You are currently browsing the predictions category

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!

Your 2023 Predictions, Part Seven: Queer Lodgings.

§ January 24th, 2024 § Filed under predictions § 8 Comments

Okay, first off a couple of recent comments you guys (Joe and Sean specifically) got caught in the hopper recently and didn’t get posted. Sorry about that, not sure why that happened, but I’ve approved the comments and they’re up now. If that happens again, to you or anyone else, where you write a response and it seems to disappear when you post it, I’ll catch ’em and make sure they get put up. I apologize for any inconvenience.

Anyhoo, let’s get on to the last batch of your 2023 predictions (previous parts:
(1 2 3 4 5 6). And put in your 2024 predictions if you haven’t yet.

• • •

Michael Grabowski grasps at the following

“1. Gabrielle Bell’s 2023 book will be about finally getting her own dog.”

You’d think it’d be easy to find a list of an author’s work in release order, but boy I had trouble finding one for her. Her personal site seems to have gone down late last year, according to I did find a book from a few years ago about Gabrielle getting a dog for her mom, but I didn’t see any books about getting her own dog. If I missed something, let me know!

“2. A new round of Stray Bullets begins in the 1990s with an adult Ginny finding herself getting into Harry’s organization.”

David Lapham did return with a new crime series from Boom! called Underheist, but unrelated to Stray Bullets.

“3. Gaiman & Buckingham continue to complete new chapters of Miracleman on a regular routine schedule throughout 2023.”

Well…yes! Some time between new issues, but we got five across 2023! After 30 years of nuthin’, that’s fine with me!

• • •

Wayne Allen Sallee wrenches this in

“Mike will continue to be the nicest guy in the 805 area code, and we all can share our lives through his posts and our respective comments.”

Well, I did have to yell at a couple people in the shop this year (so if you’re playing the Mike’s Comic Shop Drinking Game, down the glass) but I’ve tried to be kind and mellow all year. EXCEPT WHEN I’M NOT

“Just an observation here: for the most part, we survived a plague!”

Everyone around me seems to be getting the COVID, but I’ve dodge it successfully so far, either via being careful or just simply having the luck of the devil.

• • •

John Maurer cuts these down

“1. This new DC event Dawn of DC or whatever does nothing to improve sales and the labeling will quietly and quickly fade away.”

It’s still hanging in there! And there has been a small bump in sales for, like, the Superman books, so that’s something!

“2. 2023 Will end without any new Legion of Super-Heroes content.”

As I was reminded in a previous post, and by you, John, asking for these issues…they popped up in Green Arrow of all places!

“3. As a result of #2, I spend more on LSH back issues and finally finish my Reboot Legion collection and maybe even finish acquiring the handful of Superboy v1 LSH appearances that I’m missing.”

I don’t know…did you? I think I sold you a couple.

• • •

Rob S. gets away with

“1) My obligatory Legion of Super-Heroes prediction: I think we’re going to get some this year — possibly officially designated a limited series — and it will modify the Bendis/Sook run, but with other creators. It’ll use some of Sook’s costume designs, and include a lot of the visual/ethnic heritage changes for characters, but will feel more like a conventional comic, and will pull back from trying to feature the whole team in each issue. Some of the new characters (such as Monster Boy) won’t be seen.”

Like I said previously, it looks like Green Arrow was are only real Legion content this past year in comics. I’ve been told it follows on the Bendis/Sook Legion relaunch, but the character appearance seem to be mostly focused on the “classic” name characters (like Mon-El and Saturn Girl) and not the new fellas. I think you’re onto something, however, where a potential new Legion series would do well to stick with the Bendis version of the team, if maybe…scaled down a little? I feel like it tried to do too much too fast…but honestly, with the Legion, I have no idea what approach would work to give the team traction any more.

“2) DC will tweak its DC Universe Infinite Ultra plan as a result of sales drops to its midlist titles. Meanwhile, Marvel will work to match them, getting closer to the 1-month availability window with their own Marvel Unlimited.”

Haven’t noticed many changes on either side, far as I can tell. I do wish DC would add more 1970s/early 1980s Superman books to their service, however.

