Your 2023 Predictions, Part One: An Unexpected Party.

§ January 10th, 2024 § Filed under predictions § 7 Comments

The time has come! January is well on its way, so I suppose I’d better start looking at the predictions YOU made for the 2023 comics industry! Who nailed it, who missed completely, who got partial credit…let all be revealed!

But before too much more of 2024 slides by, don’t forget to put in your predictions for this coming year!

HERE WE GO:

Rich Handley hands in the following:

…Well, Rich actually brought up some discussion points that bear further thought, so Rich, remind me to get back to this after I’m done with all this prediction shenanigans. But to sum it up, Rich says that DC’s miscellaneous exploitations of Watchmen (Before Watchman, Doomsday Clock have been generally resisted by a subset of fandom, but, as Rich asks and, let’s say, “predicts”

“…Do you think that’ll change within the next year, now that Doctor Manhattan has wormed his way into the DC universe? Will Watchmen as a franchise instead of as a single work become more accepted as DC continues to unveil more tie-ins?”

To try to twist my reply into the format of these prediction posts, the whole Watchmen connection to the DC Universe has been scaled back, as things for the publisher’s superhero line seem to have moved toward the “Dawn of DC” initiative. I honestly don’t know if there’s been more than a passing reference in the last year. I honestly thought there’d be a spinoff from Doomsday Clock, if not at least an announcement of a full-blown sequel. I expect there’s more to come at some point.

• • •

Thom H. peeps in with these

“1. Gaiman and Buckingham will finish their run on Miracleman in 2023, including both the Silver Age and the Dark Age. Yay!”

Well, we got several issues, but the “Silver Age” part of the story doesn’t wrap up ’til next week’s Miracleman issue (which I’ve already read, using my evil retailer powers, bwa ha ha). Hopefully “Dark Age” will follow in reasonably short order.

“2. Marvel will attempt to integrate Miracleman into the main Marvel Universe, which will prove to be an awkward fit. Boo!”

I’ve joked before about how one of the chapters of Gaiman/Buckingham’s cite>Miracleman should be “The Marvel Age” with the Marvel heroes just full on making appearances. But Thom, I suspect you get at least partial credit for this…you posted your predictions on December 12th, 2022, and on December 28th, Marvel released the first of their Timeless variants. And in that issue, there is a tease of ol’ MM eventually entering the Marvel Universe.

In my Final ’80s Countdown post on the series, I described that Timeless issue bascially being Marvel’s version of the DC Rebirth one-shot that brought in Watchmen to that superhero milieu. And it seemed like for all the world that Miracleman (or rather, a non-Moore/Gaima-ed version of the character with its original name “Marvelman”) was going to turn up in 2023. But I think that event is probably going to wait ’til Gaiman and Buckingham are done with their story.

“3. DC will announce that Tom King and Mitch Gerads will team up to rehabilitate another B-list hero in another 12-issue miniseries. Yay!”

Well, there was a short serialized story by these folks in Batman: The Brave and the Bold featuring the Joker, but I don’t think that’s quite what you mean. King’s big 12-issue project for the year (with a different artist) was Danger Street, which was a hoot!

• • •

David has a few goliath guesses here

“1. Transformers and g.i.joe will be huge successes at whatever company the licence ends up with.”

They ended up at Image, and so far…yes, actually, they’ve been doing quite well. Certainly selling better than they were at IDW, at least for me. In fact, I was caught a little short of Transformers #4 this week what with everyone adding it to their pull lists, so up those orders go!

“2. The x-men wrap up the current status quo and chip zdarsky takes over the helm.”

Not quite yet…seems like the X-Men line is in the process of wrapping things up right now. And boy oh boy if anything could get me to try an X-Men book again, it’d be Chip.

“3. Alfred comes back to life in batman and he gets his fortune back.”

There was a big tease with Alfred in one of the Bat-related books, but alas, ’twas not to be. I honestly do wonder when and how they’re going to revive the character. That was a pretty definitive death. …I mean, yes, yes, I know, the Lazarus Pits, but that feels almost too easy, right?

And I wasn’t sure about Bruce Wayne’s money, after he lost it, what, a year or so ago? Googling reveals that the money is now in Lucius Fox’s hands, so I suppose Wayne has at least limited access to some of it now, but not livin’ large as he once was.

• • •

demoncat_4 conjures up

“1 as new head of dc films james gunn will announce his first dc animated project is of kingdom come.”

It was Creature Commandos, which is still interesting, I think. I feel like a Kingdom Come movie would be missing one of the primary appeals of the comic — Alex Ross’s art — and instead would be in the perfectly competent but same-y style most of the DC cartoons are in. Doesn’t mean it won’t happen eventually, of course!

“2 james gunn will okay a new swamp thing tv show and film produced by none other then [Guillermo del Toro]”

A new Swamp Thing movie was in fact announced! It seems to be the last in line of Gunn’s initial plans, and given how superhero movies have been doing lately, I’m not holding my breath that it’ll ever actually happen. Del Toro is not involved, far as I know.

