Your 2023 Predictions, Part Four: Over Hill and Under Hill.

§ January 17th, 2024 § Filed under predictions § 15 Comments

Lessee how we all did with your 2023 comic industry predictions (and get in your guesses for 2024 before too much 2024 gets by us)! Previous installments: 1 2 3.

• • •

Xanadude did decree

“1) Rob Liefeld will tour comic shops to promote Deadpool: Badder Blood, and will use that as an excuse as the reason his magnum opus Heirborn is ‘delayed.’ Similarly, ‘The Defiants’ will never go beyond the NFTs that have already been produced. Backers will still be waiting for copies of their crowd funded ‘Brigade’ comic.”

Well, that’s a lot to unpack. Liefeld did do some signings over the last year, and it looks like it was mostly as cons, big and not-so-big. I don’t know if he’s said that’s contributed to any delays of his work, but the only Heirborne thing I found was apparently a short story included in the Brigade Remastered special edition released a couple of months ago.

Okay, The Defiants NFT…hoo boy. NFTs are…not my thing, and I’m not sure what’s going on with this. I Googled around and found lots of news stories about The Defiants comic coming out, but not any that I could see that it had come out. Looking at the place where this NFT is obtainable, I guess, it looks like you can buy things related to the comic, and there’s a listed owner of one of the items with a sale price of over $7000, and I don’t know, it all looks like nonsense to me. Anyway, I think this is all there is of The Defiants, as Xanadude says.

And here’s the listing for the Brigade Kickstarter. It was successful, bringing in twice the money asked for. I’m not sure what to make of this, as Rob’s updates say “I’M SHIPPING OUT MORE BOOKS!” and the comments are all “it’s been 10 years where’s out books” like within the last few weeks. And a general online search shows a lot of unhappy people regarding this thing. Did anyone get their Kickstartered Brigade book?

“2) Dan Didio will be removed/quit from the Frank Miller comic book line.”

Still there, far as I know! YOU CAN’T DEFEAT THE DIDIO

“3) Archie will see a spike in sales of their digest comics with the integration of their superheroes into them.”

I don’t know overall, but I haven’t had any additional interest in the Archie digests at the shop. I don’t know if the extra superhero content is enough to boost interest beyond a very, very niche market (sorry, Sean!).

• • •

Bob Stec sticks in the following

“1) The success of Marvel’s Silver Age omnibi 1962 and 1963 will be copied by DC with similar Golden Age omnibi 1938, 1939, and 1942”

No, not that I’ve seen. Though I flashed on the very possibility of a Scribbly omnibus and I may have wept a little.

“2) Mark Russell will be groomed to follow in Chip Zdarsky’s footsteps and take over a major title like Batman or Spider-Man”

I bet it’ll happen eventually, but not yet. Mark Russell Spider-Man would be amazing (so to speak).

“3) Team-Up books will make a comeback because DC is running out of new Batman title concepts and, eh, the Brave and the Bold relaunch seemed like a good idea at an editorial retreat; Marvel will quickly copy this with their own relaunch of Marvel Team-Up…written by Mark Russell (did you see what I did there?)…”

Well, we did get Brave and the Bold, which I don’t believe is a straight up team-up book like the original series, but other characters from the DCU definitely show up, so close enough. And I would absolutely read a Mark Russel Marvel Team-Up, which would be absolutely wild.

• • •

Kurt Onstad speeds his way in with

“1. My second podcast (Gothamites, with Carla Hoffman) will have released at least one episode, hopefully closer to 30 or 40 by the end of the year.”

Very very sneaky, trying to get me to plug your new podcast Gothamites here on my site. I refuse to acknowledge your podcast Gothamites here, or that it’s reached nearly two dozen episodes by the end of 2023, or that Gothamites is hosted by two people I know personally. This blatant Gothamites promotion will not stand, and I won’t have it!

“2. DC will have already undone some of the changes they introduced with ‘Dawn of DC.'”

I don’t know, did they really do that many significant changes with Dawn of DC, aside from pulling back from the whole “THE MULTIVERSE IS GOING TO EXPLODE, ALSO THE MULTIVERSE IS BACK” plotlines from the last couple of years? I don’t believe they’re in backtracking mode just yet, but give it another year or so when sales start to flag again.

“3. Marvel movies will continue to make all of the money ever, and yet YouTubers will declare that they are failing because they are ‘woke.'”