“3) DC publishes a new comic with Firestorm as a regular character, maybe as part of a team.”

No solo (as it were) series of his/their own, but Firestorm’ popped up with small appearancees here and there (like in Batman/Superman: World’s Finest and Tales from Dark Crisis and Black Adam, with a ten page story just for his own self in Lazarus Planet: Legends Reborn! So there’s always hope for more in the future!

• • •

Chris G gives this up

“The latest Superman relaunch/rethink quickly sees its sales revert to about where they were beforehand; by the end of the year there are clear signs that yet another relaunch is on the horizon. Somewhere, Dan Jurgens starts sharpening his Super-pencils.”

While Dan Jurgens is never far from Super-books, I think sales are okay and I don’t think we’re approaching relaunch territory just yet. Like I noted above, the Superman titles are doing fine, and the Bat-books have seen an increase in numbers for me, even over the already good sales I was getting from them. Not to say a relaunch won’t happen eventually (this is DC, after all!) but I think we’re safe for now.

• • •

Scott Rowland rows the boat ashore with

“1. The price of a standard comic will jump up another dollar.”

The $3.99 price point ain’t extinct yet, but more and more books are coming out at $4.99 a pop, if not more.

“2. DC will once again try to push a higher-priced thicker book size to compensate, while Marvel will cut story pages to try to keep costs down.”

I haven’t seen any story page cutting, but it sure does look like they’re trying out higher and higher price points on thicker comics. I just about plotzed when I saw G.O.D.S. #1 at ten bucks. I really do think we’ll be seeing more experimenting with formats as publishers try to find a happy medium with cost vs. page count for their regular titles (“here’s a 48 page book for $5.99,” that sort of thing.

“3. The old Night-Man show will be a minor hit on an ad-based streaming service, leading to Marvel tentatively reviving some of the Ultraverse characters in an event. The revised versions will have little in common with the original heroes other than the names.”

Was kinda pulling for this one, though I think Ultraverse is forever in the Marvel oubliette as, if I understand correctly, using those characters would mean “paying royalties to creators” and surely Marvel wouldn’t want that. That aside, I would love to see more of the short-run “comics are hot now, let’s do TV shows!” programming of the early 1990s on Tubi or Pluto TV. That would be fun if occasionally cringeworthy.

• • •


Friday’s post will be the corrections/addendums post for this batch of predictions, so maybe I’m not totally done, but we’re in the home stretch at least. As always, thanks for reading and participating!

Your 2023 Predictions, Part Six: Out of the Frying-Pan into the Fire.

§ January 22nd, 2024 § Filed under predictions § 7 Comments

Just rambling along, continuing with your 2023 comic industry predictions and seeing how you — and I!?!? — did! Don’t forget to put in your 2024 predictions, too!

And here are the previous five parts: 1 2 3 4 5.)

• • •

Patrick Gaffney hits me with the following hooks

“Marvel will hire Henry Cavill, Gal Godot, and Michael Keaton to play Hyperion, Power Princess, and Nighthawk in one of their Multiverse movies.”

While the Squadron Supreme remains unconverted to filmic form, your idea would be the biggest nose-thumbing to DC by Marvel in either companies’ histories.

“DC will start a collected edition line to compete with Marvel’s EPIC and MASTERWORKS. Oh, wait, you wanted predictions that will come true. In that case DC will continue to ignore their rich history of publishing except for a omnibus every 3-6 months, and they will cancel 1/2 of those.”

I sense a little irritation at DC here! I think the focus was in reprinting newer material versus vintage (’30s – ’60s) work, though I did track down on a Silver Age Green Lantern omnibus that came out late last year, far as I can tell. DC’s announcement of their compact paperback reprints have focused on newer stuff (as in Watchmen are forward) but maybe if they do well we can get more old material. Like, one of these days I’d like to have a nice color collection of all the Metal Men comics. I mean C’MON

• • •

Hal Shipman sends along

“1) DC will NOT publish the missing Levitz LSH stories for another year.”

