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Okay, one more thing about the predictions.

§ January 22nd, 2021 § Filed under predictions § 2 Comments

So Turan reminded me of two other superhero movies that made it to the big screen last year. It was regarding superhero films that underperformed and how that might hurt the prospect of further flicks, and really the only one I saw (well, not counting the last-minute release of Wonder Woman 1984) was the Birds of Prey movie.

One of the films was Bloodshot, based on the Valiant Comics property, which did $33 million worldwide on a $45 million budget. It was released on my birthday (aw, you shouldn’t have!), March 13th, which was approximately a week before California basically shut down due to the COVID virus. It’s hard to judge how well the film would have done without a pandemic on the loose, but I’d hope its ill-timing won’t be held against future Valiant films. Look, at least get me an X-O Manowar movie, I’d like that.

The other film was New Mutants, which I’d entirely forgotten about and never saw and couldn’t tell you a thing about it, aside from apparently Illyana’s awful characterization, the fact that it had the release had been delayed for like two years, and the that they finally released it into theaters last fall when it was becoming progressively a bad idea to “go out in public” and “be around people.” Anyway, it made about $46 million worldwide on a budget Googling says is between “67 and 80 million,” so yeah, it tanked. But I don’t know why anyone would have expected anything else, given the timing.

Now I don’t expect the performance of either of these to be held against the very idea of “superhero/comic book movies.” Clearly the pandemic impacted their performance, a situation original predictor ScienceGiant, nor any of us, could have known about at the end of 2019. And even if they underperformed without COVID times…well, Bloodshot is a minor character from a small-ish publisher, and the New Mutants film is the last hurrah of a long-in-the-tooth franchise already past its money-making days (at least at its pre-Disney studio) which had already seen one major flop in the pentultimate series entry X-Men: Dark Phoenix. So, you know, expectations probably weren’t that high to begin with.

At this point the only thing I can see hurting the very idea of “comic book films” is something happening with Marvel’s output. Marvel is kind of the backbone of cinematic superheroing, and if we suddenly had two, three, five big Marvel flops in the row, that would probably discourage other studios from running out and optioning Valiant, or Image, or Atlas/Seaboard funnybooks and the like. But all the Marvel movies are hits, and so long as they continue to be hits, comic book movies likely won’t go away. Even if a Marvel movie does tank…well, the Star Wars franchise survived Solo, and went on to have a billion-dollar film in Episode IX, so it’s not necessarily fatal.

So that’s more than I intended to type on the topic. If you wanted a shorter answer…comic books are seen as a strong enough source for film material that some of the movies based on them underperforming won’t hurt future comic movies. Unless, like I said, Marvel blows it with a bunch of films and poisons the genre forever.

Your 2020 Predictions, Part Five: The Fate of Luke Skywalker!

§ January 20th, 2021 § Filed under predictions § 5 Comments

Alrighty then, let’s see if we can wrap up this look back at your 2020 comic industry predictions today! And don’t forget to get in your 2021 forecasts (without, you know, predicting things that have already been announced…don’t think I didn’t see that!).

Catch up on the previous parts, if you haven’t already (one, a two, three, and four), and let’s get started!

LondonKDS falls down with

“1) DC gives up on normal periodical comic books – future publishing will be ‘prestige’ format Black Label, graphic novels for kids/teens, and four monthly magazine-format anthology comics of 120-200pp each. They will be
‘Superman and related characters,’ ‘Batman and related characters,’ ‘DC Universe,’ and ‘comics set in the TV Arrowverse continuity.’ Stories from the anthology magazines will be sold individually as digital comics”

While none of this came to pass, I do think this is a not unthinkable path forward for DC at some point. However, given the Arrowverse shows appear to be faltering a tad and dropping off the air, I don’t know we’d get much before a series or two of “Green Arrow Seaon 9” comics or whatever.

“2) Marvel officially gives up on completing Gaiman’s Miracleman, instead tries to imitate Doomsday Clock and does a crossover between Earth-616 and the Miracleman universe which goes down like a lead balloon.”

I would read this a million times, but alas, no go. Frankly, I’m surprised “Marvelman” hasn’t made it into the regular Marvel Universe yet. I mean, they did pay real money for the character, only for the reprints of the Miracleman version be overpriced with production issues prior to stalling when it came time for the new stories, and the reprints of the original ’50s comics weren’t something anybody wanted. It’s (ahem) a miracle there aren’t five comics starring Marvelman right now.

“3) At least one of the recently-founded minor comics companies goes down the tubes after failing to sell any of its titles for film/TV development.”

Feels like comic companies come and go all the time, vanishing without a trace and no clue as to what they departed (other than, you know, the usual reasons). I think this year COVID may have shuttered publishers more than making it to the silver sceen.

• • •

William Gatevackes swings open with

“1. There will be a return to DC/Marvel crossovers, but they will be treated as big events this time around. A+ list creators, big story lines and…lasting effects on the character’s continuities.”

Honestly, I kinda half-expected something like this to happen as some kind of show of solidarity/sales boosting event for the industry to help counter impacted sales stores have experienced during the pandemic. Anyway, I’m not resting ’til I get an official Swamp Thing/Man-Thing crossover event.

“2. The BIRDS OF PREY film will flop because of its R rating. Warners won’t see this and instead will blame it on the mostly female cast.”

Well, it did $200 million on an $84 million budget, so not really a flop, but probably didn’t perform as well as they wanted. I don’t think WB specifically blamed g-g-g-girls for the underperformance, but I’m sure plenty of online dudes couldn’t wait to do so.

Plus it was released in February, and I think we were all beginning to realize we were in deep poop with this whole COVID thing around that time. I don’t know if BOP definitely took a hit because of this, but I’m sure it didn’t help.

“3. Marvel Studios will do a stealth introduction of the X-Men/FF characters into the MCU. Something like in the form of Latveria casually being mentioned in BLACK WIDOW or Magneto being referred to as Wanda’s father in WandaVision.”

Speaking of COVID, all the Marvel movies and Disney+ shows and such were pushed back, so if any X-Men/FF references are made, they await our return to movie-going in…2023, probably?

• • •

ScienceGiant grows on me with

“You know what? I’m going to lob some evergreen softballs at you Mike. Have fun!”

I HATE FUN.

“1) Wow! I still can’t believe in the year 2020 that comic book creator said something so clearly insensitive and/or misogynistic.”

Well, this isn’t exactly the circumstance of his fall, but the sexual misconduct accusations made at Warren Ellis i was not a story I was expecting to happen. I’m sure there are more fitting answers matching the tone of your question, but…man, that one is just at the forefront for me.

“2) Wow! That highly anticipated film of fantasy/science fiction/comic book IP certainly underperformed. The backlash bodes ill for the genre and that means fewer movies like it next year.”

I don’t think the previously mentioned Birds of Prey hurt the prospects of future super-movies. Besides, most people who saw it really liked it, so it was received well at least. We may get fewer superhero movies next year anyway, if only because, well [gestures at everything],

“3) Wow! Another fine example of ‘over promise, under deliver.’ It was anyone’s guess when the next issue of that series was going to be released, wasn’t it?”

Especially with that two month gap in comics publishing in the middle of the year! Not what you meant, I know, but it’s what happened!

“4) Wow! Lucy pulled the football away AGAIN on Charlie Brown.”

Lucy? Charlie who? Can’t say I’m famliar.

• • •

Bully, the Little Predicting Bull, horns in with

“Well, I’ve been dead wrong every year I predicted comics would be printed on slices of ham, so it’s time to get serious.

“In 2020, comics will be printed on slices of turkey.”

I’m sure there were some turkeys out there making comics, but no comics on turkey this year, Bully.

[MEANWHILE, IN THE YEAR 2078]

“SOYLENT GREEN IS MADE OF COMICS! OF COMIIIICS!”