Mmmmmmm Marvel movies, and superhero movies in general, kinda hit a wall this past year, through a combination of burnout, waiting for streaming, new movie-going habits encouraged by both streaming and COVID, and (as I saw someone suggest) Avengers: Endgame functioning as a “jumping-off” point for at least the Marvel franchise. (“Oh, they’re still making Marvel movies? I thought Endgame was, you know, the end.”)

And there are other reasons, but I’m fairly certain none of the actual reasons are “they’ve gone ‘woke,'” given (as I’ve said before) that the Barbie movie was woker than a woke thing that was awake and it made a billion bucks.

A couple Marvel movies did do well…Guardians of the Galaxy 3 (last installment in a beloved series that’s suffiencely different from the rest of the MCU) and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (a stylish animated film, following up a previous installment, oh and also fills most bozos’ definition, as much as they have one, of “woke”). But I think we’re definitely at a point where maaaaaybe throwing a super-flick at the big screen every couple of months is no longer sustainable? And makes them no longer special? Hell, I don’t know, I’m just a dude that runs a comic shop. And definitely doesn’t listen to Gothamites, the premiere Gotham TV show review podcast.

• • •

Lain lines these up

“1. Watchmen will somehow be removed from, and then added back into, the mainline DC storyline universe in the same year.”

Well…outside of Cleopatra “Nostalgia” Pak from Doomsday Clock showing up in the New Golden Age one-shot in late 2022, I think that may have been it for Watchmen stuff of late. Again, I don’t read everything, so maybe something got past me (which would be annoying, since I’m trying to follow all of DC’s misguided rejiggerings of Watchmen out of perverse fascination. So I think for the most part the whole Watchmen thing isn’t explicitly out so much as being ignored while the “Dawn of DC” publishing initiative continues.

“2. Crunchyroll will buy a major american manga publisher, and proudly announce they are selling volumes that are translated entirely by AI.”

I don’t think Crunchyroll purchased any manga companies, but one publisher did announce their usage of A.I. translation which went over as well as you’d expect.

“3. One of those celebrity likeness parody comics will make a comic about God King Trump that involves an ‘accidental’ call to action of violence against the sitting president so blatant it will have to be recalled.”

Well, I know this didn’t happen because I didn’t get an endless parade of phone calls and in-store visits from people I’ve never seen before demanding copies of it. Which is good because I wouldn’t have ordered enough to go around, given my usual orders on things like this is exactly zero copies.

• • •

Gareth Wilson presents

“1) As research for a comic about British politics, Kieron Gillen will create a new real-world political party in the UK, which will be surprisingly popular.”

I’m going to say “no,” even though since my knowledge of British politics is generally limited to occasionally seeing on TV people on opposite sides of a room boisterously shouting at each other, this could have happened and I’d have no idea.

“2) A major comics publisher will announce that they will no longer include named characters who are police officers.”

Huh, that’d certainly be a step to take, but I don’t think anyone’s made it yet.

“3) An MCU streaming series will be referred to as the ‘Marvel Andor’ by more than one reviewer, but this phrase will be controversial.”

No, a new Howard the Duck series hasn’t shown up on Disney+ yet.

• • •

It just isn’t a prediction review post here at Progressive Ruin Industries unless googum shows up to googum his guesses

“1. With DC films in a regrouping/rebuilding phase, somebody is going to try and grab that #2 spot for comic book movies. Spawn seems most likely to make a serious try for it.”

I feel like everyone’s now in the “let’s see how the comic movies thing shakes out” mode, letting others lose millions before they try anything. Which reminds me, whatever happened with whoever it was getting the media rights to the Seaboard/Atlas characters? Where’s my Grim Ghost movie? Or Morlock 2001?

“2. Despite selling a mess of copies, the new Batman/Spawn thing doesn’t open the doors for new crossovers. Maybe the opposite, if the corporate owners feel those promote somebody else over them.”

Yeah, it did sell pretty well, but no other Big Team-Ups along those lines have really popped up. I’m sure there’s probably a small one here or there I’m forgetting, but not, like, “Spider-Man/Spawn by Todd McFarlane” which would sell more copies than the Bible. Oh, wait, there’s that Justice League/Godzilla/King Kong thing, but that’s not quite the same.

“3. Marvel goes back to the well with this year’s big crossover, making a direct sequel to an old one, like Acts of Vengeance II or something. Maybe not that hacky…maybe that hacky. Eh, probably still a few good ones in there.”