I think the last of the Legion of Super-Heroes reprint books (continuing on from the DC Archives editions) was late 2021. I haven’t given up hope yet on more volumes, since there was quite a gap between those Archives and the reprint books that followed. Given DC’s reticence toward reprinting lots of old material (outside their big ol’ “80th Anniversary” or whatever books) it may be a while, but I’m pretty sure we’ll get one eventually.

“2) DC will let the LSH series languish in its limbo/not cancelled state while Bendis finishes the cartoon and then forget about the property entirely again.”

The team’s been on hold all year (save for a brief appearance in Green Arrow, of all places) so I don’t know if we’ll get The Return of Bendis (unlikely) or just an extended absence awaiting another retooling and relaunch.

• • •

Here are some predictions from someone named…Mike Sterling? Huh, sounds like a handsome and intelligent guy

“1. Penguin Random House will end free shipping on comic orders to retailers.”

Hasn’t happened…yet. Sooner or later they gotta realize shipping out one comic at a time can’t be viable.

“2. A new live action adaptation of Swamp Thing (either TV or movie) will be announced.”

Late in January 2023, a new Swamp Thing movie was announced as part of the James Gunn and that other guy’s new media plans for DC Comics. Given how superhero movies have been doing lately, I’m not holding my breath that this new initiative will last long enough to get to that film.

“3. There will be another revamping, if not outright relaunching, of the X-Men line.”

Well, looks like this would’ve made a good prediction for 2024 instead.

• • •

William Gatevackes opens up with

“1. There will be a comic book adaptation of ‘Misfits of Science.’ Alex Ross will do the covers.”

I feel like there’d be an audience for that. To be completely honest, I was entirely surprised no revival of Misfits of Science showed up at all in any medium.

“2. James Gunn’s new job as DC film guru will last well less than his 10 year plan. His first film under his watch, be it good or bad, will be slammed for no good reason, giving Warners execs cold feet.”

Was it ten years? Hoo boy. When that Superman movie doesn’t make back its budget, that plan is going to be tossed in favor of something else that won’t work.

Maybe I’m being cynical.

“3. There will be a DC and Marvel crossover of some sort, either official or unofficial.”

I don’t think either company is quite at the level of desperation to want to start doing these again, as they were back in the crossover heyday of the 1990s.

Unofficially…I’m sure someone somewhere in one of the books pulled something like the Impossible Man and Mr. Mxyzptlk being the same entity, or Superman appearing in What If #1, or like that. I can’t recall seeing any, but if someone spotted one in the last year, maybe they can let me know!

• • •

Brian F does my bidding by predicting

“1) Man-Thing gets more comics.”

Not his own series, but he popped up in the new Incredible Hulk comics, at least. Also, he got a swanky lunchbox!

“2) Deadman gets more comics.”

Again, didn’t get his own solo series, but was featured in DC’s event series in 2023, Knight Terrors!

“3) Machine Man gets more comics.”

Can’t seem to find any info on Machine Man appearances in recent months. He didn’t have his own title, but I’m sure he guest-starred in something. Again, if you’ve got details, let me know!

• • •

joecab pulls up to the curb with

“1) WB will make at least one ‘WTF?? Why them’ DC movie announcement. My money is on ‘Mazing Man!”

While ‘Mazing Man would be, well…’mazing, I think maybe the wildest announcement would be The Authority. Again, I don’t actually expect it to happen, but if it does, I don’t imagine much of its tone will translate into film. Expect punching but with more swearing. Unless they decide to really play up the “gay Superman/Batman analogue couple” which would be interesting but I keep picturing it as becoming borderline exploitative. But again, perhaps I am not in the mindset to be discussing superhero movies right now.

“2) In an effort to save money, Marvel Studios will introduce longtime character Elf With a Gun to appear in every Phase 5 MCEU movie to thin out the cast (and therefore those salaries).”

Marvel’s really missing a bet here. What, are they afraid of making a film that won’t make money?

“3) Announcement of a Tales of the Beanworld animated special … because I demanded it!”

I think Tales of the Beanworld would translate very nicely into a cartoon. I can picture it as being quite charming, and just weird enough to grab attention and get people hooked with its ongoing storyline. C’mon somebody, get on it!

