Your 2023 Prediction, Epilogue: Flies and Spiders.

§ January 26th, 2024 § Filed under predictions § 18 Comments

So in retrospect, for the “titles” I had for my 2023 prediction review posts, I should have gone with the chapter titles from Bored of the Rings instead of using them from The Hobbit. Ah well, maybe next time.

Speaking of which, here are all seven parts looking back at your guesses for the year – 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 – and some of you had comments and questions, which I’m going to try to address today.

First, I was trying to think of a particular comic that featured A.I. artwork, and Michael Grabowski reminded me it was Abolition of Man, which did get mentioned in a later post. I did have this at the shop, but couldn’t tell you a thing about it. I’m sure the link there will give you all the deets you need. And I don’t use the term “deets” lightly.

Michael Wayne is the fella who reminded me that the newest iteration of the Legion of Super-Heroes made an appearance last year in Green Arrow. I’ve made mention of this a couple of times in this series of posts since, but he’s the reason why I remember now. I even specifically had a customer ask for those issues because of the Legion, I just…uh, forgot.

It was Joe Gualtieri who clued me in to the fact that the new Batman: Brave and the Bold series was an anthology, not a team-up book like its eponymous predecessors. I mean, to be fair, I knew it was an anthology, but for some reason I was under the impression that there were some team-up stories in it, which was my mistake. Thanks for the clarification.

Joe Littrell asks in response for my want of a Scribbly collection, featuring the semi-autobiographical comics of Sheldon Mayer:

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

I suppose it should, for completeness’s sake. But it’s a crazily dark story, so it’d be a huge shock to the system hitting that after a bunch of lighthearted teen gag comics. Look, it’s been a long time since I read that issue of Sgt. Rock, and when I did, new off the stands, I didn’t really know who or what the original “Scribbly” was. I couldn’t tell you if they dropped any clues in the Rock story implying this Scribbly was the same as Mayer’s character. At any rate, including that story with the rest would be a real “THEN…KOREA” moment:

Can you believe it’s been 12 years since my “THEN…KOREA” post? Geez louise.

Dave Carter steps up with some sales numbers on the latest Asterix album. Apparently a million copies in France in its first month, and a total of five million (so far!) across all its international editions. And without depending on variant covers, even!

Sean Mageean and Joe Gualtieri both make mention of some sort of tussle regarding ownership of the Marvel character Machine Man, reported here at a site I don’t normally link to but will since every other place talking about this links to it anyway. Long story short, DC’s parent company Warner Bros. owns, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Machine Man first appeared in Jack Kirby’s comic book series based on that film that was published by Marvel in the 1970s. That certainly sounds like bit of a mess, but maybe we can get DC to put out a nice facsimile edition of the 2001 treasury Kirby did.

JohnJ asks if I’d seen the Werewolf by Night special on Disney+ and its version of Man-Thing. Why yes, I have…not the more recent color version, but the original black and white. It’s not quite the Man-Thing of the comics, but a completely mindless creature may be a hardsell on TV, reality shows notwithstanding.

In response to my comments that Superman comic sales have been on bit of an upswing, both JD and Allan Hoffman point out the recent change in direction (and apparent sudden wrap-up of the previous storyline) in Action Comics. And…fair enough. I don’t know how Action had been doing over the past year overall, but at least in my store sales were slowly going up. But if it ain’t broke, it don’t get fixed, and Action got fixed with a rotating team of “Superman Superstars” creators. There might have been other reasons, but a big change like this does indeed likely mean a change was needed.

Daniel T wants to know why I had to yell at people in my shop. If I blow my stack at anyone, it’s because that person is (or people are) acting like dumbasses and causing problems. The most recent time was telling a bunch of baseball player kids, unsupervised, in my shop and running around and treating it like a playground. Trust me, I was far more patient than I needed to be. As pal Dorian has said, “if you get Mike mad, then you’ve really screwed up.”

• • •

Other topics came up as well, such as Thom H. asking after Miracleman, and a whole lotta discussion about how to revive the Legion of Super-Heroes in a way that people will actually want to read, but those are all big posts on their own. I plan on addressing Miracleman in short order, inspired by a post on Bluesky that got me thinking. As far as Legion goes…I’ve tackled that topic before, just check my Legion of Super-Heroes category, and, honestly, I don’t know if anything can work at this point. There’s always a chance someone will finally get the right formula and make the Legion Great Again, but I think we’re destined for occasional guest appearance for the near future.

So that’s that for the 2023 Comic Industry Predictions! Thanks again to everybody who participated, commented, and/or read all my typing. Any future discussion on this topic I’m just going to keep contained to this post’s comment section.

Here’s one last reminder to get in your 2024 predictions, and…that’s it! I’ll see you all on Monday!

