thought and Time Warner isn’t interested in bailing them out. A massive Kickstarter/Patreon/Indiegogo is launched to save DC Comics and help them buy furniture, office supply and pay their moving bills.”

Looks like they made the move okay, and the main Convergence sold…okay, and some of the tie-ins didn’t do horribly, but I think everyone would have been happier with the regular series instead. This sales chart shows that the Harley, Justice League, and Batman books did the best (or at least were ordered by retailers in the highest numbers, whether or not they actually sold to customers), while Swamp Thing shows up at about #85. …DC may have taken a financial hit on this, but they’re not out in the streets selling pencils out of cups just yet.

“Marvel continues to publish off beat superhero titles to critical acclaim with very low sales. Bizarre titles like Man-Thing, Aunt May Fantastic Adventures and Lockjaw and friends begins outselling the big Marvel event titles like Secret Wars and everyone is surprised.”

People do like their offbeat titles…while I’d kill for an Aunt May book, stuff like Howard the Duck and Unbeatable Squirrel Girl are holding their own, despite Marvel’s best efforts to strangle them in their cribs with their immediate relaunchings. Sales aren’t a patch on Secret Wars, natch, but I’d be shocked if they were.

“The concept of ‘The Big two,’ which normally referred to Marvel and DC becomes outdated. We now refer to ‘The Big Five’ as: Drawn & Quarterly, Fantagraphics, Image, IDW and Dark Horse. They dominate the sales chart in 2015.”

Not yet, not yet. Maybe someday.

“Bonus Round: Marvel publishes only Avengers titles, Everyone and everything is an Avengers. Including their furniture catalog: Furniture Avengers”

I have to say, I do like my Moondragon futon.

• • •

Tim O’Neil hurts me with

“Rather than predicting that one of the many comic book movies released this year will flop and bring the whole edifice down with it (everyone’s favorite prediction for fifteen years running!), I will say that they will all continue to do good-to-great business, and the whole thing will keep rolling into the future as planned.”

OOOH, bad timing, Tim! 2015 was in fact the year the superhero movie completely died. No more after that ill-fated Forbush Man flick, I’m afraid.

“Charles Soule will take me up on my challenge and write Quasar, somewhere or other.”

What’s up with that, Charles? What are you…chicken?

• • •

Mike Nielsen drops himself with

“We will get at least 1 new Showcase Presents volume in 2015.”

Well, we got Blue Beetle and Unknown Soldier, and a new Batman volume is due this month, sometime.

“It will not be Showcase Presents Tomahawk or Showcase Presents Rex the Wonder Dog.”

You are correct sir.

“I will buy said Showcase Presents, but not as happily as I would Tomahawk or Rex the Wonder Dog”

My Mike Nielsen Happiness Meter is on the fritz, so you’ll have to tell me yourself!

• • •

DavidG foresees

“Ant Man will be a hit, finally ending the Paul Rudd jinx.”

I wasn’t aware there was a jinx, but Ant Man was certainly a hit. And he’ll be in the new Captain America movie, too, so I guess that’s a jinx-ender? We’ll see how that flm goes.

“DC will release yet another unsatisfactory movie that will look crappy next to Marvel.”

I don’t think we had a DC theatrical release in 2015, unless there was an Ambush Bug movie nobody told me about. There were some direct-to-DVD animated movies…I thought Gods and Monsters was pretty good.

“I will not buy a monthly comic book as they are pretty much unreadable.”

I don’t know…did you? It’s okay if you bought one…I won’t tell anybody!

• • •

Darius Smith forges ahead w…wait, I’ve already used that joke

“MARVELs will cost $5/copy!”

Not for lack of trying. Marvel’s still Holding the Line at $3.99, by and large, though there’s a few $4.99s in the mix!

“DC will focus on 99-cent digital copies”

I don’t think they’ve quite cut the cost down that low…digital comics are a bit outside by purview, but I think they’re still at the standard pricing, not including special sales.

“SPAWN 250 will outsell SPAWN 1”

They almost had more covers for #250 than there were copies of #1, but I think Spawn #1’s million copies or whatever are still the tops.

• • •

Pedro de Pacas smokes up the following

“Howard the Duck will get a new ongoing series, which will last 11 issues.”

I don’t think there have been 11 issues total between the two(!) series we’ve had so far. But it seems to be doing okay saleswise.

“Agents of SHIELD will be renewed for a third season, which will be its last.”

No news on a fourth season yet, but I think it’ll probably continue. We’ll find out!

“The Flash TV series will continue to be super awesome. DC’s movies will continue to suck.”

The Flash is definitely awesome! DC’s movies…well, if you thought Man of Steel sucked, I guess it continues to suck through 2015. …I don’t know, I liked it.

“After the Fantastic Four movie bombs, Fox will outsourcing the franchise to Marvel Studios and allow use of their characters in crossover films.”

I think everyone wants this except Fox, which is a shame. Look forward to more bad FF movies in the next decade or so.

“Wolverine will return to the living, after being revealed to be stuck in a cocoon at the bottom of Jamaica Bay.”

I see what you did there. [CHEVY CHASE VOICE] Wolverine is still dead. [/CHEVY CHASE VOICE]

• • •

That’s enough for now…more coming…in the future! That I can predict with certainty.

Your 2015 Predictions, Part Two: John, I’m Only Dancing.

§ January 20th, 2016 § Filed under predictions § 2 Comments

AND SO IT CONTINUES: welcome to the next installment after the last one of “Mike Tries Your Patience Whilst Covering Your 2015 Comic Industry Predictions” that should only go on or another week or three, so hang in there, baby. And while you’re just hanging there, feel free to leave me your predictions for 2016 so I can plan my next January accordingly.

Before I get into it, though, let me mention that this week’s Question over at Trouble with Comics is “what’s your favorite introduction to a trade paperback/graphic novel?” and with the help of blogging brother Tim O’Neil (since, alas, I no longer have my copy of this particular book) I contributed an answer. So, please go read and hopefully enjoy.

Okay, NOW to the predictions!

• • •

ExistentialMan brings into existence:

“Image will capture 10% of the comics unit or dollar share for at least six months* in 2015. I’m going to keep making this prediction until it comes true.

*None of these will be months in which Marvel releases a new Star Wars title.”

Well, according to Diamond, Image’s market share for 2015 was, on average, just under 10% in retail costs, and just over in units sold. Month by month: Image was over 10% in units sold for ten months out of 2015, and over 10% in dollar share for four months. I didn’t check, but I’m sure some of those months were New Star Wars Title months, since it seems like there was a new Star Wars comic every couple of weeks.

“Mike will discover a couple spooning on the floor of the graphic novel section of Sterling Silver Comics. Even though he tries hard not to run ‘that’ kind of business.”

Referring of course to this incident at the previous place of employment…thankfully, there’s no place for customers to hide in this new shop. Unless they’re in the rafters, of course.

“Arrow and Flash get renewed for new seasons. Constantine gets the axe. Marvel’s Netflix shows are successful. Bendis’ Powers show bombs. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter both get renewed. Guillermo Del Toro and Peter Jackson team-up for a five-picture Swamp-Thing deal.”

Well, yes to all of that, I think, except the Swamp Thing stuff which exists only in my head, and the Powers show, which…well, they’re still makin’ ’em, so I guess it’s not dead yet. This article calls it “PlayStation Network’s most-watched series premiere on the platform” and, well, there you go.

