Your 2023 Predictions, Part Three: A Short Rest.

§ January 15th, 2024 § Filed under predictions § 7 Comments

We’re well on our way looking at your 2023 comic industry predictions (previously: parts 1 and 2), so let’s see how you did!

(And get in your 2024 predictions, too!)

• • •

MisterJayEm smokes up the following

“1) Someone on Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav’s disastrous team will turn their evil eye towards D.C. Comics… Nothing good will follow.”

Not yet, far as I’ve heard. The publishing end of DC is still well below the threshold of notice for the Eye of Zaslav. I mean, sooner or later he’s gonna want to free up five or ten bucks and will eventually cut DC down to a Batman reprint house, so we’ll see.

“2) Someone at Hearst Communications will realize that there is untapped value in the Thimble Theatre Cinematic Universe.”

WIMPY: THE MOVIE hasn’t been announced yet, but at least we’re still getting great new Sunday strips by Randy Milholland, which are great!

“3) Writers and artists will continue to craft wonderful creations without regard to the demands of corporations. (At least I *hope* so!)”

Nope, sorry, Disney has bought all comics, past, present and future. Ed the Happy Clown is now a Disney Princess. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE

• • •

Here comes Customer Sean with some very exact guesses for the past year

“1. Disney will buy the rights to The Micronauts and Rom Space Knight from Hasbro (or whoever the current owner is) so that they can be integrated into the MCU. Failing that, Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania will have cameos by quasi-Micronauts re-branded with different character names and/or a different team name like the ‘Quantum Knights’–and/or characters that Marvel already owns including Arcturus Rann, Marionette, and Bug will appear and possibly be spun off into a future Quantum Realm film.”

Well, I don’t know how you did it, but in May of 2023 Marvel reacquired the rights to ROM and the Micronauts. However, it wasn’t to shove ’em back into the Marvel Universe with new stories, but rather to be able to reprint all that old material. Big ol’ omnibuses are coming, reprints of the first issues of both series have been released, and Marvel put out a thick comic reprinting ROM/X-Men crossover stuff.

That said, there is some new ROM material, in the form of (of course) variant covers:

So make your own stories, I suppose.

I haven’t finished watching that new Ant-Man/Wasp movie yet, so no idea if that prediction came true. I haven’t heard about it , so I’m guessing “no….” As far as those Mironauts character Marvel actually owns…once we get a little closer to the omnibus release maybe they’ll pop up somewhere!

“2. Archie Comics will publish more one-shots or limited series featuring its Golden and Silver Age superheroes. This might include another Bob Phantom comic, more The Fox comics, more Black Hood comics and possibly a Golden Age Shield comic, as well as another go at The Mighty Crusaders.”

Well, the only thing I could find was a one-shot featuring the Golden Age Archie/MLJ character Madame Satan. I suspect other old-timey Archie superhero characters (not to be confused with Archie Superheroes) turned up in the many digest releases, but I didn’t check all those.

OKAY FINE I checked one digest, and the Jaguar is in there along with the Riverdale gang, so there you are.

“3. Dynamite Comics will acquire the license to The T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents (since IDW hasn’t been publishing any new T. A. material) and Dan Jurgens will write it and Jerry Ordway will draw it and it will be a faithful continuation of Wally Wood’s original vision: set during the 1960s and possessed of a certain kitsch charm.”

No word on new T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents that I’ve seen, and I don’t expect any new material in the near future given it seems like such a hard sell in the modern comics market. Not sure why, really, aside from maybe just a general resistance to superhero properties outside the Big Two’s roster.

• • •

DK Definitely Kontributed these predictions

“1. The Squadron Supreme will make their live-action debut in a MCU property.”

I don’t believe any of that particular group of characters has turned up or been referenced in any of the live action stuff. I think an adaptation of the Mark Gruenwald series would be fun, but I’m not holding my breath for that.

“2. DC Comics is going to have massive layoffs/restructuring as they are blamed for the underperformance of the DCEU. WB’s thought process will be ‘why are we paying for an IP factory when the output is bad?'”

Nothing quite as drastic as the 2020 layoffs happened, best to my knowledge. So far it looks like the publishing end has avoided being the scapegoat, since the mindset is probably still “we can make real money on this stuff eventually.”

“3. A Watchmen character is going to be a regular, recurring character in a mainstream DC book in 2023. Not Doomsday Clock, OG Watchmen.”

I honestly expected something like this to happen. My much repeated joke of “Rorschach Team-Up” is only sorta half-joking.