What did we have this year, G.O.D.S.? I think this was mostly its own thing. Have we had an “Evolutionary War II” yet? That’s a good one to try.

• • •

And that’s enough for now. Don’t worry folks, I’ve only got a couple more of these to go, so if you’re already sick of them, just hang in there! Thanks for reading, pals, and I’ll see you on Friday!

15 Responses to “Your 2023 Predictions, Part Four: Over Hill and Under Hill.”

  • Joe Gualtieri says:

    The new Brave and the Bold book is/was (I think it’s ending soon) a prestige anthology book, no team-ups in sight.

  • googum says:

    Ha! You mentioned on the socials, having to google recent Marvel crossovers, and I remember thinking ‘why the smurf would you do that…?’ My bad, man.

  • Mikester says:

    Joe – thanks, I’ll add that to my eventual corrections post.

    googum – so YOU’RE to blame!

  • Sean Mageean says:

    @ Mike Sterling

    No worries, I know I’m a nichest comic fan, and the Comics Code Authority is dead…but, beyond good and evil comix, I find it cool that Xanadude also mentioned the long suffering Archie superheroes, and I wasn’t really aware that they were getting reprinted from time to time in Archie digests–so I may have to check that out. In fact, it would be cool if Archie would jump on the facsimile edition bandwagon and reprint in standard size some key Archie issues from the first several decades of the Riverdale gang’s existence with double
    entendre covers and Betty & Veronica GGA covers. They could publish some facsimile editions of classic Katty Keen comics as well.

    It’s too bad that Brave and the Bold and Marvel Team-Up aren’t revived to showcase Batman and Spidey teaming up with more obscure characters–but even here I think that Marvel and DC could at least start pumping out classic facsimile editions of those two titles…and maybe facsimile editions of Showcase and Marvel Spotlight as well, since so many iconic characters debuted in those two titles.

    It’s interesting to consider that when First Comics first released Shatter in the ’80s it was groundbreaking as the first comic created using a
    computer (albeit drawn my Michael Saenz on a Mac), but
    now we are in the evil A.I. age, where there seems to be a fear of/and derision for A.I. being used to create comics and other consumable media. I can totally understand artists and writers not wanting Disney overlords taking away their livelihoods, but I also think it is a matter of time before some independent publishers try out this route. And I guess what might be sort of interesting could also be a premise where someone like John Byrne might write his own original script but then use A.I. to draw in the style of John Byrne. In a context like this, is there really a conflict of interest? If Jack Kirby were still around, would he have ever considered using A.I. as a tool in this manner? On the one hand, we’ve all seen A.I. generated paintings in the style of Bosch or whichever fine artist, and they tend to have that weird soulless “uncanny valley” look because A.I. doesn’t have a soul and can’t really perfect the demi-urge, but on the other hand, I have yet to see an A.I. generated comic page in the classic pen and ink on bristol board style, so I’m curious as to how those might look.

    It might actually be interesting to see Binders’ Adam Link stories drawn in comics form by A.I., or an adaptation of P.K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheeps?” where all of the Replicants are drawn by A.I. and the human characters are drawn by human artists for instance, or it could be intriguing to see old public domain comics characters in a story where A.I. is given a prompt to make pen and ink on bristol board comic art stylistically similar to Alex Schomberg, or Lou Fine, or Fletcher Hanks.

  • Joe Littrell says:

    “Though I flashed on the very possibility of a Scribbly omnibus and I may have wept a little.”

    Would a Scribbly omnibus include the story from Sgt. Rock #408?

  • ExistentialMan says:

    Morlock 2001?!?! I just read all three issues for the first time this past week. Steve Ditko inked by Berni Wrightson on issue 3. My head exploded.

  • Snark Shark says:

    “NFTs are”

    A Scam!

    “Did anyone get their Kickstartered Brigade book?”

    GOOD GOD! I would NEVER give leifeild money in advance. I did buy the remastered Brigade #1, though.

    “Archie digests”

    My local Fred Meyers (Kroger) still has them, not many, though.

    “Mmmmmmm Marvel movies, and superhero movies in general, kinda hit a wall this past year”

    Even a successful formula is still a formula, and i think people got tired of it.

    “Guardians of the Galaxy 3”

    I actually want to see that one. i did like the first two. Which i managed to see for free.

    “Morlock 2001?!?! I just read all three issues for the first time this past week. Steve Ditko inked by Berni Wrightson on issue 3.”