“3 disney and warners will finaly work out a deal of doing a dc vs marvel crossover film and it will be jla vs avengers”

While I’d be first in line to see this (I mean, at home on a Blu-ray, I’m not goin’ to any theaters anymore), things would have to change drastically for Marvel and DC to cross over like this in their movies. Like, I’m hoping to see an official Star Trek vs. Star Wars thing someday, but, like, the end times would probably have to be well in progress before I could get that.

• • •

Okay, ScienceGiant has crushed the prediction format with his giant science, by giving me multiple options to pick from and “fill in the blanks,” as it were. So, let me pick three out here and see what I can do

“1) Wow! I still can’t believe in the year 2023”

…that Nazis are still permitted to exist? I mean, that’s not strictly a comics thing (though we have a few in this business, too), but still. To quote myself from probably Bluesky, “we already had a debate with Nazis. It was called ‘World War II.’ They lost the debate so badly their leader shot himself.”

“3) Wow! That highly anticipated adaptation of fantasy/science fiction IP certainly underperformed at the box office/streaming service. Should we predict that means the franchise dream’s death knell?”

Well, get used to it. Various reasons why this is happening, partially burn out, partially folks not going to every superhero/big franchise film that comes down the pike, partially preferring streaming, all sorts of things. Budgeting these films assuming a billion dollar box office is also not helping. (Being “woke” is not a reason, and if anyone thinks so, maybe they should have a few words with Barbie‘s box office.)

It’s not a death knell by any means, just…studios got scale these back a bit, either their budgets or their release schedules. I said (link should work) on Bluesky “maybe two a year, max” and honestly that should be enough. I think the new Deadpool movie will do great. And the next animated Spider-Man movie will do fine as well.

“7) Ehh. I’m not a fan of the latest comic book gimmick, are you?”

I presume Marvel and DC must have got a great deal on foil covers, because boy they slap these on all sorts of things and they don’t always look all that great.

• • •

existentialman exists only to bring me these

“1) As programs designed to create sequential art using artificial intelligence become more advanced, several high-profile works will be released in this format in 2023. A healthy debate will follow but good old human artists will remain as popular and successful as ever.”

Gosh darn it when I saw you post this prediction there was a comic that had just come out and I said “I better remember that when it comes time for my prediction reviews” and of course I forgot. But apparently the art was entirely A.I. But I think by and large most comic artists are treating this tech with disdain and avoiding it. It seems like when it is used, in any way, it’s greeted with derision by the comics crowd, so don’t look for too much of this sort of thing from those folks.

2) Mike’s eyeballs will not only fully heal, but gradually mutate such that he develops “super-speed-reading vision”. By the end of 2023 he will have caught up completely on his stack of unread funny books.”

My eyeball situation continues as normal, though my vision has been seeing (get it?) improvements. A new probably has cropped up, “dry eye” in my right eye, so I’ve been on an endless progression of drops and ointments (and a good old-fashioned plug in the tear duct!) which seem to be working Also, no injections in the right eye for several months now! (Alas, they continue in the left eye, but not nearly as frequently.)

As for catching up on my backlog…ah, Existentialman, you, like existence itself, are very funny!

“3) A bunch of old guys will finally realize that diversity in comics is awesome AND it’s still okay to enjoy the comics of their youth.”

I think most folks think that, and the crowd that thinks otherwise is a minority, both numerically and economically. More voices from more lived experiences means more good comics!

• • •

And on that positive note with which nobody reasonable could disagree, I’ll end this first part of about 200 posts here, and will continue on Friday with more of your predictions for 2023! Thanks for reading, pals!

7 Responses to “Your 2023 Predictions, Part One: An Unexpected Party.”

  • Allan Hoffman says:

    Is it too early to guess the theme of the prediction post titles?

  • Thom H. says:

    Always fun to see what I was thinking about a year ago. And I get maybe 1 whole point by adding together the partial credit across my predictions. Nice. Thanks, Mike!

  • Mikester says:

    Allan – I don’t think this one will be do hard to figure out.

    Thom H. – You’re welcome!

  • Michael Grabowski says:

    This book https://www.livingthelinebooks.com/books/abolition-of-man might be the one you’re thinking of, Mike. Carson Grubaugh took a C.S. Lewis text and fed it to an AI to create the art, and Living The Line published it a year or so ago in four (I think) comics before compiling it as a book. I didn’t see it in my shop. For all kinds of reasons it wouldn’t possibly catch on with the mainstream audience, though.

  • Snark Shark says:

    “Kingdom Come movie would be missing one of the primary appeals of the comic — Alex Ross’s art”

    Yeah, w/out his art, it’s just a good super-hero story. Adapting it would be underwhelming for one reason or another.

    “Guillermo del Toro”

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh if only he’d gotten to make a Hellboy 3!

  • matt says:

    “I feel like a Kingdom Come movie would be missing one of the primary appeals of the comic — Alex Ross’s art — and instead would be in the perfectly competent but same-y style most of the DC cartoons are in.”

    I’ve never thought about a Kingdom Come movie, never thought about it being animated, but reading this made me think that it could really be something special if the people that made “Loving Vincent” and “The Peasants” wanted to make it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gy0RVDM1sNA
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1in2FMBKmo

  • Rich Handley says:

    I’d entirely forgotten sending that question about Watchmen. And I agree, the whole “Watchmen in the mainstream universe” concept has basically been forgotten. DC seems to change its focus every three weeks now.

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