• • •

Okay, probably only one more post of actual predictions to go, then the follow-up, so it’ll all be done this week! Thanks for reading, everyone, and I’ll see you on Wednesday!

Your 2023 Predictions, Part Five: Riddles in the Dark.

§ January 19th, 2024 § Filed under predictions § 5 Comments

Hold onto your shorts, we’re flying right into part five of looking back at your comic industry predictions for 2023! (And here are the previous four parts: 1 2 3 4.)

But don’t forget to make your predictions for 2024!

• • •

Adam Farrar gets up close and personal with

“1. After years and years of predicting that we’d get Miracleman back, I’m not going to get greedy. So, Miracleman The Dark Age will not be published in 2023. There’s a tiny chance it gets solicited but I don’t think we’ll see an issue in print.”

As I promised Thom H. in the previous comments section, I’ve got more Miracleman talk in me, but it’s gonna have to wait until I finish this prediction stuff first. But you’re right, Miracleman’s “Dark Age” chapter hasn’t made an appearance yet, aside from a blurb in the most recent issue released this month. Presumably “Dark Age” will come later in the year, but I gotta tell ya, they’re missing a bet if they don’t eventually do “The Marvel Age” given, y’know, being at Marvel an’ all.

“2. The Guardians of the Galaxy vol 3 will blend Rocket Racoon and Halfworld with the High Evolutionary’s New Men and Counter-Earth. It might also make the second movie’s Sovereign people the High Evolutionary’s creation as well making Adam Warlock his too by extension. But the prediction is that one of these two things will be followed up on in the comics.”

Maybe it’s because it’s late as I write this, or it’s because I’m old, or “why not both,” but it took me a couple of times to parse this. I think this kinda/sorta happened in the film, right? I mean, maybe not so much “Halfworld” but Rocket and all his genetically manipulated animal friends were ol’ High E.’s doing, so there’s that. As far as any of this being followed up on in the comics…I don’t think so, but again, I don’t read everything, so if I missed something let me know.

“3. Al Ewing will be the new writer of the Avengers.”

Well, he wrote Avengers Inc. anyway.

• • •

Rodrigo Baeza throws the following

“1. Boba Fett and Snake Eyes join the Savage Avengers.”

Well, no, but wouldn’t it be funny if Marvel really committed to creating a mainline superhero series they could never reprint due to all the licensed characters. Just pile ’em in there. Nova from Planet of the Apes. ROM. The Mirconauts they don’t own. A Gonk droid. JUST THROW ‘EM IN THERE

“2. ‘Frank Miller Presents’ will publish a new Corto Maltese series, written by Dan DiDio.”

Huh. I can actually see that, but no. For those interested, IDW did reissue a bunch of Hugo Pratt’s Corto Maltese books in recent years.

“3. A comics publisher will announce an AI-drawn comic. The AI, however, will quit in mid-project once it realizes the scripter is Warren Ellis.”

Well, a while back we had Abolition of Man, a comic entirely drawn with “A.I.” (Thanks to Michael Grabowski for reminding me of this title!) I did carry it, back in the days when A.I. was seen as a peculiar novelty before we realized it was the end of us all.

I can’t recall any major publishers announcing the use of A.I., though given comics’ usual lag time in jumping on fads long after they’re done, give it a few months. But I imagine there are folks using A.I. on professionally published books to help automate some of the process rather than using it to generate the art. And a Googling reveals some online sources using A.I. to make full comics, or advertising just how to make a comic with A.I. We’re probably going to see more of it before we see the end of it.

• • •

Dave Carter carts in for these

“1) At least two other mid-size comics publishers will follow Afterschock’s lead and file for bankruptcy and/or go out of business altogether.”

I’m sure there are really, really small publishers out there that put all their money into a single release, then dried up after that and disappeared. But I don’t believe anything on the level of Aftershock’s collapse happened. Even trying to Google search “comics publisher banktuptcy 2023” just brings up the 2022 stories about Aftershock. Oh, and at least one archived news item about “Chaos! Comics” filing Chapter 7. It’s a hard bsuiness, print.