• • •

DavidG provides wideband coverage with

“1. The unbroken 25 year streak of no new Miracleman will continue in 2020.”

2020’s Marvel Comics #1000 contains one brand new page of Miracleman by Gaiman and Buckinham! Look, what else do you want, a continuation of the previous series? Let’s not be greedy!

“2. DC will finally crack under the pressure of public opinion and will throw a ton of money at Helfer and Baker to complete the ‘Body & Soul’ storyline in The Shadow. It will be everything we have waited for and more.”

I am never ever ever going to find out how this story resolves, am I?

“3. Disney will announce that the next Star Wars movie will be a Thanos origin story featuring Jedi AND sassy droids, in a desperate attempt to reboot the franchise, and hopefully capture some of the Marvel magic.”

Can you imagine if this had happened? Online dudes would’ve flipped their lids and…I don’t know if they’d be mad about it or not, to be honest. Meanwhile, the general public would just kinda shrug and buy their tickets.

• • •

ExistentialMan individually thinks about the following

“1) DC will continue to publish fewer books than Marvel and be just fine.”

Given DC got hit with layoffs and reorganizing, not sure I’d say were “fine,” as such. Again, probably another COVID-related thing that no one could have accounted for because who knew a pandemic was on the way?

“2) The DC 100-Page Giant books will continue to sell at a steady pace throughout 2020. They will also not be released in digital format.”

The Giants program was replaced by multipacks, as discussed in a previous installment of this predictions coverage. But some of the previous original stories from the giants are making it to digitial. Just think of me and my store fondly, on occasion, as you all switch over to reading exclusively on your tablets and phones as I’m sure Jack Kirby intended.

“3) The Netflix/Millarworld show Jupiter’s Legacy will be released in 2020 to excellent reviews.”

Not out yet! One or two stills I’ve seen look pretty good, though, at least as far as costuming goes.

• • •

“1. Image comics will launch an extremely successful mega-hit series like Saga or The Walking Dead… BUT… It will be launched and planned as an ongoing series, but only 5 issues will ever come out and the series will be abandoned, like many others before it (like Bitch Planet for example).”

I guess Department of Truth had a strong start, but it wasn’t like wild Walking Dead numbers or anything. Too early as yet to see if it’ll break that five issue benchmark. however!

“2. Marvel, seeing the success of their 2019 X-Men relaunch, decide to add more titles to their X-Men line-up and have them all be interconnected. There will be the usual suspect, X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, Wolverine, X-Force, X-Factor and New Mutants as well as more obscure ones like: Fallen Angels, Excalibur, Caliban the X-cellent, Stacy X vs Opioids, X-treme X-Men, Krakoa: The inner life of a living island, Marauders, Space X: The X-men in Space, Jean the Phoenix and Me, X-ceptional X-Men, Astonishing X-Men, Krakoa’s Taxation Time, Roadwork: The Krakoan’s Gate Traffic Controller, ClassiX X-Men, Exiles, New X-Men, Weapon X, X-Men Legacy, X-Men 2099, X-Men party like it’s 1999, X-cetera. This dilutes the brand and sales plummet across all titles. In an attempt to boost sales, Marvel begin making ‘Pog’ variants”

I’d be all in the POG variants, natch. And yes, Marvel is (surprisingly slowly) adding titles to the X-side of their publishing line. So, not quite to the extent (X-tent?) you feared but I get what you’re coming from given Marvel’s long-standing publishing strategy of “if one sells well, two will sell better.” I will note that there’s been no X-book yet called X-Cetera is an absolute crime.

3. Another year without Lego comics

There some books featuring comic book characters, but no LEGO-themed comics, like there should have been to tie in to LEGO movies and toys and games because this industry just keeps walking the “no money to be made here” path. Ah, well, what can you do…just build your own superheroes in LEGO and have adventures with them, I guess.

• • •

Whelp, Phinally Done with your 2020 predictions. We laughed, we loved, we all learned a little something. Thanks for contributing,o pals, and we’ll be back next year for the 2021 predictions! Of course, I’ll have posts wetween now and then, so I hope you return!

Your 2020 Predictions, Part Four: Behemoth from the World Below.

§ January 18th, 2021 § Filed under predictions § 7 Comments

So here’s another bucket full o’funnybook foresights from you, my friendly readers, left a year ago on this very internet web homepage. There have already been three parts to this year’s journal (one and a two and a three)

And like I keep reminding you, YOUR 2021 COMIC INDSTRY PREDICTIONS ARE WANTED…NAY, NEEDED! Get ’em in before, you know, February hits, at the very least.

Okay, let’s see what you characters have for me this time:

Rob S. steals my heart with

“1) Josh Williamson will move from Flash after issue 100 (or what would be issue 100, since they’re renumbering). It’ll be the longest run of a writer on a Rebirth title, surpassing King on Batman. He’ll move on to a JSA book.”

It looks like #762 (or “#101” by this volume’s original numbering) appears to have been his swan song on the title, so you did, you magnificent bastard. As for moving on to a Justice Society title…I could’ve sworn I’d seen news about a JSA comic coming soon-ish, but darned if I can track it down now. Thus, let me put a pin in that part of the prediction ’til I can jumpstart my head and figure out where I saw that, if in fact I did.

“2) The DC Walmart books will get another revamping sometime this year, as their schedules and plans become clearer. Also, the previously announced and canceled DC War Giant will arrive around May, for Memorial Day.”

Appears they were revamped into prepacks of 4 individual comics (with “collectible backing board.” DC seems to have put the kibosh on the giants for now, both through Walmart and in comic shops. At least the Our Fighting Forces giant did get released on May 27th…so, same week as Memorial Day, anyway!

“3) Adam Strange’s ‘mystery co-star’ in the Tom King/Mitch Gerads/Doc Shaner Strange Adventures book will be Deadman, another former star of the title.”

‘Twasn’t Deadman, alas, but I wouldn’t mind seeing this team do a Deadman mini, actually.

• • •

Dave Carter hauls in the following

“1) After the huge success of Action #1000 & Detective #1000, and to a lesser extent Wonder Woman #750 & Flash #750, DC’s 5G reboot will see a return to legacy numbering for many of the DCU titles.”

Would’ve been nice. Like, let’s get Justice League back to its original numbering. Who knows, with Bendis coming onto that title, maybe there’s a chance? We’ll see.

“2) Wonder Woman 1984 will be the highest grossing movie by a non-Disney studio.”

Well, all things considered…yes, actually, far as I can tell. I mean, in worldwide totals it, but just domestically The Croods, for which there was apparently a sequel, took in a bit more green. Anyway, who the hell is going to movie theaters right now. I mean, domestically, mostly.

“3) Someone publishes a comic featuring super-hero (or otherwise fantastical) versions of the Democratic & Republican presidential nominees fighting it out via fisticuffs.”

Seemed like, aside from the plethora of Donald Trump comics, we didn’t seem to get a whole lot of this sort of comic this time ’round, versus like how it was in the Obama era. THANKS, OBAMA. Anyway, there was an issue of Donald Who Laughs that looked like it had Trump versus Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and I think that was as close as we got. Look, we were all hoping Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente would have had his own comic book last year, because if any name needs to be logo on a cover….

• • •

googum googummed

“1. Some Black Label or such book is going to take off for DC; and they’ll of course take the wrong lessons from it and try to cram all sorts of titles in there.”

Did any of them really “take off” this year? I mean, they mostly all did well, and people seemed to like them, but nothing stands out as spurring on more of the same. I mean, aside from having multiple Joker titles in the imprint. Anyway, I thought I remember reading that some new overseer at DC ain’t thrilled about “mature reader” books, so who knows what’s gonna happen.