• • •

Chris Gumprich cashes in with

“Some long-forgotten independent comic will be turned into a TV series that will debut with huge expectations only to flop and be forgotten. (My vote is for either ‘MAZE Agency’ or ‘Detectives Inc’)”

I’m trying to think if any old indie book popped up on TV lately. I know Dreadstar was announced, but that’s probably a while off, yet. And I keep thinking of this, but that’s a few decades old. Mostly it’s just Marvel and DC stuff, but maybe I missed something.

“DC will reboot 75% of the New 52 line, reverting back to a bizarre mix of pre-Crisis and post-Zero Hour. The other 25% of the line will remain in the New 52 Universe, now strangely depopulated.”

There were certain some soft-rebooting shenanigans, but the New 52 is still holding firm. However, there were some Convergence spin-offs that are kinda/sorta pre-New 52 titles (like Lois and Clark) so there’s that!

“After the massive success of ‘Chip Zdarsky’s HOWARD THE DUCK,’ Marvel Studios will rush a feature film into production. (Whether or not it is released will be for a future new year’s prediction.)”

Had a friend in the biz once tell me, in response to my question if he thought there’d ever be a Howard the Duck movie or TV show or Adult Swim cartoon or anything, that there’s probably no studio executive anywhere who’d want to be known as the guy who said “yes” to doing a new Howard the Duck anything. I mean, yes, Howard popped up in Guardians of the Galaxy as a gag, but it’s going to a long time before he stars in a new media adaptation of any sort.

• • •

James jimmies up

“The end of Snyder and Capullo on Batman will be announced. (contract is up on #50…around next April with Convergence and September ‘event’) I hope I’m wrong, but I just have a feeling on this one.”

Well, Capullo is off the book after 51, it looks like, but Snyder is sticking around. Supposedly Capullo’s taking a break, and will be back, but we’ll see!

“Speaking of hope, the revamped Green Lantern family of titles will feature a Blue Lantern book.”

That would have been interesting, but I feel like the Blue Lanterns are better as supporting characters than starring in their own title. However, I felt that about the Red Lanterns and their titles was surprisingly good, so don’t listen to me.

“The Black Beetle Necrologue will finally be released, and it will prove to be well worth the wait.”

I had to Google that up, because I’d completely forgotten what that was. From my searching around, it’s been mentioned that apparently Francesco Francavilla’s commitment to Afterlife with Archie derailed the series for the time being, plus all the cover art demand he’s experienced. Well, all’s been quiet on the Afterlife with Archie front, so maybe the Black Beetle’s seen some progress.

• • •

Andrew ventures in with

“The first TV DC Multiverse is established when Justin Hartley’s Green Arrow crosses universes to appear on ‘The Flash.'”

I was really hoping the Smallville version of Superman would turn up on The Flash, for no good reason I could properly articulate. (And no, you’d never directly see him in costume, continuing that weird trend.) The “parallel universe” thing really opens Flash up for this kind of crossover…and with people at CBS suddenly seeming slightly more open to a Supergirl crossover, maybe that’s how they’ll do it.

“Three of the four Star Wars comics will be canceled. Two will be said to have been mini-series from the beginning, no fooling.”

Well, one was a mini (the Princess Leia series), and each mini is replaced by a new mini, in succession, which is a pretty good way to handle it, I think. The other three are still going strong, though I am surprised every time when a new Kanan shows up.

“The Fantastic Four movie bombs so hard that Fox ends up throwing the rights back to Disney. Spiteful ‘Let’s see you do anything better’ optional. Hulk vs. Thing movie goes on to earn all the money.”

The FF movie did tank like a large tanky thing filled with tanks, but I’m surprised Fox didn’t at least partner up with the Marvel Studios to retool the characters for a new film (like what’s happened with Spider-Man). However, I’m just going to have to hope beyond hope that, someday, these aged eyes will be Aunt Petunia’s favorite nephew go thingo a hulko with ol’ Jade Jaws on the digitally-projected silver screen.

• • •

googum googummed

“Marvel/Disney will continue pulling support from X-Men and Fantastic Four, unless they can extort come to better terms with Fox. They may even leave Wolverine dead for the time being; in the meantime it’ll be Avengers, Avengers, Avengers.”

Marvel seems to be downplaying their deemphasizing the character lines whose movie rights are held by other studios…at the very least, the X-books are carrying on, and I’m betting this is a prelude to Wolverine’s return. The last of a Fantastic Four book has been addressed by Marvel as letting the property rest for a while before trying again to market it. And, based on how it’s sold over the last few years, that’s not a bad idea.

“Both Squirrel Girl and that pre-52 DC thing will give fans exactly what they say they want, yet not sell as well as the crossovers fans say they hate.”

Squirrel Girl sells not too badly, but it’s not a HUGE hit. It’s an okay hit! Some of the the throwback Convergence minis did so-so, but it was mostly “this is interrupting my regular series” more than “at last! The types of comics I’ve wanted all this time!”

“The second issue drop on Star Wars is going to be brutal. Can’t think of a way to put a positive spin on that one.”

Star Wars is still going strong, only seeing some slight diminishing in sales over the last couple of months now that an actual movie is out there.

• • •

Adam ribs me with

“Fantagraphics will announce a collection of some other property that I will have to buy and which will continue the annihilation of my wallet that started with their Peanuts collection. Since Fantagraphics has already done Krazy Kat and Pogo, my money is on pre-Popeye Thimble Theater.”

I don’t think they announced another classic strip reprint series this year, did they? I’d love to have old Thimble Theater strips collected, but I’m not holding my breath.

“Backdoor pilot for another DC show, this time on Flash. Given the show’s focus on time travel, I’ll say Booster Gold.”

Legends of Tomorrow, debuting this Thursday on the CW!

“Fans will insist the DC will reboot the New 52 back to pre-Flashpoint status. DC will not do so.”

Well, as mentioned several times in this overview, there was some of that in Convergence, and a little bit even stuck around in a couple spin-off titles. But line-wide? Nope, not yet.

• • •

Bobber cycles in with

“Tom Welling and Erica Durance will star in a new CW series, Metropolis. All DC movie projects cancelled.”

This didn’t happen, but sadly, I’d probably watch that.

“Having run out of ‘metal’ names, the new 52 era will be renamed the ‘Sewage Age.'”

Can’t help but think you don’t care for the New 52, my friend. Anyway, I think we’re still in the Modern Age of Comics, though I’m still pulling for the ’90s to be called the “Chromium Age.”

“Dogs and cats, living in sin.”

• • •

Jerry Smith forges

“Avengers II will turn out to be the biggest movie of all time.”

$1.4 billion – not the biggest of all time, but still, not a bad haul.

“Ant Man will not”

Correct, but as noted last time, it made half a billion dollars, which is nothing to sneeze at.

“Marvel will push their Spider-Man and X-titles up to $4.99 per book and increase the page count. DC will do the same with the Batman books. This will work in the short term, but fail miserably when both companies try to do this with the rest of their line in 2016.”

Marvel has had an awful lot of $4.99 monthlies of late…mostly debut issues and special issues, sure, but Howard the Duck has been $4.99 for three issues which is kind of a pisser. Suppose it’s only a matter or time before it’s across the board.

“More comic book shows will appear on television, including Supergirl, Teen Titans, Starman and the Creeper. None of these heroes will have a costume or fly.”

