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.
• • •
“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!