“2. After Iron Man 2020, Marvel will follow-up with some of their other futures between then and 2099; like Deathlok and Killraven.”

If those characters (and related timeframes) did make an appearance, I don’t think it was anything major. I didn’t read many Marvel titles (or much of anything) this past year, but I can’t say I’d seen much along those lines.

“3. This would be late 2020 at best, but assuming some orange clown doesn’t win re-election, Marvel is going to have some comics that assumed he did, or that a more conservative regime is in place. (I think Dark Reign did the same thing some time back? Like it didn’t fit under Obama.)”

It’s my sense Marvel didn’t do much in this vein, but again, like I said, I didn’t read much Marvel this year, so if anyone has a better clue to what googum has googummed, please drop it in the comments.

• • •

Jeff R. rites

“1. Kalel Kent, Superman III of 2020 will appear in continuity during his year.”

THE CRIME OF THE CENTURY in that I don’t think this happened. I miss the Superman of 2020!

“2. At the end of the year we still won’t know when Doomsday Clock is supposed to be happened with regard to DC continuity around Alfred, Superman,etc.”

Well, we sort of know it takes place before Death Metal, I think. I mean, kinda sorta.

“3. The legion will still be going at years end and will have a cw show announced.”

Well, yes, technically it was still going since #12 is out this week, but after the Future State mini the series doesn’t seem to be back on the schedule. …Would love to see a live-action LSH series outside of their guest appearances in Supergirl but not holding my breath.

• • •

Andrew-TLA ventures on with

“1. Dark Horse will lose another of their major properties, either creator-owned or licensed.”

Were the losses of Alien and Predator known by the end of 2019? You know, it was probably presumed but it was definitely a thing in 2020. Especially once Marvel started announcing Alien variant covers for their comics late in the year.

“2. Rumors will fly fast and furious on the alleged news sites about possible casting choices for Wolverine and the Thing. That one of them will eventually be proven right is down more to the fact that every possible name was listed rather than any sort of insider information.”

I don’t think there’s been any Real Announcements as per actual casting, so alas, we have to wait to find out if Daniel Dae Kim really will be Wolverine or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will be the Thing. (Don’t lie, you know these are great choices.)

“3. Comic books will continue to be published in their traditional single-issue format.”

Despite my best efforts, yes.

• • •

@misterjayem “at”s me with

“2020 in review:

“1) It was the best of times,”

Well, I’m not so sure about that.

“2) It was the worst of times,”

But here, I think you might be onto something.

“3) J.A.K.E., the G.I. Robot”

Had to do a little Googling to check, and there was surprisingly a handful of appearances in recent years, but alas, not in 2020, when we needed G.I. Robot the most.

• • •

The King of the Moon waxes and wanes with the following

“The witch who put a curse on Mike’s eyeballs will finally be brought to justice”

Not yet, but definitely being held at bay. (And let’s be fair, it could be a warlock.)

“Disney+ announces a Power Pack cartoon”

Supposedly there’s a film in the works, but the fact that there’s no Disney+ cartoon could only mean Disney has decided they’ve made enough money and don’t need to make any more.

“Johnny Tremain – the motion comic”

Just no appreciation for the classics these days, what can I tell you.

• • •

Okay, we’re within spittin’ distance of the end here, and hopefully I can wrap it up next time! Thanks for reading pals, and I’ll see you soon.

Your 2020 Predictions, Part Three: Showdown on a Wasteland World!

§ January 15th, 2021 § Filed under advertising, predictions § 2 Comments

BEHOLD! Part Three of mumblety-mumble of looking back at your predictions for the 2020 comics industry! (Here are parts one and two.)

And here’s yet another reminder to contribute your predictions for 2021, a year that’s already going way too fast!

A correction first…last time I said the Warhammer 40,000 comic book was strictly based on the tabletop war game of the same name, and thus not exactly based on a role-playing game as predicted by reader Bruce. Well, Bruce corrects me, saying the comic does indeed incorporate elements from the role-playing versions of the Warhammer milieu. For the record, I do know of the Warhammer RPG line, as I sold it for years at the previous place of employment…I just didn’t think it was involved in this comic! I STAND CORRECTED, thanks Bruce!

Now to more predictions!

DK returns with these forecasts

[SPOILERS for Doomsday Clock and recent Daredevil abound]

“1) The Mime and the Marionette will be dead (well, comic book dead) by January 2021.”

I had to remind myself, as while I remember the broad strokes of the series, some of the details escaped me. One of those details was the fate of Mime and Marionette. I remember the fate of their son, but had to check online as to their own “endings” in the series. Anyway, they survived. At leaset until Doomsday Clock II: The Clockening.

“2) At least one Major Marvel Hero replaced by someone of a different gender/race/religion/species as a legacy hero with an all-new #1. Not a mutant or an Iron Man.

“I’m hoping for Daredevil.”

I’m going to say DING DING DING not only on the Major Marvel Hero being replaced, but on the specific character as well! We got Elektra in DD’s clothing in #25, causing one of those last-second speculator rushes that I love so much, he said sarcastically. No new first issue for Darelektra, but, you know, give Marvel time.

“3) The next DCEU Movie Phase will include Booster Gold. Like they should have from jump.”

No specific plans that I can see, but certainly lots of people hoping he’ll show up in one someday! Hey, I’d like to see it!

• • •

Brian’s a very naughty boy with

“1. With the new Phase of Marvel films and the arrival of the Disney+ shows (along with the end of Marvel Television as an entity), we’ll see the shift in how the MCU carries the story: the main sequential narrative will be done now in the shows, with the films becoming more stand-alone tent pole pieces adding large elements to the universe (since there reaches a tipping point of “you need to see 25 other movies first to understand this one). In an odd way, this will make Marvel and DC’s films more alike (where DC wanted to be like the early sequential Marvel films, Marvel will end up with oddball stand-alone films like DC).”

Well, as we’ve discovered time and again in looking back at predictions, anything involving “movies” is kind of up in the air given the pandemic’s affect on film distribution and presentation. The delayed Black Widow looks to be like one of those standalone films you’re mentioning, but I feel like things will continue as-is, with movies leading the charge and the TV shows providing support. Not sure what the new throughline for Marvel movie continuity will be, but that’s a formula Marvel had great success with, and nothing resists change like success. We’ll see (maybe this year!).

“2. The return of Young Justice on DC Universe and Clone Wars on Disney+ will only be the beginning of new seasons of old, cancelled cartoons — now re-emerging on streaming platforms. After the slow emergence of the old BTAS/STAS/JLU voice cast in recent DC Animated films, one of these will be an actual continuation in some manner of the beloved Bruce Timm DCAU.”

I don’t think we’re quite there yet, but now that the DC direct-to-video flicks have discarded the New 52-esque continuity they were maintaining, maybe a revival/continuation of the Timmiverse cartoons is a little more possible!

“3. After its purchases of Pixar, Lucasfilm, Marvel, and Fox, Disney will next purchase Hasbro, during current negotiations over extension of their long term deal on Disney and Marvel toys. While this raises a number of possibilities over synergy in toys and games (as well as use of the Dungeons & Dragons game engine with a number of other Disney properties), folks will mainly care about having the old D&D cartoon on Disney+ and making Dungeon Master/Baby Yoda memes.”

I was nearly taken in by an April Fools article titled “Disney Buys Hasbro and Mattel” and I just about plotzed. “I would have heard about that, right?” I thought, until I saw the article’s day. Sigh.

It would be nice to have Dungeons and Dragons on demand, though, despite it likely causing a whole new generation to speculate about the non-existent “last episode.”

• • •

Adam Farrar goes too…well, you know, with

“Neil Gaiman. Mark Buckingham. New Miracleman comics. Whadda need, a road map?”

Keep those home fires burning, Adam.