18 Responses to “Your 2023 Prediction, Epilogue: Flies and Spiders.”

  • Joe Gualtieri says:

    I’d love to see a reprint of all of the Kirby 2001 stuff. They were some of the earliest comics I read, as my grandfather brought me home a big stack of comics from a flea market once that was (in my memory) mostly 2001, Machine Man, and Kirby Black Panther, with multiple copies of most issues (I shudder to think what the BP issues alone would go for now). I enjoyed the Machine Man stuff, but the rest didn’t quite work me at the time. Now? 2001 is one of my favorite 70s comics.

  • Dave Carter says:

    Alas 2001 was an MGM film, and with MGM currently owned by Amazon I don’t see them making a publishing deal with Marvel/Disney. But if we wait long enough I suppose with enough mergers and acquisitions they’ll all be part of one big entertainment conglomerate and we’ll finally get a 2001 Omnibus. That’s assuming that 2001 licensing rights reside with MGM—it may be a joint thing between MGM and the Kubrick and Clarke estates, in which case good luck untangling all of that. But then Miracleman was eventually ironed out so anything is possible!

  • Chris K says:

    Dave — 2001 was originally produced by MGM, true, but MGM sold it’s film library including 2001 to Warner years ago (which must have seemed like a good idea to somebody at the time, but is now considered to have been a very poor decision on their part). The home video releases for 2001 have been WB productions for some time now.

    MGM today (the entity bought by Amazon) is basically just a recognizable, prestigious name, plus the James Bond rights (which aren’t nothing)

  • Chris K says:

    I feel – and I’m not a lawyer – that the pre-Mister Machine issues of 2001 ought to be reprintable by DC / Warner, but there is probably more going on there than I know of.

    As to the 3 Mr. Machine / Machine Man 2001 issues… it seems to me that they ought to be reprintable by Marvel if they left off the 2001 trade dress. There is little 2001 related content in them, with one exception, and there may be a workaround there:

    In the first story, it is the appearance of the Monolith before X-51 that nudges him toward personhood. A clear 2001 reference. But! There was an explanation for it years later that removed the 2001-connection. In EARTH X by Ross, Kreuger and Leon, the Monolith returns to Machine Man, but turns out to have been sent by Uatu, the Watcher. It is still a visual homage to 2001, but has a different story context at this point. I don’t know if that files off the serial numbers enough for the lawyers, but it’s worth a shot…

  • Dave Carter says:

    Chris K – thanks for the clarification on 2001 rights. WBD is just as unlikely to play nice with Disney, alas.

  • Sean Mageean says:

    I wonder what DC will do with Mr. Machine/Machine Man if they prevail. Will he be placed on any team? Or how about a Machine Man/Metal Men/Cyborg/Cliff Steele Robotman/Golden Age Robotman team up adventure (which could also include any other robot/android/cyborg/human brains in automaton bodies characters I failed to mention). Perhaps they could fight an army of Amazoes.

    Then again, it would be cool for DC to do a limited series using only Jack Kirby and Simon/Kirby-created characters in one adventure which could involve time travel or multiple Earths…they throw in early Silver Age Green Arrow, since Kirby created the whole stranded on an island origin, and G.A. Sandman and Sandy, since S & K revamped them in the Cap and Bucky style.

    Let Walt Simonson or John Byrne or Tom Scioli or Dan Jurgens and Jerry Ordway helm the project–maybe get Mike Royer as inker…don’t let Tom King near it.

  • Matthew Murray says:

    The AI comic I remember reading about (and talking about) was Zarya of the Dawn, which was interesting because it was first given copyright and then the copyright for the art was stripped away.

    Of course, as I just learned, this comic is only 18 pages long and was never printed.

  • Jack says:

    I am required by law to say “POOONG” every time “Then…KOREA” turns up here and I happen to see it, so, “POOONG!”

  • Mike Loughlin says:

    The best hope for any Legion revival is probably Tom King, and would probably last 12 issues. Pair him with Mitch Gerard’s, Evan “Doc” Shaner, Jamal Campbell, Greg Smallwood, Pepe Larraz, Christian Ward, Fiona Staples if she isn’t doing Saga, Chris Samnee if he isn’t doing Firepower, and/or Tom Reilly. I know it wouldn’t be to every Legion fan’s taste, but I think it could sell.

    Alternately, NK Jemison, Jonathan Hickman, Tom Waltz (TMNT), and (my choice for every team book going forward) James Roberts (the best IDW Transfotmers writer) would probably do a great Legion series. Hickman is the one with the most commercial clout, but the other three have fanbases that might be sufficient.