Hey, we got Supergirl, and she’s definitely flying. I think we’re probably past the point of being coy with costumes and powers on superhero TV shows, now that we’ve broken the “telepathic super-genius gorilla” barrier.

“Marvel will give up on relaunches (kind of) and declare all titles as ‘seasons,’ running from January to December. They may or may not number the books, but everything will be relaunched every year from now on. Aw, who am I kidding? Could Marvel resist putting a new #1 on every book every January? The ‘season’ books will be numbered 1-12 (or more) every year.”

The “season” idea isn’t a bad one, I guess, since that’s in effect what Marvel is doing anyway. I think it was Bully, the Little Twittering Bull, who in a Twitter discussion on this very topic mentioned the…European(?) method of year followed by issue number: 2016-1, 2016-2, etc. I kind of like that, and it sort of allows you to put something on a brief hiatus without just outright canceling it and creating some kind of artificial “break” between series. “That old series is dead and forgotten…here’s our new first issue!” versus “we left off at 2014-7, and we’re picking it up again at 2016-1.” Anyway, I like it, and maybe it would help sell back issues.

• • •

That’s it for today…come back soon as I forge ahead by looking back at your looking ahead!

Your 2015 Predictions, Part One: Space Oddity.

§ January 18th, 2016 § Filed under predictions § 7 Comments

AND SO IT BEGINS: my probably months-long attempt at going over your comic industry predictions for 2015 that you left on my site about a year ago. Let’s get started…and don’t forget to leave me your predictions for 2016 so we can do it all again next year!

• • •

Jack Feerick puts the fear into me with:

“Scott McCloud’s THE SCULPTOR will be shortlisted for the National Book Award”

Not that I can tell (if I’m wrong, let me know), but it did top the Publishers Weekly Graphic Novel Critics Poll. I liked it, too, and surely that’s better than some national award.

“Raina Telgemeier will be awarded a MacArthur Genius grant”

Alas, not this year, but I congratulate her on her overwhelming popularity and success…I certainly can’t keep her books in stock!

“Somewhat more pessimistically: The marvel movie bubble will develop some leaks. ANT-MAN will underperform at the box office, leading to a shake-up in the slate of upcoming films. BLACK PANTHER will be made as a miniseries for Netflix, with a drastically lower budget, while the INHUMANS and CAPTAIN MARVEL movies will be scrubbed entirely. (I would be delighted to be proved wrong about this.)”

Your parenthetical aside has been granted! Ant-Man‘s worldwide box office take of $520 million may seem short compared to all these billion dollar movies we keep seeing, but a half-billion bucks is still a half-billion bucks.

• • •

William Burns sets things on fire with

“Ms. Marvel goes to 4 dollars, and I start following it in trade.”

Sadly, it went to only a $3.99 cover price, so you’re a penny off! (Okay, okay, I know what you meant.) However, I have no idea if you started following the series in trade paperbacks, as my satellite cover of your home is on the fritz…er, I mean, because you’ll have to let me know yourself! Yeah, that’s it!

“Sandman: Overture will not finish by the end of 2015.”

It did finally finish last year. In fact, I had a brief discussion with one of my customers about just how long it did take. I could have sworn it was just over a year, but #1 came out in October 2013, and the last issue came out in September 2015, so it was just shy of two years. Yikes.

“Sterling Silver Comics is a major success!”

Well, my store is still open, after a year, two months and some change…so I’m calling that a hit!

• • •

Tony Isabella strikes like lightning with

“Someone will be offended by something that happens at a convention or is posted online.”

Oh, now, when does this ever happen? …Okay, I actually did a quick Googling to remind myself of any online hoohar that may have broken out over the last year, and found a few things. I’m just going to pick this planned Batgirl variant cover as our example. And yeah, folks were plenty offended, particularly since the victimized-Batgirl cover was in huge contrast to the actual tone of the book. I seem to recall someone posting an altered version of that image, where Batgirl’s terrified expression was changed to one of anger and determination, which could have been a possible fix to the problem, but, yeah, maybe it was best maybe to pass on that particular image this time.

“Roughly 50% of the time the something really will be offensive.”

Ooh, I hate to judge if something is actually offensive, because what may offend one person may not offend another, and who am I to say if someone else should or should not be offended by something? And I mean about things like “Batgirl cover art,” and not real world stuff like “violent abuse” or “pet mistreatment” or “Donald Trump” or anything else most people can agree is terrible. Do I think maybe sometimes people overreact to things? Sure. Am I going to solve anything by jumping in and saying “hey, you’re overreacting to that!” Nope, not in the slightest. Anyway, this is the sort of thing that could be hashed out by…

“There will be much volatile discussion of the someone and/or the something online.”

…and of course there is always extended discussion about this sort of stuff, and in a good, rational world, we could calmly debate the fine points of the topic du jour and each side can have its eyes opened to the positions of the other sides and perhaps we can come to a compromise, or we can agree to disagree, or reach some other peaceful conclusion. Sadly, today’s Internet is still mostly at the “let’s get all our pals to pile on and scream at folks and call people we don’t like rude names and maybe post personal information about them online” stage of debating skills, so it may be a while before we attain that idyllic state.

• • •

Steven Rowe rows his boat ashore with

“the direct market will continue to slowly shrink”

Well, I was all set to do some number crunching here, using sales charts from all over the place, but it looks like this site already did the heavy lifting. Looks like the direct market did grow over 2015…not a whole lot, but a little growth is better than a lot of shrinkage. …I could phrase that differently, but I’m not doing to. I’ll just let it dangle there.

“more retailers will start taking last week’s stock and setting up in flea markets or ‘antique’ malls in areas without comic shops”

Not really any industry stats for that, but it’s probably not an unheard-of strategy. Though I suspect more retailers are just throwing them online for cheap rather than going through the trouble of setting up an extra physical location somewhere.

“Some company will renumber a comic, and its sales will go down, not up.”

Renumbering a series midstream, for no particular reason, is usually a good way to kill sales momentum. Sometimes things will bump up just a tad for the initial couple of issues, but soon it’ll be back down again. Just picking one renumbered title as an example: Spider-Gwen. #5 of the previous series, according to that site I linked to previously, had estimated sales of about 67,700 copies. Issue #2 of the current Spider-Gwen series is at 62,200. Now that might just be the trend of attrition on this particular series…if they never restarted the series, that #2 would have been #7 and may have dropped down to 62,200 copies anyway.

But, yes, your prediction was correct in at least one instance. I’m sure every other renumbered title saw its sales just shoot through the roof.

• • •

Old pal Kurt Onstad bounces in with

“Sterling Silver Comics opens its first satellite store in Eugene, Oregon. (Don’t worry, I’m pretty sure I know someone willing to manage it for you…)”

Pffft, Oregon!? Like I’d put my fine establishment in just any state…!

• • •

Jer pushes the definition of “limit of three predictions” with

“Marvel’s Secret Wars event this summer will turn out to be weird and unsatisfying.”

Sadly, this prediction kinda breaks in the middle with the “this summer” thing, but with Secret Wars finally wrapping up this month, folks seem to be…okay with it, I guess. It sold well throughout the run, and my customers seemed to enjoy it. The lateness of the book kinda screwed with the timing of all the relaunches, but most folks appeared more bemused by the post-Secret Wars continuity books not actually being post-the-conclusion-of-the-actual-Secret-Wars-series.

“DC’s Convergence event this spring will turn out to be weird and unsatisfying.”