“In an attempt to flood the market with Eternals comics, Marvel even reprints something with Blackwulf. The target audience of me, and only me, does not even buy the $1 True Believers book because it’s just a reprint of something I already paid $1.50 for 16 years ago.”

Couldn’t find any recent Blackwulf stuff…no comics, no cameos, no nothin’. But it was hardly necessary since Marvel flooded the Eternals with…like, thirty different covers of .

• • •

Scott Rowland heads for shore with

“1. DC will expand their 100 page super spectacular line to include more tie-ins to their TV shows. Star Girl will be the breakout hit.”

The $9.99 line continues, but no more tied into the TV shows than they ever were. Frankly, I’m surprised they didn’t do more to tie into the Stargirl TV show (popular enough to get a second season, at least!) but I swear it feels like DC is afraid to make money, sometimes. Putting a photo cover on the Stargirl collection, and making those Crisis on Infinite Earths 80 page giants is something, but…man, I don’t know. Sooner or later someone’s going to take charge of DC who’s gonna say “we’re tossing all this nonsense out and just doing comics that look like the movies/TV shows.”

“2.Marvel and DC will enter into an agreement to make their crossover books like JLA/Avengers and the Amalgam titles available in special editions to benefit the Hero Initiative. (Ok, that may be a wish not a prediction.)”

Few things make me madder as a retailer than the fact that JLA/Avengers remains out of print. I could sell those like…a really hot thing that sold well. Look, it’s been a long day, the metaphor-makin’ part of my brain is tired.

“3. Saga will return, but to a much less enthusiastic audience in an example of the Miracleman effect.”

We remain Saga-single-issue-less, but the trades still sell relatively well. At least some audience will still be around when they return. I hope.

• • •

David Alexander McDonald farms out the following

“Marvel Studios will have a rough 2020 theatrically, but prove out on Disney+ resulting in more series announcements…though no Squirrel Girl live action do-over yet. Man-Thing, however, will get put into development, complete with the Giant Size tag. Marvel Comics will continue to be mostly inconsequential.”

Cramming a lot of predictions in there, David! But they’re all related, more or less, so I’ll give it a pass. And yes, Marvel did indeed have a rough time in the theaters last year…and so did every other movie studio, for obvious reasons. Disney’s focus on their streaming channel hasn’t included debuting their new Marvel mmovies there, but I imagine it’s only a matter of time. No word on Squirrel Girl or Man-Thing, but that’s make a good team up. And the comics themselves are, as usual, an afterthought.

“DC Universe will be mainly about the comics. The Snyder cut will not appear. DC will increase the numbers of Album-style comics but otherwise be generally inconsequential. There will be no 2020 crossover in the Berlantiverse. Dan DiDio will kill the remains of the Age series of omnibuses, disappointing the five remaining geriatric fans who buy them.”

DC did indeed announce the scaling back their streaming service to just comics (supposed to happen in February, I think). Snyder cut keeps getting teased, but not released yet. A few album came out last year, but it looks like it’s thinning down a bit for this year. We’ll see. No crossover for the CW shows (aside from the end of “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” which started in 2019). The Bronze/Silver Age books are still happening, slowly, but if they ever put out a “Copper Age” omnibus titled as such, I’m going to kick somebody.

“The indies have a bumper year due to Kirkman! and Lemire writing ten books a week apiece.”

Wait, that’s only one prediction in this section! Are you feeling well, David? Anyway, indies took a hit just like everyone else, but things seem to be recovering. Kirkman and Lemire seem to have kept their output down to a dull roar.

“Mike Sterling finally abandoned all hope of a Pogs revival and buries his slammers deep in the desert.”

Look, that’s four predictions (or, um, paragraphs of multiple predictions) and I don’t have to tell you what I may have done with my slammers. My beautiful, beautiful slammers.

• • •

Chris Gumprich cashes in these

“. Apparently DC has brought back Legion and the Justice Society. I predict these will be cancelled before the end of the year.”

Legion’s still a thing! Justice Society hasn’t yet received its new book, so it remains precancelled.

“2. DC will do yet another linewide reboot that will be a spectacular failure and lead to another reboot in 2021 (remind me I said this when it comes time for the 2021 predictions).”

They managed to stave that off a bit, unless you count the ending of Death Metal. Here’s hoping they keep away from rebootery for a while.

“3. We will see another issue of ASTRO CITY. (Kurt, I know you’re reading this.)”

Are you talking about my old customer Kurt? Because I’m pretty sure he does read this site. Not so sure about Astro City‘s creaetor Kurt Busiek, though. Regardless, no new Astro City yet (which is supposed to be in graphic novel form, versus the periodical format). I’m sure he’ll get to it when he gets to it, and it’ll be good.

• • •

That’s all for now…we’ll pick back up on Monday! Thanks for reading, pals.

Your 2020 Predictions, Part Two: Eight Against a World!

§ January 13th, 2021 § Filed under predictions § 13 Comments

Time to swing into the next batch of your comic industry predictions for 2020 where we’ll see who was right, who was wrong, and how many typos your pal Mike can mak. Er, make.

One thing I should have noted at the outset, as brought up by reader William, is that…yeah, the pandemic threw bit of a wrench into things (to put it incredibly mildly). Like, as you may have seen with my running gag in the last installment that predictions with even a slight chance of being true were just right off the table. I mean, I suppose it’s obvious, but it’s best that I bring it up, anyway.

So, all that aside, let’s see how our next batch of entries did…and don’t forget, I’m still looking for your 2021 predictions!

Turan, Emissary of the Fly World, buzzes in with

“1. Jim Steranko will, at least once during the year, assure us that HISTORY OF COMICS VOL. 3 will be published soon.”

I was going to dismiss this out of hand, but frankly I wouldn’t put it past ol’ Jim to, in fact, claim such a thing. But far as I can tell, no…but I did find this tweet where he says IDW is doing a hardcover collection of 1 and 2 in a single volume. That’s kind of neat. I have them both myself…haven’t looked at them in…a long time, but I seem to remember enjoying the density of information contained within. (NOTE: just checked Diamond’s database to see if that hardcover was in the system yet, and it is not.)

“2. Guillermo del Toro will announce his intention of adapting some comics series or other into a movie. A few months after this, he will give an interview in which he will describe his plans for the movie, and show the interviewer some character designs he has drawn. We will never hear of the movie again after that.”

Not that I was able to find (but set me straight if I’m wrong). However, I did find articles about Ron Perlman being willing to reprise the Hellboy role for a third film in his series, even despite the attempted reboot. Weird.

“3. Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment will announce that it has licensed some comics series for a movie adaptation. A few weeks later, there will be an announcement of a writer hired for the project. We will never hear of the movie again after that.”

Well…apparently they’re attached to Blackhawk, but that’s old news. That press release is from 2018, and I’d swear on a stack of Limited Collectors’ Edition #C-36 from 1975 that they originally optioned it back in the ’80s. I didn’t find anything newer, though Amblin TV is involved with Resident Alien (announced in 2019, I think).

• • •

JohnJ jumps in with

“Superman’s identity as Clark Kent will remain known to the public throughout 2020 or as long as it takes Bendis to tell 2 stories.”

Harsh, if maybe not entirely inaccurate burn on Mr. Bendis there, but, BMB has wrapped his run on the book, and very surprisingly, the revealed identity remains status quo! I would have bet he’d put everything back in the box before he left, but nope, it’s still out there. Points for you, JohnJ! I hope the next creative team just leaves it as is.

“The Eternals will become known as the ‘shredded abs’ Marvel movie that America has been waiting for.”