    If DC does a Legion series any time soon, I think they’ll give it to Joshua Williamson. I like his recent Green Arrow series, and he could definitely pull it off. I’d rather see one of my first choices write it, but I figure the last guy to use the characters and a company regular is a more likely choice.

    On the other hand, I doubt DC has any plans for the Legion, given the utter lack of comics, announcements, hints, etc.

  • Thom H. says:

    I would read the crap out of your proposed Legion series by Tom King and rotating artists. And, contrary to what I wrote in a previous comment on this site, I would gladly pay $6 per issue to do so.

    Now, how do we convince DC to commission it…?

  • Sean Mageean says:

    I’ll take a hard pass on a Tom King Legion of PTSD Heroes in Future Crisis–not my cup of tea. But Hickman would most likely do something interesting. Christopher Priest would also be a fun choice. Christian Ward could definitely come up with some intriguing visuals, but if it’s a limited series why not put a classic artist on the project like Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Alan Davis, or Jerry Ordway for a beautifully rendered Legion…and give ’em those classic Dave Cockrum-designed costumes again.

  • Joe Gualtieri says:

    Sean– apparently the Krakoan X-Men is heavily based on Hickman’s plans for the Legion (Mutant resurrection was in place of the cloning tech from the Wanderers series by Doug Moench just prior to Five Years Later).

    Speaking of 5YL, King’s approach would seem perfect for revisiting that era, but not much else in Legion history.

  • Mike Loughlin says:

    @Joe Gualtieri: funnily enough, when I had my copy of Mister Miracle signed by King & Gerards at a convention this past summer, King and I had a brief conversation about… the 5YL Legion. I don’t remember the context, but he mentioned specific plot points, indicating (to me, and it’s possible that I’m wrong) that he was a fan.

  • Thom H. says:

    My LCS owner and I were talking about a potential Tom King-penned LoSH mini, and he suggested something like Legion Lost: putting the team (or part of the team) in a difficult situation they have to think and fight their way out of. That seems to play to King’s strengths pretty well, although I like a 5YL-inspired scenario, too.

    I was under the impression that Hickman’s Krakoan X-Men were a retooled pitch for the Inhumans…or maybe the Eternals? I hadn’t heard about the LoSH connection before. Interesting.

  • Rob S. says:

    I feel like the only Legion fan not fully aboard the Hickman train. If he writes it, I’ll buy the hell out of it, of course, but maybe–much as I loved the 5YL Omnicom entries–the Legion DOESN’T need big complicated stories that require graphs and flowcharts and encyclopedic treatises? Maybe a more solidly high-adventure, great-characterization writer like Tom Taylor or Gail Simone or Kelly Thompson would be a better choice.

  • Sean Mageean says:

    @Joe Gualtieri

    That’s interesting, thanks for the info. Now I feel like I should track down that Wanders series and reread it. I always appreciated Doug Moench’s writing for the most part.

    I’ve been reading Omega Men comics from dollar boxes –I jumped off the book back in the ’80s soon after Giffen left as artist. Tod Smith is not bad as a follow up artist and Roger Silfer’s writing/characterization is good, but after he left there were so many different writers–including Moench–that it feels like the book is all over the place…and when Shawn McManus became the artist all the characters began to look way off model … drawn in some odd hybrid of Dr. Seuss and Bernie Wrightson’s styles …Primus is virtually

    Anyway, late Silver to late Bronze Age Legion is the sweet spot for me… Shooter, Bates, and Levitz wrote my favorite Legion stories…and Cockrum, Grell, Sherman, early Giffen, and Lightle are my preferred Legion artists. I never really got into 5YL.

  • Sean Mageean says:

    *The Wanderers

  • Snark Shark says:

    “Asterix album… five million”

    Holy Batmen, Batman!

    “Machine Man”

    One of Kirby’s Best Kreations!

    “but a completely mindless creature may be a hardsell on TV”

    But “The Apprentice” was popular!

    “if you get Mike mad, then you’ve really screwed up.”

    YOu wouldn’t like him when he’s angry!

    “Alas 2001 was an MGM film, and with MGM currently owned by Amazon I don’t see them making a publishing deal with Marvel/Disney. ”

    Eventually, Disney WILL own everything, and have an Entertainment Monopoly, not counting small, indie stuff.

    “but MGM sold it’s film library including 2001 to Warner years ago (which must have seemed like a good idea to somebody at the time, but is now considered to have been a very poor decision on their part”

    “This later proved to be a Bad Move.”

    “Machine Man 2001 issues… it seems to me that they ought to be reprintable by Marvel if they left off the 2001 trade dress. ”

    One would think. He’s certainly interacted with other Marvel characters plenty of times as well, not by Kirby and haveing nothing to do with 2001.

    “Shawn McManus”

    Most of his stuff looks GREAT, sometimes something will look too cartoony.