The spin-off characters (Nostalgia and (cough) The Watchman) may be more likely to appear, and maybe through them we’ll get some folks from the original Watchmen. I mean, who’s left? Nite Owl and Silk Spectre, right?

• • •

Joe Gualtieri keeps it short but sweet with

“1. Diamond will go under, and take a health percentage of comic stores with it.”

Not yet! I would guess that before that happens, we’ll have enough publishers setting up alternative means of distribution so that when it does happen, the deleterious effect it would have on the industry would be minimized. Not looking forward to it, either way.

“2. The Ezra Miller Flash film bombs, hard.”

There’s a solid “gimme!” Box Office Mojo puts its total worldwide take at $271 million versus its reported production budget of about $300 million, which doesn’t even count the marketing costs. Hoo boy, Zaslav sure picked the wrong superhero film to dump for a tqx break.

“3. Image joins Lunar.”

It sure did. Like Marvel and a few other publishers who set up shop outside of Diamond, Image isn’t exclusive to Lunar, but still that’s probably a good chunk of business taken away from the former One Distributor to Rule Them All. I personally have said losing Image would be Diamond’s death knell, but nope, they’re still hanging in there. Until Lunar takes away their stranglehold on the sexy Japanese schoolgirl PVC statues, anyway.

• • •

Cassandra Miller lives up to her name with

“1. Dawn of DC leads to a spike in sales that will not be sustainable. Numbers will fall back to where they were within the first 4 months.”

I haven’t found reliable information on sales numbers, but at my store we had a small bump on some ongoing titles (like the Superman books) while interest in lessened in new series (like the Green Arrow relaunch). So, no really huge highs, but things mostly going along in a stable and expected fashion.

“2. Jason Aaron will announce he’s writing a book for DC before the end of 2023.”

He sure did…speaking of the Superman line, his first issue of Action did quite well!

“3. With the movie imminent, there will be a lot of talk about a new Legion book. It will not happen.”

Are we talking about the animated movie? It was kind of terrible and DC didn’t even try to capitalize on it anyway, which was just as well.

• • •

Jeff R reveals

“1.Mad Jim Jaspers is the main threat in a cosmic-level marvel comics crossover.”

Apparently he turned up as recently as X of Swords but doesn’t appear to have had much to do of late. Not that I’m a big X-Men guy, but I did like the character from the bits I’ve read of him. My Googling also turned up this “Jim Jaspers Vs. Mr. Mxyzptlk” discussion in case you’re interested. And why wouldn’t you be?

“2. The Legion of Superheroes doesn’t get an ongoing book despite successful miniseries and features on TV and movies (the movie part probably not until 2024 but the hype train will be up and running.)”

No Legion for nobody, alas. A middling cartoon movie and a guest-appearance in Green Arrow and that’s all we got. Look, someday I’ll get my in at DC and write the Bouncing Boy solo series, just you wait. (And will he have a mustache? Darn tootin’ he will.)

“3. For the 35th anniversary Neil and DC do a Sandman comic miniseries, Dreams of Krypton which uses that frame to show some of the untold stories of the history of the Endless.”

Ooh, I would’ve liked that. Didn’t happen, alas. Look, Neil’s got his hands full trying to do more Miracleman, let’s not get him on a second comic book series just yet.

• • •

And that’s enough for now. Thanks for sticking with this, everyone, and I’ll be back Wednesday with more of your predictions. And as always, feel free to send in corrections which I’ll address in a special addendum.

7 Responses to “Your 2023 Predictions, Part Three: A Short Rest.”

  • Snark Shark says:

    “Well, I don’t know how you did it, but in May of 2023 Marvel reacquired the rights to ROM and the Micronauts. However, it wasn’t to shove ’em back into the Marvel Universe with new stories, but rather to be able to reprint all that old material. Big ol’ omnibuses are coming, reprints of the first issues of both series have been released, and Marvel put out a thick comic reprinting ROM/X-Men crossover stuff.”

    I didn’t know this!

    “The Ezra Miller Flash film bombs, hard.”


  • Sean Mageean says:

    @ Mike Sterling

    Thanks for the props!