That actor’s abs have definitely been the talk of the internet in relation to this film (sometimes, unfortunately, insultingly towards said actor). Whether the abs in question are the main talking point about the film, I’m not sure…a Googling of “Eternals” brings up Wiki articles and trailers and such. “Eternals abs” brings up all the muscled-body discussion you could ever want, and it sure seems like a lot of it. I’m giving you a half-point because it does appear to be a major topic of interest in relation to the film, but I don’t know that it’s jumped from internet chatter to nationwide demand for ripped-ness in our Marvel flicks.

“J. Phoenix will not win the Oscar for Joker, losing to Adam Sandler!!!”

Okay, last time I brought up the Joker film and its Oscars, I screwed it up entirely, so this time I am going to research first, answer second.

[TEMPUS FUGIT]

Mr. Phoenix did indeed win the Oscar for Joker. Sorry, Mr. Sandler!

• • •

Voord 99 keeps holding my hand with

“1. The Eternals will come out three days after Donald Trump loses the presidential election, will receive discussion about how its vision of endless struggle between two tribes fits into the new political landscape. This will especially be so if Trump refuses to admit that he lost the election and claims that It was stolen by Amy Klobuchar or whoever the victorious Democratic candidate is.”

I presume you meant the movie, but The Eternals comic came out one day after Mr. Trump lost the election. You were close! (And I completely forgot about Klobuchar. Look, it’s been a long year.)

“2. Either Marvel, DC, or both will have at least one story based around climate change.”

I don’t recall one, but I just tried to search “marvel climate change” and there’s a climate scientist named Kate Marvel. Go figure.

I did find that <cite>Doctor Doom #1 addressed the issue, but that was in 2019. Also in 2019 was this Super Sons graphic novel dealing with climate change. A search on the “climate change” tag on DCComics.com only brings up that one book.

So…I can’t find any references to anything in 2020. Not saying there weren’t any, but if there were they didn’t get any news stories written about them, I suppose. Again, if I’m wrong, let me know.

Unless the question was about, like, a new climate change-themed superhero would suddenly turn up. “He’s here…Hockey Stick Man, teaching the public how to read historical data graphs!”

“3. DIE will resume after Stephanie Hans recovers. It will continue to be (a) wonderful and (b) creepy and depressing.”

Honestly, I wasn’t aware anything was wrong with her. But Die did come out in 2020, and readers were excited about it, so I presume 1) she’s better, and 2) it’s retained the expected quality.

• • •

Bruce Baugh breaks in with

“1. This version of Legion of Super-Heroes will either be defunct by the end of 2020 or clearly on its way out.”

Still hanging in there, no reboot in sight! It’s a Christmas miracle!

“2. Kieron Gillen will do more roleplaying game writing, which will be good, and will be involved in a comics adaptation of someone’s cool RPG setting, which will also be good.”

He’s doing that Warhammer 40K comic for Marvel…okay, that’s tabletop wargaming, not role playing, but, you know, it’s within Clan Spittel distance.

Yes, I know that’s from the Fantasy setting, not 40K. It’s the closest thing to “spitting” I could find. Oh, wait, are Snotlings still a thing?

“3. Before it folds, LSH will have a story involving the Legion of Swamp Things, all the plant-equivalent elementals from the various worlds of the United Planets.”

A long time ago, there was a letter in either Legion of Super-Heroes or Swamp Thing (can’t remember which) where someone asked if there was a Swamp Thing in the 30th century, and the editorial reply was all “what a great idea, maybe we can address it in a future issue” and I’M STILL WAITING, DC.

“I am less serious about one of these suggestions than the other two.”

Ah, I knew you were kidding about those Legion ones.

• • •

William Burns toasts me lightly with

“1. 2020 will be remembered in popular culture as the ‘Year of Tumbleweeds’ with lavish hardcover reprints of the strips, an all-star movie in production, and TK Ryan memorialized as one of the twentieth century’s greatest comics geniuses. Holding out against the ‘Weedhead’ movement dominating America’s comics stores will be Mike Sterling.”

“Weedhead,” how dare you.

What Mr. Burns is referencing is, of course, my recently rediscovered curiosity about the Tumbleweeds comic strip, which, alas, has not caught on with the rest of the world. Sure, it still has its fans, but Tumble-Mania has yet to take over the world. Though honestly I would die if there were a Tumbleweeds movie.

“2. Echolands by JH Williams and Haden Blackman will finally appear.”

Apparently your decade-long wait will be just a tad longer!

“3. Superman will die or get married or something.”

He definitely did something. Did a few things, across many series. (His big ID reveal came at the end of 2019.) Managed not to die or get married again or anything, far as I recall!

• • •

Dean cleans up with

“1. Alan Moore will get bored with retirement and announce a new hyper-niche project through a little-known publisher.”

I didn’t see anything, but perhaps the publisher is so little-known I missed it!

“2. New Legion of Super-Heroes title.”

Technically the Future State Legion book was announced in 2020, so a hit, sort of? Not, like, a second ongoing title running concurrently with the first, but it is a new comic!

“3. Death’s Head: The Movie, yes?”

No!

• • •

Dario Delfino dares

“1) Hickman’s X-Men will get even better, particularly for those reading from the beginning.”

Haven’t been reading it, so I can’t speak to it myself, but boy folks were into that “X of Swords” crossover event, so let’s just call this a hit, shall we?

“2) Year of the Villain will have a Supes-Apex Lex battle that will be awesome.”

I’m sure there was something in the Bendis Superman comics but darned if I can recall any of it. Which, um, probably speaks to its awesomeness. Or my failing brain. Someone with better recall, feel free to chime in.

“3) Disney will test the waters with a non-canonical Star Wars/Marvel crossover comic; probably leaking the rumor to gauge reaction before the actual announcement. The comic’s success could fuel rumors of a movie for years.”

The fact that it hasn’t happened yet probably means that Lucasfilm, or somebody, had some kind of “no crossover” stipulation in place. Otherwise we’d totally have Doctor Doom versus Darth Vader or something goin’ on. Which, by the way, I would buy a million times over.

• • •

Thom H. helps himself with

“1. The X-Men relaunch will hit a point of diminishing returns and Hickman’s big mutant crossover will fizzle.”

Some of the series have started dropping in sales, but the previously mentioned “X of Swords” event bumped everything up quite a bit! So, hmm, half point for you. Collect those points for big savings!

“2. Ryan Sook won’t be able to keep up the art chores on Legion of Super-heroes, and we’ll get a fill-in artist/issue sooner rather than later.”

We did have an issue or two that had a ton of artists as kind of a special event…don’t know if that counts as “fill-ins” or not. U-Decide!

“3. Strange Adventures will be awesome and beautiful, and it will rightly collect accolades from across the internet.”

I’ve enjoyed it, and it looks like other folks out there are as well. So why not, you get the hit! I HAVE JUDGED.

• • •

Tom Cherry is the pits with

“After his appearance in the Jimmy Olsen maxi-series, Swamp Thong gets his own book and teams up Harley Quinn.”

I thought we all agreed to never speak of Swamp Thong again. Or Swamp Thang. HOW DARE YOU, SIR.

• • •

Surely that’s enough prediction shenaniganery for today. Come back next time when reader DK makes me reread Doomsday Clock #12 because I forgot what happened to certain characters in it. What fun!

Your 2020 Predictions, Part One: New Planets, New Perils!

§ January 11th, 2021 § Filed under predictions § 11 Comments

Well, here we go…I’m finally looking back at your 2020 comic industry predictions, to see who got ’em right, who got ’em wrong, and how much your pal Mike’s muddled brain can actually remember from this past hellyear. I’ll respond the best I can, but if any of you can provide corrections or additional info to my typing here, feel free to do so and I’ll try to address that info in a later post.

And don’t forget…you can still get in your predictions for 2021. You know, the year we’re in right now, so hurry up already.

Okay…keyboard’s plugged in, the iced tea is poured, the loins are girded, so let’s get cracking, shall we?