Yup. Though some of the individual mini-series were pretty good (like that Shazam! one), but the main series itself was kind of a dog, with an overcomplicated premise that didn’t seem to go anywhere.

“DC will try to soft-reboot their universe again after moving their offices out west. But they’ll screw it up.”

It was more of a “here are a bunch of new series” thing, and a lot of them didn’t really do well or last long, but at least they were trying something. The series that explicitly spun out of Convergence (like Titans Hunt and Lois and Clark) are doing okay.

“Marvel will continue giving head-fakes about a Crisis-style reboot of their titles, but they’ll go for something softer in the end that will let them clean up a few messes that have been made without making a giant reboot mess like DC manages to do every decade or so.”

It certainly wasn’t a line-wide reboot or anything, and I don’t know about cleaning up any messes, but it doesn’t look like they’re making too many new ones. I’m sure the messes will come, however.

“Ant-man will be the movie that finally allows people to say that having the Marvel Studios name on a movie doesn’t guarantee a hit as it underperforms the expectations people have for it (though it will end up doing reasonably well for a freaking Ant-man movie). Everyone will start talking about how the superhero bubble has burst and how Hollywood needs to find something new. (But you can go ahead and put down that my 2016 predictions will include Captain America 3 breaking some kind of records and having everyone talking about how superhero movies are awesome again, because that’s how movie reporting tends to go.)”

I don’t know that Ant-Man could perform under expectations, given that, as you say, it’s Ant-Man. Like I said above, it made a half-billion dollars, and it’s got a sequel coming, so I don’t think anyone’s unhappy. …Someone’s always saying the superhero bubble has burst. I say it a lot. I thought for sure the Avengers sequel put the knife in its back, but then Ant-Man ended up being really good, so I’m probably going to stop trying to second-guess this crazy industry.

“The CW will introduce a character into Arrow/Flash as a backdoor pilot for another spinoff series. Not sure what it will be, but I’d be surprised if they weren’t brainstorming a third spinoff for the CW at this point. (It should be Wonder Woman, but it won’t be.)”

Legends of Tomorrow, debuting this Thursday on the CW!

• • •

Brian doubles up with

“Following the end of his AVENGERS runs and the conclusion of the SUPERIOR arc, Jonathan Hickman takes over as the writer of IRON MAN and actually manages to portray Tony Stark as a real futurist (as well as surprising folks in the twists taken as writer in his first real solo Marvel book)…”

As well all know, Iron Man relaunched with Brian Michael Bendis as the new writer, and reaction to the book itself has been mostly positive. The overordering of the first issue was a potential marketplace problem, but I’ve kept my orders on the book at reasonable levels, and it seems to be doing okay.

“After CONVERGENCE, DC Comics rebrands their ‘New 52’ books into two competing lines: one set published out of NYC follows the old continuity while another published out of LA follows the new continuity. ‘East Side’ versus ‘West Side’ leads to much fantasy violence in annual crossovers – the Teen Titans are the first to have caps put into their asses…”

I’m going to put this under “predictions I’m glad didn’t come to pass,” because if you thought I had a hard time explaining continuity issues to folks now….

“GOTHAM is quickly shown to be happening in a parallel universe to the Batman we’re used to, when young Bruce Wayne is killed, Oswald Cobblepot become the Joker, Renee Montoya grows a broomhandle mustache, and Jim Gordon becomes a bat…”

TV continuity is always going to be a little off from whatever passes for continuity in the comic books, but points to you for the “Jim Gordon becomes a bat” guess. Wrong medium, but close enough! I do recall a popular theory was that the Cobblepot character was going to become the Joker. That actor would certainly make a good one!

• • •

Erik weirdly asks

“The Tumblr-verse will explode in outrage over an offensive storyline in a Marvel or DC book. Six weeks later we will have forgotten all about whatever it is we were so worked up about.”

Yeah, probably. A little Googling brought up some Tumblr anger over various comic issues over the past year, some of which I’d forgotten about, which shouldn’t diminish these particular irritations. Like I said in response to Tony’s predictions above, it’s not for me to say what other people should be artistically-offended by. But, it’s the nature of the Internet news cycles that today’s outrage gets shoved right into the memory hole by whatever new annoyance that comes down the pike.

• • •

Signal Watch ticks off the following:

“In the wake of the move to LA and the routine failure of New 52 titles not featuring Superman and/or Batman, ‘Convergence’ will conclude with the launch of a multiverse of DCU’s for readers to pick from. DC’s continuing success with the DC Originals licensed products will drive a secondary DCU that’s more all-ages than the New 52 content, and we will see a return of red shorts Superman a gold-tiara’d Wonder Woman who is more likely to use the lasso than swords.”

I’d enjoy having a regular, continuity-lite, kid-friendly series of superhero comics from DC, but I suppose the publishing arm would rather have a consistent presentation of their trademarks via their New 52 relaunch rather than admit defeat and reinstate previous versions of their characters. I’d be surprised if this didn’t happen sooner rather than later.

“Somehow, DC will still make a mess of this. Probably by decapitating the Wonder Twins in the first issue.”

I’d hate to see that happen to Zan and Jayna. Maybe to Marvin.

• • •

Interstate Shogun crosses the line with

“the new Star Wars movie will suck even more than Episode 1. It’ll make 2 billion at the box office, though. Marvel’s Star Wars comics will also pretty much suck too.”

I think we were all pleasantly surprised that the new Star Wars flick turned out to be pretty good. Can’t believe R2-D2 is now the new Emperor…I never saw that twist coming. You’re dead on about it making 2 billion in the box office…I think it’s just about there even as I type this. Marvel’s comics have been quite good as well, in my opinion.

“my Sandman Overture prediction. I correctly predicted last year that the series would not end in 2014 and the odds are about even that it could run on into 2016, culminating in a gold plated Absolute Edition with hand tooled leather pages by JH Williams and an original haiku personally inscribed by Gaiman himself.”

As noted above, it did finish in 2015! And I have no doubt there will be some super high-end collected version…DC ain’t shy about repackaging their Sandman books.

“The Ant Man movie will sink the Marvel movie franchises.”

Boy, you guys had it in for this Ant-Man movie. Clearly none of you counted on the sheer power of the Garrett Morris cameo.

• • •

Okay, enough prediction fun-time for today. Back soon with more!

“Thank God we can’t tell the future. We’d never get out of bed” – Tracy Letts

§ January 4th, 2016 § Filed under predictions, reader participation § 52 Comments

And away we go again, for that most anticipated event in what’s left of the comics blogosphere, the Progressive Ruin Foretell-the-Future Hootenanny! Please leave your comic industry predictions for what may happen in the far-flung future of 2016 (“aren’t we already in 2016?” “SHHHHH”) in the comments section for this post while hopefully not completely ignoring 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! (Seriously, just keep it to three…and if you have only one, that’s fine. Really. ONE’S GOOD.)

I’ll start looking at your predictions last year for 2015 in the next week or so, and we’ll see how everyone did. Or at least see how much attention I’ve been paying to industry events as I fumble to properly respond to everything.

Anyway, you guys ‘n’ gals always put in a great effort with your prediction submissions, and I really appreciate it. I look forward to your submissions for this year, so go ahead and dump ’em, or gently place them, in this comments section. As usual, thank you so much for your participation!

image from Adventure Comics #317 (February 1964), reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 2 (1992), by Edmond Hamilton and John Forte

The end at last.