“2) The new Asterix graphic album will come out in Fall and be a world-wide bestseller, even though the domestic comics world will pay it little heed.”

Asterix and the White Iris came out in 2023, which did well in France, natch, but I can’t seem to find how it did in the U.S. I feel like the Asterix books are more of a niche market here…I’ve carried them over the years both at my own shop and at my previous place of employment, and they have their fans, but they hardly burned up the shelves. Maybe someone can let me know how it did.

“3) The CW will cancel Superman & Lois after its third season.”

It does have a fourth season coming in 2024, but apparently that’ll be the end of it. Making way for the new Superman film, it’s presumed.

• • •

And that’s all I can manage tonight. I’ll finish it up next week. Thanks for reading, pals!

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!

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.

Your 2023 Predictions, Part Two: Roast Mutton.

§ January 12th, 2024 § Filed under predictions § 10 Comments

Continuing on with your 2023 comic industry predictions from a year or so ago! The first part of this series was Wednesday, and there are still more to go, so let’s get cracking!

And don’t forget to leave me your 2024 predictions if you haven’t already!

• • •

Andrew sketches out the following

“mmm well, I’m HOPING that the Dawn of DC promotion in the new year brings a bit of lightness to the DC universe – although I am behind on Dark Crisis, it seems like the parallel Earths are returning but it’ll be a toss up whether it is a momentary ‘bump’ in creativity bringing the dawn of a clearer path or just a way station to yet another reboot (“coming in 2024, the Crisis on Infinite Earths… again!”) My hope is the former but the long time reader in me figures it’ll be the latter. Sigh.

“Overall, I think between the above and the chaos with the cinematic/television properties, 2023 will be a watershed year for DC… I don’t think that they will be able to maintain a status quo – it’ll either start blooming – or will cease to exist (at least everything other than Batman).”

I think for 2023 DC was out there trying new stuff, throwing things at the wall, seeing what sticks, that sort of thing. And in general it feels like the tone has been generally lighter, and titles being more fun. The Superman books in particular have of late been quite entertaining, a much lighter series of adventures after the very long Warworld storyline.

Everything still seems to be on the upswing there, so a line-wide “Crisis” type series doesn’t necessarily seem imminent. I mean, not until sales start flagging and DC needs to jumpstart things with yet another linewide crossover and/or reboot. Frankly, at this point I feel like DC just needs to leave well enough alone…they finally established their multiverse — again — now they just need to use it on a regular basis and keep it all consistent. I know DC keeps trying to make Crisis on Infinite Earths not have happened, but without just straight up cancelling everything and restarting all the books from just before Crisis began, they should just try to make do with what they’ve got.

• • •

Chris Gumprich cashes in with

“1. DC will give up on the idea of line-wide continuity and allow each book (or book “family”) to exist on its own without worrying if a character drinks lemonade in GREEN LANTERN but drinks beer in JUSTICE LEAGUE.”

Well…I think most books at DC have largely kept to themselves, but an overall eschewing of line-wide continuity hasn’t seemed evident. The fictional milieu of the DC Universe is one the company has spent a lot of time establishing and reestablishing, so going out their way to discard it entirely seems unlikely. Right now, since we don’t hafe any linewide events, we don’t see it in explicit evidence, but it’s still there!

“2. The direct market will suffer a recession, killing a number of smaller companies and stores. The big companies will retreat to their superhero ghettos to continue their slow death, while the smarter store owners (Hi Mike!) will survive because of their diversity.”

I think, from the few articles I’ve gleaned, that the overall growth of the direct market has slowed, compared to the big boost it had during the early years of the pandemic. I don’t think the market is in quite the freefall just yet, despite some shops indeed going away, which unfortunately is just something that happens in this business regardless of how the industry is doing. (My old stomping grounds even shuttered in 2022 after over 40 years of business.)

I would call 2023 a year of adjustments more than outright decline, as stores and publishers react to a new post-pandemic marketplace where things aren’t in the dumps, but perhaps not as financially expansive as before. I mean, I’m doing okay, some other stores are too, and others are not. Same as it ever was, as a great philosopher once said.