NOTE: some of you submitted more than three predictions…in the past, I let it slide, but this year, I’m just handling three from each person. Maybe the first three, or maybe the three I feel like answering. Who can say?

Jason hacks up the following

“The X-Men franchise will be reduced to one monthly book titled X-Men.”

Still got all those post-House of X/Powers of X titles coming, plus more besides. I expect we’ll start seeing some attrition this year.

“Disney will try to cash in on the Baby Yoda phenomenon by announcing a new animated series on Disney Plus titled ‘Baby Yoda Adventures’

“Everyone will hate it.”

I was going to say “restraint was shown in storytelling spinoffs of Baby Yoda,” but a Googling shows a pile of books, some of which I presume to be authorized. But I expected at least a cute Baby Yoda comic book, at the very least. No cartoons for the little fella yet, but it’s probably just a matter of time. Can you imagine a bunch of shorts of [REDACTED, but you know who] training Baby Yoda and getting impossibly frustrated at the task? That’s probably be funny.

“DC will bring Alfred back from the dead, but will kill another member of the bat family. Probably Batgirl.”

Not entirely up on the Bat-books, but searches of several Wikis reveal various biographies of the character that end with “and then Bane broke his neck and he died” so I’m presuming he’s still joined up with the choir invisible. There’s bit of an “out” at the end of Dark Night Death Metal #7, I think, but we still need to see if that goes anywhere.

• • •

Signal Watch indicates these

“DC will continue to mangle continuity and stray further and further from anything resembling the basic form familiar to the public of their IP (cough… characters) in their own comic books and continue to refuse to offer a back-to-basics line of comics.”

So just how did you predict Future State? …Well, okay, it’s not a permanent change or anything, but it’s certainly an attempt at rejiggering their properties and seeing what sticks. Though once everything gets back to “normal, there’ll be some post-New Implosion reduction of the line to the Big Names That Still Sorta Sell.

“No one will mention Doomsday Clock again by January 31, 2020 as DC will forget they ever had it or could have done anything with the potential. Folks re-reading comics from this era will be baffled by the launch of Rebirth and what happened afterwards. The Button thing will never be resolved.”

You know, I don’t think they ever did explain The Button’s deal. Why was it embedded in the Batcave’s wall in the first place? I don’t recall seeing an answer to that (and I’m going to feel dumb if it in fact was answered in this very story).

Despite all that, Doomsday Clock somehow played into Dark Nights Death Metal, or at least a Watchmen character did. Beyond that, yeah, Doomsday Clock I suspect will move on to the Backlist of Forgotten Dreams and all that.

“DC publishers and editors will learn nothing from what worked about the Watchmen HBO series, just as they learned nothing from the Watchmen comic.”

Well, depends on how you feel about the Rorschach mini currently running, I guess.

• • •

Chris V’s vendetta comes out with

“Iron Man 2020 will become the unexpected huge hit of 2020. It will prove so popular that comics will hit another boom period, comparable to the early-1990s. Iron Man 2020 #1 will stand as the third best-selling comic, behind only X-Men #1 an Spider Man #1.”

I have to admit…it sold better for me than I expected, but not quite to the ’90s level of X-Men and Spider-Man. I wonder if the comics market as a whole today is even as much as sales on either of those titles.

“By 2021, this fad will pass, and everyone will make fun of the people who bought in to the Iron Man 2020 hype.”

I’m beginning to think Mr. V is pulling my leg a bit here. But Marvel did have a mini-even of 2020-themed titles that, in fact, did indeed end by 2021!

“The Iron Man 2020 movie will be pushed back to 2021, and while doing better than expected, will be considered a failure.”

Ooh, Chris, I have some bad news for you about theatrical releases in 2020….

• • •

Rob London steals some crown jewels with

“1. Everyone starts wearing big gears on their shoulders.”

If by “big gears” you mean “facemasks,” and by “shoulders” you mean “faces,” then you are mostly correct, sir!

“2. Hasbro and Marvel work out some sort of deal to reprint Rom: Spaceknight and Micronauts.”

That would be nice, since those are the only comic book versions of the characters people want. Hope they make a deal sometime soon before all the folks who remember those iterations of the properties die of old age.

“3. Eternals-mania sweeps the nation when their movie comes out.”

Ooh, Chris Rob, I have some bad news for you about theatrical releases in 2020….

• • •

demoncat_4 comes from the 9th Litterbox of Hell to announce

“dc streaming will resurrect the swamp thing tv show for two seasons then a swamp thing movie.”

The DC Universe streaming service all but flamed out in its video delivery incarnation, so that didn’t happen. However, there was a story or two out there that a revival could, kinda maybe, happen, but not holding my breath.

“dc will annouce a constantine movie and resurrect the tv show.”

A story did come out that a follow-up to the 2005 Constantine movie starring Keanu Reeves (and a better film than you’d think) is a possibility. Again, not sure I’d hold my breath.

As for TV, I think we may all have to settle for John-boy being on Legends of Tomorrow. I mean, he’s still on there, right? I haven’t watched in a while.

“marvel will finaly let chris claremont do an an x-men book where he reveals that mystique and destiny are really night crawlers parents all along and storm officially being revealed at last being bishop’s grandfather”

I don’t think either of these things happened. Maybe someone who reads more X-Men than I do (i.e. any X-Men) can clue me in. Though I have to admit, while I’ve heard the Mystique/Destiny/Nightcrawler one before, the Storm/Bishop one is new to me. Is that really a thing?

• • •

Steven R reaches deep for

“Marvel decides to stop productions of new comic books, changing their name to Marvel Licensing. Other comic companies swarm to license their titles. IDW adds 20 more Marvel Superhero and 5 more Star Wars books, and changes their name to Marvel-IDW. DC licenses Conan, and announces that will resume the old comic strip.”

That’s…kind of a lot lumped in there, but it’s all answered with “nope.” Or rather, “not yet.” There’s a non-zero channce of Marvel just outsourcing everything to other publishers. And I do wonder…when will DC get its crack at Conan? I think I came across a reference the other day in Overstreet to a Conan cameo in the ’70s DC title Sword of Sorcery, so maybe they’ll get to build on that someday!

“DC also gets the license to the western Ghost Rider, and decides to make a Bat Lash Ghost Rider team-up.”

Aim high, brother! Didn’t happen, but would love to see Bat Lash team up with Ghost Rider. Any version of Ghost Rider. That’d be a weird damn book.

“FCBD is such a hit, that Boom announces a line of Free monthly comics – with 18 pages of new material and 64 pages of advertising.”

Ooh, Chris Rob Steven, I have some bad news for you about theatrical releases Free Comic Book Day in 2020….

• • •

bretsector divides up the following

“With most of its comic reading fanbase ‘getting gray around the temples,’ Marvel and DC launch a line of Bronze Age comics featuring a 1970’s universe of their characters written and drawn by the bronze age greats…Gerry Conway, Tony Isabella, Marv Wolfman, John Byrne, Mike Golden, Sal Buscema, etc.”

I’d actually be all for that, and…hey, why not. What, Marvel and DC are afraid comics might not sell? Did not happen, more’s the pity.

“Marvel and DC will co-publish an omnibus collection of their greatest silver and bronze age Christmas stories (more of a WISH than a prediction, I must confess).”

Well, Marvel’s done a couple of paperbacks (out of print, natch) reprinting holiday comics, a mix of ’70s and ’80s with more modern stuff. And DC had the DC Universe Christmas TPB with “stories from 1940 to present day!” But a big ol’ fat hardcover omnibus with the whole Christmas enchilada? Not that I recall, But I’m sure either company could fill up that volume.