§ January 23rd, 2015 § Filed under predictions § 10 Comments

Here it is, the last installment of looking back at your predictions for 2014! And if you want the fun to repeat next year, give me your 2015 comic industry predictions!

• • •

Ed 208 gives me 15 seconds to comply with

“1. Saga increases in popularity, leading to a boost in merchandise sales (especially to teens) and discussions with HBO/Netflix about a series (most likely animation).”

Saga definitely has been doing quite well, with the collected editions requiring constant reorder, both at my former place of employment and in my current digs. The only merchandise I can think of would be t-shirts, and while I don’t have any numbers on how those are doing, I suspect they’re not doing too badly. As noted in a previous prediction post, the creators of Saga don’t seem to be pursuing any media adaptations at this time…which doesn’t mean people aren’t knockin’ their doors down to get the rights.

“2. Either Marvel or Image will release a digital-only series that is a huge success critically, though not financially.”

I honestly don’t pay a whole lot of attention to the digital side of things, which I realize is a huge blind spot of mine. But, that said, I don’t think either company released a digital-only series (or digital-first then print-shortly-thereafter) series, or if they did, it didn’t make a big enough splash for a dopey ol’ Luddite like me to notice. If this didn’t happen, it’s only a matter of time before it does, and I’m guessing the scenario of critical-but-not-financial success is a likely possibility.

“3. DC, in an attempt to imitate Marvel’s success with diversity, will introduce a new series focusing on LGBT character(s). It will not be handled well, or received kindly by DC’s audience.”

We’ve had Batwoman for a few years now, which hasn’t been a bad comic even given the unfortunate creative conflicts, but aside from some supporting characters in Gail Simone’s Batgirl, and the return of Alan Scott’s boyfriend in Earth 2, I can’t think of too many other LGBT characters being in the forefront. Well, there was this, speaking of Batgirl and of stories not being handled or received well, which does have me wondering what they’re going to do when it comes time to reprint that in a collected edition. Preface it with the apology, maybe?

• • •

MikeyWayne waxes eloquently with

“1. DC Comics will reduce its publishing line to three ‘families’: Batman, Justice League & Green Lantern. Two remaining Superman books, Flash, GA and WW get a ‘Justice League’ heading, and everything else in the DCU is canceled in the DC Implosionary Spectacular of 2014.”

This is almost frighteningly plausible, even if it didn’t happen. And with the demise of nearly all the Green Lantern books, that’s one less franchise for DC to stand on. Let’s see what happens after DC’s Convergence event.

“2. Multiversity WILL come out! (I can dream, can’t I?)”

DING DING DING your dreams have come true!

“3. Image Comics increases market share, primarily at the expense of DC, to become the true No. 3 publisher and the best creators continue to flock to them.”

Discussed previously, Image has been hovering around the 10% mark, but DC and Marvel’s marketshares seem to be them pushing each other back and forth, more than seeing attrition due to the smaller publishers. But I’m sure that’s a factor, if even a small one.

• • •

HoorayforGooba! cheers

“Rocket Raccoon spin-off live-action TV show. Book it.”

We’re getting a Guardians of the Galaxy animated series in 2015…that’s close! (And regardless…Rocket will always be animated, unless live raccoon training has made some leaps and bounds I’m not aware of!)

• • •

Former Employee Nathan dares darken my doorstep with

“1. We will see an issue number with *two* decimal points. Possibly something like 5.2.1, but more likely something like 5.1.NOW. This will be the last straw for Mike Sterling.”

I think I stopped counting the number of “last straws” the industry has given me a couple of decades ago.

“2. There will continue to be an uncomfortably antagonistic relationship between The Big Two and fans about what The Big Two think fans want and what fans think they want. Image will continue to, by and large, prove them both wrong.”

That’s been the case for years and likely won’t change. “WE WANT THIS!” is shouted, and they are given [this] and then it doesn’t sell. Ah well. And while Image has had some successes, there has been more than one release from them where I couldn’t move any issues, so they don’t have the magic formula either.

“3. IDW will do a massive, line-wide crossover of every single one of its licensed properties.”

Well, maybe technically, if you do the ol’ “the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossed over with Archie, Archie met the Punisher, Punisher met the X-Men, X-Men met Star Trek, therefore Star Trek and TMNT are connected” thing. But an actual official crossover with everyone all mixed together into the same mess? Well, they’ve come close (there was that X-Files crossover with other IDW licensed properties earlier in the year, and the Cartoon Network thing that just happened), but nothing completely comprehensive.

• • •

Ryan Q says that he’ll be true with

“Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America will be underwhelming in the box office. While the X-Men: DOTFP and Amazing Spider-Man will be box office hit.”

I looked up the numbers, and while nobody did Avengers Movie money, nobody suffered too much, it looks like. From Box Office Mojo, the total takes (domestic and international) were as follows:

Guardians of the Galaxy: $772,772,112

X-Men Days of Future Past: $748,121,534

Captain America The Winter Soldier: $714,083,572

Amazing Spider-Man 2: $708,982,323

Geez. Hey, Marvel, can I borrow five bucks?

“Marvel will relaunch Captain America, Iron, Fantastic Four books.”

Two out of three ain’t bad!

“Robin will return this year.”

Looks like Robin returned in a comic from the last shipping date of last year…or did he?

• • •

There’s no getting away from Employee Aaron as he asks

“My one prediction on comic books for this year is that Pre-New 52 Lobo will Hunt Down This new glow-face Lobo and after a few issues of beatdowns and maiming Pre-52 Lobo will feed this imposter to his space Dolphins.”

Almost the opposite, my mustachioed friend. The New 52 Lobo almost immediately did away with the previous Lobo, which kind of surprised me…I was expecting some kind of “LOBO VERSUS LOBO” event that would drag on for too long. The brevity of the encounter was sort of refreshing.

• • •

Dhaamin thus spake

“1. Marvel will realise why ‘Hawkeye’ is successful and bring out more solo titles with great talent behind them creating stories with a defined style and sense of direction without having to succumb to a universe shaking cross over every other month.”

We did have a couple of titles following the Hawkeye “formula,” most notably She-Hulk, and surprisingly Moon Knight, but that seems more the exception than the rule.

“2. Scott Snyder will finally hint at maybe working with Image or another Indie label.”

He definitely turned up at Image with Wytches, which did quite well for itself.

• • •

My friend Sam stayed just the same with

“1. Due to either delays or cancellation, Hawkguy won’t make it to #25. If it does, it will be a completely different direction and creative team resulting from Fraction’s total break with Marvel.”

Still waiting on 22 to come out!

“2. 2 more avengers books will start at #1, possibly to replace books that are ending at #30 given Marvel’s apparent new Logan’s Run series length policy.”

We had Captain America and the Mighty Avengers start last year, so I guess that counts. And the new Uncanny Avengers #1 was solicited late last year, so that almost counts, maybe. Then the one based on the cartoon had a new #1, and another Secret Avengers #1, and I’m not even counting the intentional Avengers mini-series…I’m calling that a “hit.”

“3. After the Deluxe Color HCs, Oni will re-release Scott Pilgrim starting at the beginning in yet another format, be it color TPB, omnibus or ‘artist’s edition’.”

Didn’t happen last year, but it’ll come this year or next, I’m sure.

• • •

David Alexander McDonald deserves a break today with

“1. Multiversity won’t actually come out this year, to the surprise of no-one.”