“3. In late 2023 I will make another prediction about Archie digests exclusively reprinting stories from the 80s and earlier, because I once again forget that I have been making that same prediction every year.”

I just checked and you did not make that prediction for 2024! YOU LOSE, GOOD DAY SIR

• • •

Greg A annouces

“DC will try once again to attempt to produce an ongoing LSH title, but it will completely disregard the latest attempt.”

No, the Legion fields remained fallow for another year. Did the Legion even appear in anything in 2023? I’m sure a character or two from the team showed up somewhere in the last year, but nothing immediately comes to mind. At any rate, after the big relaunch of the team fizzled out a couple of years ago, they’ve been mostly out of the picture ever since.

There was a new animated movie featuring the Legion released in 2023, but it…wasn’t very good, unfortunately. And with the new regime in place (at least for now) at Warners running the DC media adaptations, I don’t think we’ll be getting another one for a while, if ever.

• • •

William Burns fires me up with

“1. The Big Two will steadily retreat from gay and particularly trans representation. Nothing will be announced, but introduction of new gay and trans characters will cease, existing queer characters will be desexualized and while pride issues will continue to appear, they won’t get much push. The retreat will be particularly apparent in material geared for children.”

We are still getting new pride issues, yes, but I don’t think there’s been a specific push to deemphasize gay or trans characters at either company. Probably the most visible of the LGBTQIA characters, Superman’s son, had a mini-series earlier in the year. But I get your point, that maybe the big publishers are feeling some pressure to ease off this issue by cultural and political opposition.

I don’t think that’s happening to any extreme measure, though there are always Those Guys who complain whenever a character isn’t straight, white, and male. But I didn’t read every Marvel and DC book for the year so I can’t tell you how gay or trans characters were treated in-story, so maybe folks who were a little more well read in 2023 can clue me in. A Googling shows that there was still plenty of coverage for these characters over the past year, so Marvel and DC are still getting (from what I saw, mostly positive) attention for their diversity efforts. And I hope the companies keep it up, especially as forces in the real world are marshaling efforts against these communities.

“2. Marvel will relaunch Iron Man as ‘The Immortal Iron Man.'”

Not yet, but I still think this is a good call for the near future as we’re probably only a year away from a new Iron Man series replacing the current one.

“3. Production begins on a Dr. Aphra Star Wars project, marking the first ‘Comics-to-film’ transition of a Star Wars character.”

A character that appeared alongside Doctor Aphra in Marvel’s Star Wars comics, the Wookiee bounty hunter Krrsantan, beat her to live action by appearing in the Book of Boba Fett Disney+ series in 2022.

Prior to this, Quinlan Vos was a Jedi character in the Dark Horse-published Star Wars comics that George Lucas liked, and had planned to put in the prequel trilogy…but only got a name check. He did eventually make it into the Clone Wars cartoon.

The Twi’lek Jedi Aayla Secura was another Dark Horse era character that Lucas liked, and she made it into Attack of the Clones.

But even prior to that, Admiral Ackbar first appeared in the Star Wars newspaper strip before appearing in Return of the Jedi, but that’s not quite the same as he was created specifically for the movie.

I’m sure I’m missing others who made the transition, but those were the ones that came to mind. Doctor Aphra (speaking of gay characters!), however, has not yet made it, but as she’s a great new addition to the franchise, I think a live action adaptation would be enjoyable. Particularly if they leave her…morally suspect. A couple of years ago I said about her

“…The appeal of the character [is] filling the ‘morally ambiguous’ role that Han Solo can no longer occupy after his turn in the original movie trilogy. It’s an exploration of this universe via a fresh yet cynical perspective, told with humor and the right amount of pathos. While there is some sort of redemption arc to her story, it’s a meandering one which means we get to see her be a space asshole, which is quite entertaining.”

Now, we sort of get this with the title character in Andor, which may be one of the reasons why a Google search brings up a bunch of articles about how that series “opens the door” for an Aphra show of some kind. I don’t know, I didn’t read any of those, but I’d probably enjoy seeing her pop up somewhere.