“Trying to recreate the success that Marvel has had thrusting Conan into the Avengers franchise, DC will bring back Claw the Unconquered, Stalker, and Beowulf and add them to the various JLA books.”

I’d be good with that. Claw apparently appeared in Dark Night Death Metal so maybe it’s starting already!

• • •

Robcat steals in on little cat feet to say

“[ ] Legion of Super-heroes will be cancelled. There will be talk of a reboot, or an advertised crossover with a previous version of the Legion.”

It’s still happening! But I’m sure we’ll see a reboot eventually.

“[ ] A DC movie will be announced that will make us say, ‘Well… Aquaman worked so maybe…’ but still no Superman much to the disappointment of Henry Cavill.”

Sadly, the Metal Men movie remains unannounced. And no new Super-film yet, starring anybody (since Cavill’s not likely to return).

“[ ] Gail Simone will return to DC for a Birds of Prey/Suicide Squad/Wonder Woman mega-crossover that’s actually good. I was going to add she becomes Editor-In-Chief and Publisher of DC Comics, but let’s just be unrealistic on one thing at a time.”

Instead we got Marie Javins, and that ain’t too shabby.

“And I hope you’re reading this in a year with no more eye surgeries!”

I did have some eye-laserin’, but no straight-up surgeries! Here’s hoping I’m done with all those things!

• • •

By Jove, it’s Jason Sandberg with

“1. Game of Thrones viewers are nearly unanimous in their disappointment with the final season. Clearly, an epic is needed to fill the vacuum left by the better seasons of Game of Thrones. What grand story will provide the large cast, palace intrigue and shocking plot twists they crave?
2020 will bring an HBO or Netflix adaptation of Jim Starlin’s DREADSTAR. Starlin’s 1980s masterpiece will become the next must-see cable/streaming series.”

Alas, the original plans for the Dreadstar TV show are kaput, though I would have dearly loved to see it. Maybe if Dreadstar Returns! goes over big, we’ll get another chance!

“2. DC will publish a BATMAN and the NEW GODs series.”

Not yet! Wait ’til the New Gods movie comes out.

“3. Grant Morrison will come back to Marvel to write an Eternals ongoing, illustrated by Javier Rodriguez.”

Welll…the writer of the current Eternals series is actually Kieron Gillen, who’s British. And Grant’s from Scotland…so Scotland, England, those’re pretty much the same, right? So you’re close!

• • •

That’s enough for today, as I go to run and hide after that last bit. I’ll be back Wednesday to look at more of your predictions! Thanks for reading, whatever pals I have remaining, and I’ll see you then!

“Never make predictions, especially about the future.” – Casey Stengel

§ December 18th, 2020 § Filed under predictions § 48 Comments

Okay pals, it’s that time of year again, when I, your humble comics bloggerererer, asks you, what remains of people what read the blogs, for your comic book industry predictions for the coming year. That year being 2021, in case you’ve lost track, and I wouldn’t blame you if you had.

So this means I’ll be looking at your predictions for 2020 pretty soon and seeing how y’all did. I haven’t looked at them yet, but if one of you said “the world will fall into plague times, which slightly affects the comic book industry,” I’m gonna plotz.

BUT THAT PLOTZING MUST WAIT, and I need to get your predictions for 2021 right this very moment! Please leave them in the comments to this post, and for the love of all that is good and holy, please please please follow these 4 Simple Rules for Posting Your Predictions:

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, please!

See? That’s all I ask. That’s not so bad, is it? I’m no tyrant!

Anyway, thanks to everyone who participates in this particular activity of mine…I enjoy your contributions and hopefully you enjoy my coverage of them. So please leave your comical conjectures in the comments and in January of 2022, I’ll read ’em over and see how you did!
 
 

“Your Future Rests…In Your Hands!” (1964) – art by Larry Lieber

Your 2019 Predictions, Epilogue: Changeling.

§ February 1st, 2020 § Filed under blogging about blogging is a sin, predictions § 5 Comments

Right on the cusp of February I’m finally finishing up this whole “your 2019 predictions” thing. I’ve directly responded to the forecasts themselves, and now it’s time to go back and do a little mopping up regarding your comments to said responses. (Said posts are located here: one, two, three, four, five, six).

So first off, Brian fills my brain with some thoughts on blogging:

“The metaphorical — and too often literal — death of the old comic blogosphere continues to sadden me. Having been just too young for the Usenet era, I’ve always seen blogs as the right format in my mind for internet discussion (the transition to social media just feels wrong, not withstanding that I’ve gotten off social media myself in recent years). Of course, I then stop and think back to how many of those bloggers I’ve been reading across sites for 15-20 years, and it doesn’t necessarily surprise me that the numbers have gone down so dramatically (whether by death, moving away from posting, or moving to new monetized venues or social streams). But it’s still always an odd sense of not so much an end of an era but an era that ended a while ago. All the more reason to love having The Mikester still doing his thing here!”

Yes, this ties into the prediction posts. The very first 2019 prediction involved readerships of blogs and the lack thereof. I mean…there still are comics blogs out there, though perhaps it’s not the close-knit community it used to be. A lot of the folks I used to link to and virtually pal around with have either severely curtailed or ended entirely their blogging activities, or, as Brian mentions, have moved on to the seemingly less work-intensive social media outlets. I know I’ve been tempted to just go Tweetery-only…it’s a lot easy to be more spontaneous and less worried about feeding the blogging beast there, tossing off whatever brief thoughts and funny images I have handy.

But I think there’s always going to be room for longer-form, slightly less ephemeral content like this, on more permanent venues rather than being buried beneath, or washed away by, the crush of endless aggregated content feeding through social media. Maybe it’s not the “in” thing that it used to be, blogging still remains a useful way of getting your ideas out there and expressing yourself and hopefully entertaining or informing readers.

Now am I going to do this forever? I mean, it feels like I already have, doesn’t it? No idea when I started this back when blogs where just beginning to peak in the early 2000s that I’d be one of the last comic blogs standing from that initial comicblogosphere explosion. Sure, a number of folks used their blogs to get paying gigs or comics work (not necessarily the same thing), but blogging has always been an extension of what apparently is going to be my lifelong career, flamenco dancer funnybook salesman. I like talking about the hobby, the industry around it, and also my eyeballs, apparently. I figure as long as I’m in this business, I’ll probably want to talk about it, and right now blogging is the best way for me to do so. And if something better than blogging comes along…or rather, something I like better than blogging…then I may move onto that.

The other issue of course is, well, time, which a lot of us seem to have less of the older we get. Case in point: this post is going up on Saturday instead of Friday as planned. And there have been a few times over the laset few months where either my life gets in the way, or I have health issues, or I just plain don’t feel like typing, that results in a skipped day or two. I try to stick to the 3-times-a-week schedule, but it doesn’t always work out that way, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. And other folks, I’m sure, just realized one day “no time for blogging, Dr. Jones” because there’s too much other stuff going on, and effectively shuttered their sites. It can be a lot of work for not a lot of return, and that effort may need to be redirected towards other more important tasks.

For me, while the actual comcis blogging is a reward to me in and of itself, there is a small measure of self-promotion at work here. I do have a store, after all, and I have a not-insignificant number of customers who have come to me because I’ve been blogging the better part of twenty years. That’s incentive in addition to whatever drive it is that already compels me to blather incesseantly at you.

Ultimately, there may come a time when the only reader I’ll have for my blog is my roommate at the old folks home that I badger into looking at my posts, but I suspect I’ll continue writing about comics online ’til they pry my keyboard from my cold, dead hands. Or that long-promised meteor falls on me, whichever comes first.