    YUP. Very cool.

  • Sean Mageean says:

    I think some of the Seaboard/Atlas characters could lend themselves well to offbeat streaming series–Planet of the Vampires, The Tarantula, The Scorpion, Demon Slayer, and Devilina would be fun to start with.

  • Thom H. says:

    Totally off topic: I can’t tell if I liked the final issue of Miracleman: Silver Age or not. The big reveals during this “age” seem kind of subtle but could lead to some momentous changes, maybe? I suppose “subtle” describes a lot of what Gaiman writes, so I shouldn’t be surprised. I might need to read all the issues in one sitting to get a sense of storytelling momentum. The art is nice, but a little too all-over pastel for the story. Not enough variation in tone from scene to scene.

    Anyway, this blog is the place where I’m most likely to encounter other MM:SA readers, so I thought I’d write this here. Feel free to ignore. I just needed to get this off my chest.

  • Mikester says:

    Thom H. – don’t worry, I plan on talking about MIRACLEMAN again shortly after I finish the predictions posts!

  • Snark Shark says:

    “Planet of the Vampires”


    “Demon Slayer”

    I actually like his marvel version, Devil Slayer, better, he was used decently with the Defenders.

  • Sean Mageean says:

    @ Snark Shark

    Yeah, I got it confused…Demon Hunter was actually Rich Buckler’s rough draft at Seaboard/Atlas for what would get recycled as Devil Slayer at Marvel.

    But definitely some of those Seaboard/Atlas characters would be interesting to see as streaming series.

  • Snark Shark says:

    Even the stuff I didn’t like, I can at least give credit for being WEIRD. Most new Marvel/DC stuff today looks kind of bland.

  • Sean Mageean says:

    @Snark Shark

    I assume that you are referring to Seaboard/Atlas…?

    Yeah, the whole story is kinda weird, as you probably know. Apparently it was Martin Goodman’s attempt to get back at Stan Lee. The story goes that Martin’s son, Chip was supposed to be promoted to Publisher when Martin retired and Marvel was acquired by another company in the early ’70s… I think it was called Cadence. Anyway, Stan Lee was able to convince the new owners of Marvel to promote him to Publisher status (and he probably deserved it, actually, for building the Marvel brand), so Martin came out of retirement to launch Seaboard/Atlas and make his son Publisher. Then Martin hired Stan’s brother, Larry Leiber, and Jeff Rove to be the editors. I think Rove had worked for Jim Warren on Creepy and Eerie before. Anyway, for some reason Larry was made editor of Seaboard/Atlas’ black and white magazine line, while Jeff was made editor of the comics–but it would have made more sense for Larry
    to edit the comics and for Jeff to edit the Warren-esque magazines, based on what each of them was used to doing. But the intriguing thing is that it was decided to pay the talent more than either Marvel or DC were paying and to give them creator credits and, I think, royalties. So, when Seaboard/Atlas launched it was a pretty big shakeup at first, and, even though the company folded fairly quickly, it sort of paved the way for Pacific Comics to break on through about five years
    later and usher in independent publishers.

    But, yeah, Seaboard/Atlas definitely had some weird titles–no doubt going for that early ’70s horror vibe that the easing up of the Comics Code Authority had allowed to flourish. Imagine if Seaboard/Atlas had been able to land Jack Kirby–but he probably didn’t want to work for Goodman again and maybe was still under contract to DC. Even so, there is a lot of great art in those Seaboard/Atlas Comics. My question is why didn’t Goodman just go with Atlas (or even Timely) Comics again for the company name–why “Seaboard”..?

    Agreed that most new Marvel/DC stuff looks bland… beyond the constant rebooting, retconning, and disservice to long established characters by having
    their complete characterization and histories/life stories altered.

  • Snark Shark says:

    “I assume that you are referring to Seaboard/Atla”


    “the whole story is kinda weird”

    Yes, though I didn’t know all of those details. Somebody outta write a book about this before ALL of these guys are gone.


    Cadence certainly owned Marvel at some point, i recognize the name. You’d be surprised what you’d learn by reading indicias!

    “beyond the constant rebooting, retconning, and disservice to long established characters by having
    their complete characterization and histories/life stories altered”

    Yes, this too! I understand WHY (for example) DC did CRISIS, but I never thought it was necessary. I understood the idea of alternate earths when I was a KID, what’s the problem? Earth 1, Earth 2, Earth X, Earth Prime, no big whoop.