• • •

Okay, I’m up way past my bedtime writing this (8 PM on school nights) so let’s continue this on Monday. As always, if you have additional info I’m missing (and I think I’m missing a bit this time ’round) please let me know and I’ll include it in the eventually addendum post I’ll make to this series. Thanks for reading, pals!

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!


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!

“I never make predictions, and I never will.” — Paul Cascoigne.

§ December 18th, 2023 § Filed under predictions § 35 Comments

Yes, it’s That Time yet again, where I come, virtual hat in hand, asking you, the Progressive Ruin reader, to put your prognostic powers to the test and give me your best predictions for the comics industry for 2024. All I ask is that you follow these very simple rules:

1. Don’t read the other predictions before entering your own.

2. Don’t criticize other people’s predictions.

3. Don’t predict any real person’s death.

4. Limit of three predictions per person! VERY VERY IMPORTANT! You can only do one or two if you’d like, but NO MORE THAN THREE PLEASE!

Next month I’ll start looking at your (and my!) predictions for 2023, so we’ll see how we all did. I mean, did Miracleman finally come ba–oh, wait, it did. Anyway, please drop your UP TO THREE AND NO MORE predictions in the comments to this post.

Every year, you folks come up with some good’uns, and the occasional jokey one (which I don’t mind, just don’t go too overboard), and it still remains fun for me to do, even if it’s a lot of work! And I hope it’s fun for you to read. Thanks as always for participating if you do, and we’ll meet back here in January 2025 to check the results!

Your 2022 Predictions, Part Six: Anvil of Despair.

§ January 20th, 2023 § Filed under predictions § 6 Comments

THIS HAS GONE ON FAR ENOUGH…so let’s wrap up the 2022 comic industry predictions! Find the previous installments here: 1 2 3 4 5, and find the current installment right in front of your eyeballs right now!

• • •

Look at Damien, it’s for him as he says

“I will continue to feel shame over the time I commented here that Miracleman will definitely come out in the next year as I met Mark Buckingham and he told me he was about to start drawing it.

“I have no other predictions.”

Oh ho, a ringer, eh? …Well, to be fair, even if you did know he started drawing it, that’s no guarantee it was going to be ready to go any at predictable time. Thus, no harm done. This time.

• • •

Dave Carter fought off a swamp rabbit in order to reveal

“1) More publishers will leave Diamond exclusivity and go to with multiple distributors, adding in PRH and/or Lunar.”

As discussed previously, Dark Horse Comics announced it would distribute comics through Penguin Random House, so that definitely counts!

“2) DC will do something else with Superman to anger conservatives and thus garner free publicity from frothing conservative media outlets.”

I mean, probably? It’s always somethin’ with those guys. From what I was able to glean, it’s still mostly caterwauling over Superman’s son being bisexual. Along with, you know, outright glee over DC cancelling his book because it was “too woke” or whatever (and not a victim of yet another reworking/soft-relaunching via the “Dawn of DC” initiative). Anyway, like I said, it’s always something and it’s usually horseshit.

“3) Dav Pilkey will once again have the best-selling comic of the year.”

Well, I wasn’t sure where to find an overall sales list…I’m sure there’s something obvious I missed, but I did look at the New York Times’ monthly best-seller lists for 2020, and Pilkey was at the top 8 out of 12 months, so I’d say that was pretty good.

• • •

Bob Stec goes this way with

“1. Marvel and DC will both publish bronze age Christmas comic omnibi (actually more of a wish than a prediction).”

Not that I noticed, unfortunately. DC’s TPB of Golden/Silver Christmas stories came out a few years ago, which you might still be able to find. Otherwise, it’s all just been NEW, NEW, NEW stuff. (Grifter Got Run Over by A Reindeer? Hmm.)

“2. Funny comics will make a comeback due to the success of titles like the recent Jimmy Olsen mini-series and the new One-Star Squadron.”