“2. Guardians Of the Galaxy will do very badly, mainly due to Marvel/Disney not knowing what sort of promotional strategy to formulate. As a result Ant-Man will be pushed back to the end of 2015. Captain America: The Winter Soldier will offset the losses, but Kevin Feige will rethink Phase Three. Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D will be renewed by the skin of its teeth, and the start of the second season will bring a bit more of the crazy that the first season lacked. Marvel will also aggressively pursue TV projects, but their animation division will gradually falter and die.”

Guardians did well, which did come as a bit of a surprise to a lot of us, I think. That “Marvel” brand can get butts into movie seats. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. by all accounts did improve this season, but I fell behind due to opening the new store, so I can’t verify this myself. Marvel certainly has plenty of other TV projects coming, including the aforementioned animated GOTG, so they seem to be keeping things going so far.

“3. On the DC side, Arrow will get more into the super powers end of things, but the Flash and Constantine pilots will not be picked up. The DC animation division will feel the loss of [Bruce Timm] seriously this year, and the projects that go ahead will be wretched examples. Expect a New 52 culling more savage than any before, but equal numbers of new books to make up for the cancellations. Expect additional alternate strategies beyond the weeklies. People will begin to see tonal shifts in the books, but the bigger shift won’t come until 2015 as DC heads into the last full year of the New 52. Month 52 of the New 52 will be the last of it…but it won’t presage a 2016 return of the old universe(s) but a drastic change of approach to the comics market. We will see signs of this through 2014.”

That’s about six predictions squeezed in there, you sneaky guy, but let me see if I can hit ’em all.

3a) Yes, more crazy superhero action in Arrow. This is a good thing.

3b) Flash picked up, a huge success; Constantine picked up, may or may not be cancelled now, I have no idea at this point.

3c) DC’s animated projects have been about at the same level as before in quality, if not in quantity…if you didn’t like them before, you don’t like ’em know, and the other way around as well. Animated TV shows seem to have been put aside for live-action, though they did just announce an animated Vixen series for online viewing, if I recall correctly.

3d) A bunch of New 52 titles were announced as cancelled at the very end of 2014, and we won’t know what’s replacing them ’til after Convergence, I think.

3e) Not really much in the way of new alternative publishing strategies, beyond what they were already doing with digital-first titles and the Earth One series of original graphic novels.

3f) Not sure what signs of future strategies we’re seeing if any yet, beyond the willingness to do near-full culls of once popular franchises (like Green Lantern). It is interesting to note that we are getting a short-lived return to pre-New 52 continuity with these Convergence mini-series, but whether that’s just the intended temporary publishing stopgap for DC’s move to the west coast, or a way to test the waters for a possible line-wide rollback, remains to be seen.

“Also, I forgot my usual Squirrel Girl mention. She’ll turn up in Agents Of SHIELD and end up having fun times with Fitz, who’ll be revealed as a furry.”

One more, eh? That’s okay, since it’s about Squirrel Girl. I do wonder when she’ll make her live action debut. It’s gotta happen, right? Maybe it’ll be post-credits sequence in the forthcoming film Howard the Duck: Age of Doctor Bong.

• • •

And that’s that, my look back at your 2014 predictions. Sorry it took so long, but at least I got to end it with a reference to Doctor Bong, so it was worth the trip.

Next week: no predictions! Not a one!

I am really really tired and almost put off this post, but would like to finish the prediction coverage before 2016.

§ January 21st, 2015 § Filed under predictions § 3 Comments

Nearly done looking back at your predictions, and still gathering 2015 comic industry predictions!

Let’s go!

• • •

PabloV, AKA one of my commenters, relayed

“1) Peter Parker will be back, which will collide with Otto’s Spidey. But sales for Superior Spider-Man will still be good, so somehow, both characters will fill the role of the friendly neighborhood. And Amazing Spider-Man title comes back with Peter of course, in time for the movie.”

Pretty much what happened, though aside from a couple of follow-up issues, the actual Superior Spider-Man didn’t stick around, which surprised me. The SSM character is involved in the current “Spider-Verse” thing, though.

“2) 2014 will be the Bendis’ year in Marvel. Some of the events will be written by him and he will have three titles by himself. Of course, some of these titles will suck, some will be fine.”

He’s on Uncanny X-Men, All-New X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy, so there you go. As to the actual quality of said titles…it’s not my cup of tea, but others really like it, so suckage or lack thereof is up to you. As far as I can remember, the only “event” as such that he wrote was the Guardians/X-Men crossover.

“3) Guardians of The Galaxy will be a, surprisingly, good movie (not as GREAT as Avengers, Dark Knight etc but still decent). People who didn’t believe in this movie will change their names to RockyRacconRulz or GROOTGROUPIE87.”

It was a good movie, I thought. I didn’t keep track of any name changes, however, aside from my brief flirtation as “Draxster.”

• • •

ArghSims arghed

“1) WINTER SOLDIER and DAYS OF FUTURE PAST will both be well received films, by both comics fans and general movie goers. Brubaker, Claremont and the artists will get “Thanks” credits, and hopefully some bucks.”

Ed Brubaker got a story credit on the Cap sequel, and I don’t remember if he got any kind of creator credit, but Chris Claremont and Len Wein have actual cameos in the X-Men film! (I remember thinking as I sat there in the theater…”wait, was that Len Wein?”)

“2) THE BRAVE AND THE MOLD, a Batman-Swamp Thing team up series written by Mike Sterling, will be the surprise hit of Summer 2014.”

Only in my mind, ArghSims, only in my mind.

• • •

Tim B. naturally stated

“There will continue to be Doom Patrol & Kamandi shaped holes in DC’s output.”

The Doom Patrol did pop up in Justice League #30 (after some brief references in previous issues from the end of 2013). Kamandi remains AWOL, far as I know unless he had a cameo or something in one of the twelve other Batman titles I didn’t follow.

“The Superman/Batman film villain will be Darkseid, announced at/first preview footage at Comic-Con 2014, a week or so before Guardians of the Galaxy film is released, people accuse DC of just ripping off Thanos. Kirby’s ghost’s eyes roll for the rest of 2014 and well into 2015…”

Didn’t happen, but not an unlikely scenario.

• • •

The Mutt barked

“2014 will see a Godzilla comic book and a Pacific Rim comic book leading to a major cross-over event.”

Well, Del Toro is all for it, because of course he is, he’s all for everything, but outside of fanfiction and Photoshopping, nothin’ doin’ yet.

• • •

Sespus healed our negativity with

“My fellow commenters will have a lot of gloom-and-doom predictions having to do with movies, but the 2014’s comic book movies will actually do just fine.”

Yeah, most of them actually did okay. And by “okay” I mean “more money than I’ll ever see in ten lifetimes.”

• • •

Adam Farrar sees far with

“1) Due to slipping sales, IDW will relaunch its primary GI Joe titles (GI Joe v3, GI Joe Special Missions v2, and the already ended Cobra Files). Larry Hama’s GI Joe A Real American Hero will soldier on to the continued enjoyment of myself and a little over 7,000 other people.”

G.I. Joe was relaunched, and Real American Hero is continuing. A gold star for you!

“2) Marvel will launch ‘Savage Hulk’ a series like their ‘Avenging Spider-Man’ and ‘Savage Wolverine” featuring rotating creators telling whatever stories they see fit. The first story arc will be by Jim Starlin.”

There was such a series, but it was seemingly canned after only six issues. Starlin was planned to do a storyline for the title, but was instead moved to its own mini-series Thanos Vs. Hulk, which was probably a good idea.