    Re: The Micronauts and the MCU, I wasn’t exactly in the money, but I was close! Although we didn’t get Arcturus Rann, Bug, or Princess Mari in the Quantumania flick, we did get some interesting Micronauts analogs: the character Quaz (a telepath), could be seen as a quasi-substitute for Arcturus Rann; the character Xolum (a warrior), could be seen as a substitute for Acroyear (a character which Marvel didn’t own at the time the film went into production), and the cephalopod character Veb, although physically very different, could kind of be a stand in for Bug…especially the Xolum/Veb dynamic in the film seemed like a riff on the
    Acroyear/Bug friendship in The Micronauts Comics. The one character in the film who was an actual latter day Micronauts team member was Jentorra (who for the purposes of the film was kind of a pastiche on The Micronauts Comics character, Slug, who was a Rebellion leader, and Princess Mari). In Marvel Comics Jentorra was first seen in 2010 in Realm of Kings: Son of Hulk no. 21. She is from K’ai and is the niece of Jarella. During the course of the ROK:SOH comic, Jentorra joins Arcturus Rann, Mari, and Bug and becomes a new Micronaut. So, technically, one Micronaut did appear in Quantumania, just not a classic character. We did also get Bill Murray as Krylar (also originally from K’ai in the Marvel Comics). The film also had a few Freedom Fighter characters called The Mystics (analogous to the Enigma Force, perhaps), and the Steel Group–who were stout warriors dressed in black with shrouded faces, but when they pulled their hoods back to reveal their faces, they looked like anthropomorphic badgers…but neither the Mystics or the Steel Group had speaking parts. All in all these characters were pretty cool, but it would have been nice to see some classic
    Micronauts in the film.

    And who knows, if Marvel actually did or does secure the film rights to The Micronauts (in edition to the comics reprint rights) from Hasbro, it would be great to see a Micronauts streaming series adapting the classic first twelve issues of the iconic Bill Mantlo/Michael Golden run of the comic–even better if they gave it a retro ’70s vibe just like the comic…maybe even have cameo character roles for Michael York, Dirk Benedict, and Mark Hamill as a tip of the hat to Logan’s Run, Battle Star Galactica, abd Star Wars.

    Re: Archie Comics, I’m glad they at least featured Jaguar in an Archie digest…they ought to release some facsimile editions of the first Jaguar and Fly comics from the Silver Age. Even a trade paperback or 80 Page Giant one-shot compilation of first appearances of their Golden Age MLJ characters would be cool…assuming most of those origin stories were ten pages each or less, The Shield, Steel Sterling, Black Hood, The Web, The Fox, The Hangman, The Comet, and Mr. Justice could probably be squeezed in. At least Archie Comics did do a recent Darkling one-shot (a character Rich Buckler created for the company in the ’80s during the Red Circle imprint revival).

    Re: T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, it’s a pity that IDW or some publisher isn’t trying to create new content with the characters. Apparently in 2015 it was announced that Huay Brothers Media in China was planning a T-Agents film franchise with Michael Uslan as producer, but maybe it’s just as well that it hasn’t happened as there would probably be many alterations to the characters. I think John Carbonaro’s niece inherited the I.P. It would be cool to see it developed as a streaming series set during the Cold War, (like the classic Wally Wood Tower Comics) with a kind of Madmen meets Man from U.N.C.L E. approach and someone like Guy Ritchie directing it.

  • Cassandra Miller says:

    Am I actually 3 for 3 correct? Wow. That’s…both heartening and depressing at the same time.

  • Sean Mageean says:

    @ Cassandra Miller

    Congratulations on being 3 for 3!

    @Snark Shark

    I really disliked The Flash film…Michael Keaton’s Batman and the Power Girl-esque take on Supergirl were the only good things about the film…but I always thought Ezra Miller was miscast as the character anyway. I bet the shelved Batgirl movie is actually a lot better than The Flash film–hopefully we will
    see it someday. But really we need a new Batman film with Michael Keaton, preferably directed by Tim Burton.

  • Snark Shark says:

    “Michael Keaton’s Batman”

    I do think it’s neat they brought him back for that! Though I had/have no intentions of watching it. it just didn’t look interesting.

    “Ezra Miller”

    Even before his controversy, he didn’t look right for the part to me. I’d have gone with more of a “square” type, as that’s who the original Flash, Barry Allen, WAS.

    “the shelved Batgirl movie”

    What awaste! all that money spent, all that work involved, and, then, ZIP!

  • Sean Mageean says:

    @Snark Shark

    Agreed that a “square” Barry Allen is an authentic Barry Allen. The Flash CW TV show, despite its flaws, was more authentic than the Flash film. Cary Bates should be hired as a consultant for any future attempts at a Flash film, and the classic Rogues Gallery characters should be introduced…give it a retro Silver Age/early Bronze Age Flash comics sensibility with Barry Allen as a good natured, optimistic “can do” character.

  • Snark Shark says:

    I think that could work! Though I’m picturing it as a cartoon series, for more Silver Age feel!