Well, don’t call it a comeback because things haven’t gone too hogwild with that sort of book at the Big Two. Funny comics are always easier to find at the indies, since I don’t know if Marvel or DC feel they would “undermine” their potential multimedia-adaptable properties by making them too, well, funny. Which is a silly thing, I know, considering the success Marvel’s had making their characters funny onscreen. Anyway, I hope more lighthearted books come our way soon…I mean, I haven’t read it yet, but I suspect the new She-Hulk comic has to be at least a little amusing, right?

“3. The price of paper will force Marvel and DC to switch to cheaper paperstock but it will be presented to the public as a nostalgic return; many long-time readers will be caught frequently smelling their purchases on new comics day.”

I haven’t noticed any particular egregious downgrade of paper lately, though I feel like Marvel’s awful cover paper stock tears if you even think about looking at it sideways. I’m guessing you meant a return to newsprint (like the comics of the ’70s and earlier) being presented as “isn’t this great, just like the old days” but it’s my understanding that the cost difference between newsprint and the basic white paper stock used by a lot of comics now isn’t that much different. At least, the savings wouldn’t be enough to risk a perceived drop in product value by suddenly printing on brown paper.

• • •

Michael Grabowski hits the slopes with

“Along the lines of the NFT trend, i predict that some comics company will successfully publish a limited-release digital comic with blockchain coding (or something like it) to test the waters for a collectible market for online comics. It won’t be Marvel or DC, but it will involve some well-known creator(s).”

I haven’t kept up on the NFT thing, aside from hearing about one or ‘nother suddenly collapsing in value, leaving some poor sucker holding a digital hot potato now worth only pennies on the dollars they paid. I’ll note that you said “successfully,” and a quick Googling shows a lot of high hopes but I don’t know about any follow-through.

I see DC is getting into the game, releasing an NFT version of Superman #1 from 1939, and I have no idea how that’s supposed to work. “Here, you’re the only person to own this particular digital copy of Superman, we can’t sell any more of it.” I’m sure these are questions I could have answered by the articles I’m finding, but frankly I can’t bring myself to click. Sorry.

…Oh, okay, fine, I clicked, and frankly it just sounds like you’re buying digital comics? But digital comics with receipts showing that you bought this digital comic? I don’t know, I think I’ll just read my copy of Famous First Editions featuring Superman #1 and be happy with that.

• • •

Andrew-TLA brings us home with

“1. Many, many deluxe, omnibus editions will be published of everything George Perez as tribute. Except Avengers/JLA, which gets a digest.”

I don’t believe we got more Pérez in print at a faster pace than before, save for that JLA/Avengers short run volume. Which was normal-sized, thank goodness, because can you imagine having to decipher that art at digest size? Good gravy, if my eyes weren’t bad before….

“2. A particular actor is hinted at being in talks for an unspecified MCU production. Given that the actor in question (please note, I have no one specific in mind) is both short and Canadian, everyone immediately assumes he will be the new Wolverine. Then some unrelated-to-the-X-Men movie has the post-credit sequence introduce him as Puck.”

100% for a live-action Puck in an Alpha Flight movie, but I’d your yearly salary that when it happens, he’ll be played by someone who’s an apparent 5’6″ compared to everyone else onscreen’s supposed 6’4″.

“3. The Zack Snyder-loyalists and those who prefer the lighter touch of pretty much everything else will be united in their belief that ‘The Batman’ is a pretty fun film.”

A look at Rotten Tomatoes shows it currently has an 85% positive rating, which is pretty good! I don’t know how Snyder fans specifically feel about it, and I’m not sure entirely how to search that out (maybe going on Twitter, finding like a #snyderrulesgunndrools hashtag and looking for references to The Batman there). I did take a brief look and some of the Snyder fans on the Twitters were all “The Batman flopped, bring back the Snyderverse” (I wish I could flop like this) and such, so maybe that Bat-film is just incorporated by some of them into their arguments. Anyway, please don’t yell at me, Snyder Fans, I’m am but a humble comics blogger/retailer/whateverer.

• • •

Okay, that’s it, I’m done for the year. But remember to get in your 2023 comic industry predictions while there’s still some 2023 left! Thanks for reading, pals, and I’ll be back on Monday with…well, something!

« Older Entries