• • •

MrJM jammed in

“1) Mike will have a happy birthday on March 13.”

Yeah, it was okay.

“2) Marvel won’t do right by Jack Kirby.”

Surprisingly, a settlement was reached between Disney/Marvel and the Kirby estate, and if Jack Kirby’s foremost proponent says that Jack ‘n’ Roz would have been “real, real, real happy” with the results, then we can safely assume things went well.

“3) I will continue to search for superhero comics that I wouldn’t be embarrassed to share with my teen-aged nephew and niece.”


• • •

rook017 checkmates us with

“1. Bendis and Johns will form their own company. They will create their own universe and write everything.”

Not yet. Probably the next move for both of them once they’re out of favor at their respective companies. …Not being negative or critical, honestly, it’s just no one stays on top at either company forever. I can think of more than one Giant Comics Creator who seemed immortal and unstoppable who ended up scrambling for whatever work they could get. Honestly, though, Johns seems like he’d just do TV full-time if comics go south for him.

“2. A major comic book movie starring a woman will be announced. Reaction will be ‘How can SHE get her own movie before Wonder Woman or Black Widow???'”

I’m sure that was the reaction to Captain Marvel though that seems to be the reaction to any movie announcement, superhero or not.

“3. Progressive Ruin will split off to form several blogs (Daily Mike Sterling, More Progressive Ruin, Mike Sterling’s Progressive Runes) forcing followers to read several blogs to get all the scoops. Readers drop off, forcing a reboot which makes no one happy.”

I think I aged three years just reading that.

• • •

Rob S. robs the spotlight with

“1. Archie is going to land another serious creative team on another of its Red Circle titles.”

They did announce creative teams, and I’m assuming they’re serious, especially since it’s Dark Circle now, instead of Red Circle. You can read about the teams here.

“2. We’ll see hints of missing characters like Wally West and Donna Troy in DC books before 2014 is out, but their first real appearance of any note won’t be until 2015.”

Wally actually does appear in mid-2014. Donna Troy apparently was mentioned in issues of Red Hood and the Outlaws early on in the New 52 relaunch, when they were still frantically trying to figure out what was in the new continuity and what wasn’t. It was eventually decided that prior Teen Titans teams hadn’t existed, and Troy’s existence was retconned out of the retcon, as it were. She apparently returned in the last issue of Wonder Woman for 2014, but we’ll get more of her over this coming year, which surely will please everyone.

“3. Dark Horse will announce a couple of new big license to partially take the place of Star Wars.”

No one thing seems intended to be the replacement for Star Wars, as far as I can tell. Which is good, since putting all your eggs into one licensed basket is a bad idea, in case some giant international company comes along to buy a comic book publisher, and then buys the property that you licensed to make comics from, and then takes away your license to give it to the comic company they actually own, but what are the chances of that happening?

• • •

NeverAsk asks

“1. Multiple writer changes on Fantastic Four, with each one promising to ‘bring the focus back to the family.'”

The creative team has remained mostly stable, though apparently they’re canning the series due to sales, and not because a movie studio that Disney doesn’t own is exploiting the property.

“2. Deadpool will kill the Marvel Universe again. Or marry it. Maybe both.”

Deadpool did get married, but just to one person, not the entire Marvel Universe. Pretty much the entire MarvU did show up as guests, however.

“3. Archie comics? Still awesome.”

Are they still publishing Afterlife with Archie? And also publishing Sabrina? Then yes, they’re still awesome.

• • •

Next: Mike looks at your predictions, the final chapter! Honest!

Don’t complain that I spoiled the post-credits scene for Guardians of the Galaxy…you’ve had your chance to see it.

§ January 19th, 2015 § Filed under predictions § 7 Comments

Welcome to part four of looking back at your predictions for 2014, my five remaining readers! And if you five haven’t added your 2015 comic industry predictions to the pile, then get crackin’.

• • •

jobcab taxis in with

“1. Marvel will officially yank the Star Wars license away from Dark Horse”

I think I may have heard a little something about that recently.

“2. For his 50th anniversary, Daredevil will regain his sight.”

Not that I’ve seen (click) but I’ve been reading the regular Daredevil series this year and it didn’t happen there. …In fact, how many stories have there been about Daredevil getting his sight back? I can think of…two, maybe?

EDIT: Tim O’Neil tells me Daredevil was temporarily re-sighted in last month’s issue of Iron Man.

“3. Galactus’ new herald will be H.E.R.B.I.E. And it will be awesome.”

While that would be the ultimate expression of the menace of H.E.R.B.I.E., sadly I don’t think that happened anywhere except in our dreams, joecab. I did peek at the Wikipedia entry for our favorite little helper robot to see what’s been going on, and there it was I learned that a “deactivated H.E.R.B.I.E.” was in the extended version of the 2005 Fantastic Four movie. First, I was surprised there even was an extended version of the 2005 Fantastic Four movie (soon to be known as “the good Fantastic Four movie), but second, and more importantly, we were this close to having live-action H.E.R.B.I.E. and that’s a darn shame.

• • •

Jeff R. gets jazzy with the following predictions:

“1.) Guardians of the Galaxy will be a colossal flop.”

Well, hate to tell you this….

“2.) The Legion of Super-Heroes will have an ongoing book again by the end of the year.”

The Legion did pop up in Justice League United near the end of 2014, but nothing about a new title yet. I hope they follow my suggestions.

“3.) The First issue of Mage:The Hero Denied will at least have been solicited by the end of the year.”

That would have been nice…I’m a big fan of Mage.

Let’s see…the first series, “The Hero Discovered,” ran from 1984 to 1986. Eleven years later, in 1997, “The Hero Defined” started up, running ’til 1999. Sixteen years on, no word on when the third series will debut. Hopefully someday soon!

• • •

Jerry Smith rigged these forecasts:

“DC’s move to the West Coast will result in a massive loss of employees who don’t want to move, streamlining their editorial process and letting Marvel have their pick of editors/employees. DC books will not improve in quality.”

Haven’t seen any news on any DC employee attrition, but I think it’s too soon to tell. Let’s keep an eye on this for 2015.

EDIT: Tim O’Neil tells me that Tom Brevoort has mentioned Marvel’s hiring of some ex-DC employees.

“Captain America II will make back its money but not be a critical success.”

According to that link in my responses to Jeff, the second Cap film was the third-highest grossing flick of the year, which ain’t too shabby. And over on the Rotten Tomatoes tote board, it has a 89% positive reviewer rating, so it did surprisingly well. To be frank, I expected a second Cap film to be okay, but it actually was really, really good. And not just “good for a superhero movie,” but just plain good.

“Marvel will launch a team of gay Avengers. The book will be called Gay Avengers.”

That would have been absolutely amazing, if only to hear The Usual Suspects get their knickers in knots over it. I bet I could totally sell a comic called Gay Avengers.

• • •

Mike Loughlin lines up the following:

“With Jeff Parker on board, DC will release more comics that aren’t super serious and over-the-top violent. They’ll get acclaim from discerning readers and sales will plummet.”

Parker’s Aquaman is doing okay, I think…and DC did release other somewhat gentler in-universe comics (like Gotham Academy) which is selling…well, not great, but it has its audience.

“DC will release a New Gods series. It won’t be very good.”

Not really a standalone series, but we did get a New Gods/Green Lantern crossover event that probably would have been well-served by maybe being only half as long. And, to be honest, it didn’t really do a lot to sell anyone on the New Gods concept. …Kinda like the Legion of Super-Heroes, maybe the New Gods/Fourth World stuff needs to just go away for a while and let everyone kind of forget about and / or stop being sick of them.

“The next Marvel character to be killed will be The Punisher. Again.”

Well, Wolverine. You were close!

• • •

Luke trusts his feelings with

“Comics mergers – somewhere in and among Image, IDW, Boom, Dynamite, Devil’s Due etc, there will be some consolidation, acquisition or the like.”

IDW absorbed Top Shelf, which surprised the heck out of me, but that was early 2015. Ah, what the heck, close enough.

• • •

vester is very invested in these forecasts:

“1) As DC’s moving west, people who will say ‘no’ will be in Marvel.”

Like I said before, it may be too early to determine the full results of this movie. Let’s see what happens this year.

“2) More Batman-related and Avengers titles.”

This is what we call in the biz a “gimme.” Not that a lot of them have done that well or are doing that well, but they’re there filling up shelf space that “Worthwhile Artistic Comics #1” could have used, and that’s the important thing.

“3) Image Comics sales will totally surpass the Big Two at the end of the year.”

On an individual basis, I certainly wish several Marvel and DC titles would sell as well as Walking Dead or Saga, but for every Image that sells great, there are a half-dozen or more that, shall we say, appeal to a more select audience and don’t move as many copies. As I covered in one of the previous four hundred entries of my 2014 prediction coverage, Image has been hovering around 10% marketshare so it’s not doing too badly for itself.

• • •

Mike Nielsen improves his ratings with

“1) Showcase Presents Tomahawk will appear. I’ve only predicted it every year since you started doing this, I’ll be right sometime.”

We did get Showcase Presents Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew…that’s close, right?

• • •

Crowded House didn’t dream it’s over with:

“1. At some point, Superman gets his red shorts back.”

I’m assuming you meant in New 52 continuity, because in, like, merchandising and the Adventures of Superman out-of-continuity comics, he totally had his red shorts. But no, we’re still stuck with that dumb super-armor, which is a shame because the actual Superman comics have been pretty good lately.

“2. The Ancient Ones awake from their slumber and consume the world in one gulp. Darkness is everywhere, all is lost, the people cry out in despair cursing a god who will not listen to their prayers. There is nothing to be done, all of humanity is doomed, its last days of existence weeping at the hours lost, the stories never again to be told, the memories that will fade into nothingness with nothing to mark their passing. There is no more, there is no more.”

Yeah, my birthday was pretty rough this year.

“3. Sonic Disruptors #8 is finally released.”

Hey, we finally got some of Joe Kubert’s Redeemer…anything’s possible!

• • •

An Anchor at Bay goes overboard with

“1. del Toro will announce that the Justice League Dark script has been finalized and will start shooting in 2015.”

I will not believe in a del Toro Justice League Dark movie until I’ve bought my ticket for it and am sitting in a movie theater waiting for it to start. And maybe not even then.

“2. Constantine and Swamp Thing will develop a strong sense of trust and become best friends finally.”

That would be like those 1970s Tom and Jerry cartoons where now suddenly they’re pals and they go on adventures together and are no longer trying to murder each other, and that would be terrible.

“3. John Constantine will quit smoking but replace his habit with hallucinogenic tubers.”

Just had to check some recent appearances, and he’s still smoking! Kind of surprised, actually. Does he smoke in the TV show, because I still haven’t seen the darned thing.

• • •

Xanadude takes my breath and leaves me blind with

“1) a second Wonder Woman title will launch, focusing on supervillains, SciFi, Steve Trevor/ARGUS. azarello will continue the current Ww title by not acknowledging it.”

There was a second WW title, Sensation Comics, reprinting digital first (mostly) non-continuity comics, which of course the writers of the New 52 series wouldn’t acknowledge (but probably should have followed its lead).

“2) the Miracle man monthly floppy will undersell, while everyone buys the tpbs”

I’m not sure how well it’s selling overall, but the comic was beginning to improve in sales slightly at my shop, though Marvel’s doing its best to kill the series, it feels like.

“3) the new Ms Marvel will sell poorly and also be accused of being culturally insensitive by the left and pushing a radical Muslim agenda by the right”

It’s selling not badly, and to some acclaim, but there will always be that segment of the population that fears something because it focuses on a person/culture That Isn’t Like Them. And to them we say “suck it up, you wieners.”

• • •

amrothery ventures in with

“1. By the end of the year, Marvel will have produced ZERO issues of Walt Disney Comics and Stories or Uncle $crooge.”

Exactly right, sir! Though I would give anything to have that Gladstone Gander/Longshot battle committed to four-color immortality.

“2. The Fantagraphics reprints of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck will continue as scheduled.”

Also correct, and God bless ’em for these things of beauty.

• • •

Derooftrouser…um, gets his pants on the…ceiling? — with:

“1. The sequel to Man of Steel will not be inspired by the All-Star series or be called ‘The Goddamn Batman vs Superman’.”

If it’s not inspired by this comic, then what are we even doing as a people.

“2. Neither will it feature The Rock as Swamp Thing, to lead into the Justice League Dark movie.”

I am oddly okay with the Rock as Swamp Thing.

“3. Still no news on ‘The Spirit 2: Spirit vs Shadow’.”

Please do not tease me with such beauty.

• • •

Mike Zeidler sidles in with

“1. DC launches a digital only, non-continuity DC COMICS PRESENTS to fulfill monthly Time-Warner quotas for copyright renewals.”

That’s not a bad idea. So it’ll probably never happen.

“2. FISHNETS AHOY launches, with art by Robert Wilson IV”

If I can’t have Brian Bolland on art for this Zatanna/Black Canary comic I’ve been demanding, it looks like Robert Wilson IV wouldn’t be a bad second choice.

“3. Mike Sterling tries to review the super-long everything cut of the WATCHMEN movie but is stymied by all DVDs turning to dust at the same time.”

I had this out in my “rewatch soon” pile, but then, um, I opened a store. I had a movie out from Netflix since the first week of November that I finally watched this past Saturday night. I went to go see the third Hobbit movie last week, a good month or so after it opened. This is the time I have for movie watching. …But I owe you that review, and someday I will get to it.

• • •

rubber cat bounces these off of me:

“1. The year passes by with no mention of Carrie Kelley in the Batman books”

She was primarily in Batman and Robin, right? Some Googling about seems to show that she was written out of the ongoing plot a while back, in favor of focusing the book on the return of Damien Wayne. However, there seems to have been some casting rumors regarding this character for the forthcoming Batman Vs. Superman Guest-Starring Everyone Else While We’re At It, so if she turns up, look for her back in the comics again.

“2. Marvel announces Howard the Duck reboot scheduled to hit theaters 2017”

A strangely prescient prediction, given the surprise cameo at after the end credits of Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s probably still going to be a long time before any studio executive puts his signature on a Howard the Duck movie approval, but I can see Howard popping up here and there in forthcoming Marvel movies.

“3. The Gotham TV series does decent in the ratings but isn’t a big hit.”

It actually looks like Gotham is doing pretty well for itself…I think it’s safe to say it’s a hit. It’s certainly very divisive…some of you love it, some of you hate it. I only caught about five minutes of it, but maybe I’ll catch it on DVD, once they invent the 72-hour day.

• • •

That’s enough typity-typing for me for today…be back soon with more prediction coverage!

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