• • •

Thelonious_Nick and Chris V both kinda made the case that Black Label is fine, and it was probably time for Vertigo to go, which I do agree to, despite the facetiousness in my “voice” in that post. There is good stuff coming out from them, and that Joe Hill line, as Chris notes, is pretty exceptional and a fine use of the imprint. I was just saying that the huge success of that first issue of Batman: Damned, penis-driven or not, simply sealed Vertigo’s fate, and DC now had a new imprint for grown-ups that was getting the attention Vertigo used to get and seemingly could no longer. Having Black Label a little more closely tied to the DC brand certainly helps its visibility.

• • •

Cassandra Miller is crossing me with

“At Emerald City Comicon last year, Matt Wagner was asked if there could ever be a Mage 4. He basically said not at this point, but never say never.

“So don’t give up hope! We could get a Matchstick Disco Boogie yet!”

Now there’s nothing in Mage 3 that really precludes more Mage stories. The main thread of the three minis is concluded, sure, but I can see exploring the Mage world a little more.

Yeah, yeah, I know, “it’s done, leave it alone,” but I wouldn’t object to it being revisited. Preferably by Matt Wagner, but I can see other creators dabbling in the milieu. In fact, I bet we see some kind of “Mage Stories”-type anthology with other folks taking a crack at Mage short stories, kinda like that Hellboy: Weird Tales. THAT’S A FREE IDEA, IF ANYONE’S LISTENING

• • •

Rob Staeger steals me blind with

Good news! ‘There’s Swamp Thing About Mary’ won’t be the swan song of Legends of Tomorrow that John predicts… the show’s already been renewed! (As have all the other CW comic-based shows, aside from the soon-to-end Arrow, and the yet-to-debut Katy Keene.)

For half a second there, I had to remind myself there wasn’t actually a Swamp Thing episode of Legends of Tomorrow. But I’m glad it got renewed (wasn’t so sure it would, given that ratings weren’t necessarily wonderful a lot of the time. (But considering the sheer amount of options for TV watching nowawadays, maybe folks should scale down their expectactions for what would count as “good ratings.”) I do hope that more of these superhero shows follow its model of fewer episodes. More killer, less filler, sez I.

• • •

Daniel T terrifically reminds us that the John Byrne Man of Steel omnibus was in fact canceled, with supposedly that material seeing print elsewhere. I hope it’s brought back into print soon…that is the beginning for the Modern Age Superman, and thus of some note.

• • •

Andrew-TLA truly notes

“Personally, I draw a distinction between Dark Horse’s licensed titles and their creator-owned lines. That said, Usagi may not be nearly as big a deal as he should be, but the book had become a DH mainstay, and Stan Sakai jumping ship for IDW is a pretty big deal. Especially combined with Eric Powell taking The Goon back to self-publishing.

“If I’m Mike Richardson, I’m doing whatever I can to make sure Mike Mignola stays happy. And maybe trying to squeeze more Umbrella Academy and Groo from Way and Aragones.”

Yeah, I was having trouble thinking of other big licensed books from Dark Horse, but fell back on the creator owned stuff. They still have Aliens, Predator, Terminator, Stranger Things, a couple of other Netflix-related titles (mostly snapped up to flip on eBay, it seems)…not a lot that’s huge (save maybe Stranger Things) and I’m not sure how much cash flow those are bringing in anway. Used to be I’d sell Aliens comics by theh handful…now it’s very niche.

But every title/franchise that moves away from Dark Horse has got to hurt. I’m honestly surprised losing Star Wars wasn’t a crippling blow. I’m glad it wasn’t, and I hope the company sticks around for a long time.

• • •

Rob Staeger (that guy again?) laments

“Ha, when I predicted the return of Autumnlands in early 2019, little did I know how long the Astro City hiatus would last! Last year was CRUEL, man.”

I believe Kurt Busiek noted that there was some business type stuff to take care of re: Astro City but I hope its return is sooner rather than later. I did see mention of a possible TV show based on it, though, so we’ll see what that does to the comic production should that show actually happen.

• • •

Okay, that’s it. PREDICTION TIME IS OVER until next year when I look at your predictions for this year! Thanks for reading, pals, and I hope everyone got the double-reference in Cassandra Miller’s intro.

Your 2019 Predictions, Part Six: Perihelion.

§ January 29th, 2020 § Filed under predictions § 1 Comment

At long last, the final installment of my going over your 2019 comic industry predictions (and if you missed ’em: parts one, two, three, four and five).

Like I said last time (and speaking of last time, you should go back and reread that post because I had to fix some errors after its initial publication) I plan to address some of your comments on these posts on Friday. And then…that’s it! ‘Til next January, anyway, when I cover your 2020 predictions!

Enough preamble, let’s get down to business:

Michael Grabowski grasps the following

“1. Absolute Ambush Bug.”

Actually, I’d love to have that. Maybe it could have an introduction by José Muñoz!

“2. A pair of current DC creators will make an attempt at rebooting the Fleming/Von Eeden Thriller concept as a 12-issue Vertigo series. It will be cohesive while still a bit of a challenging read, but will lack the unique approach of the original. Its success will lead to an eventual attempt to develop the series for the streaming entertainment complex.”

Huh. That would have been something. At the very least, I would have expected one of the TV shows or movies to have nicked the visual of the character Scabbard pulling a sword out of his back. Ah well…maybe someday we can get a nice hardcover edition of this series.

“3. (Wishful thinking here. But aren’t these all?) Marvel will publish True Believers editions of Lee- Ditko work, including their unfairly neglected Hulk stories for Tales To Astonish.”

WISHES CAN COME TRUE! A True Believers $1.00 reprint of Incredible Hulk #6 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko came out last year! Now if can get them to do the other five in $1.00 editions, we’d be set. (I know they did one of those $3.99 “facsimile editions” of #1…look, I’m cheap, what can I tell you.)

• • •

Dave Carter has yet another set of predictions

“The X-Men will be relaunched with a new #1 (whether as Uncanny again or a different title).”

Correct! Boy howdy did X-Men ever relaunch. It’s still relaunching, with more X-titles coming! X-relaunches stomping on our comic racks, forever!

“2. Raina Telgemeier’s ‘Guts’ will be the top-selling comic of the year (just not in comic stores, where it will barely make a blip).”

I don’t know if it was the top of the year for sure, but looking around at various real-world best seller lists, where it’s consistently at the top, I suspect, yes, you’re probably right. (Especially given this lst of the top graphic novels of the decade which is mostly Telgemeier and those Dog Boy books (not to be confused with).

Looking at Diamond’s top ten list for best-selling graphic novels for 2019…no Guts to be found. Watchmen is in first place, however, no doubt buoyed by the hit HBO TV show That’s Our Rorschach!

“3. The Shazam! movie will underperform (by which I mean it will stall make over $100M domestically, but that will be considered a failure”

I think it’s considered a hit, enough so that a sequel is on the way. It did make over $100 million domestially…$140 million, according to Box Office Mojo, with over $360,000,000 total including its performance in distant and mysterious lands. …I don’t know why I look at that number and think “huh, that’s it” like $360M is like something I’d lose behind the couch cushions. All these billion-dollar superhero movies have skewed my perspective.

• • •

Philippe Leblanc hugs us with

“1. After audience who saw the movie Avengers: Infinity War got confused and bought the comic Infinity War of the same name rather than the Infinity Gauntlet, people decides that Avengers Endgame is based on the comics ‘Marvel: The End’ from 2003 and purchase this old series en masse.”

I didn’t have that much confusion over War/Gauntlet at my shop, I don’t believe. Most people knew to seek out Infinity Gauntlet. Endgame just seemed to get more people looking for Infinity Gauntlet. Go figure.

“2. DC Comics success with the Swamp Thing TV leads to some interests in a new series. After seeing such a tremendous success to the first title, DC launches ‘The Swamp Universe,’ closely modeled after The Sandman Universe.”

Oh man. Just think, solo titles for Abby. Chester Williams. CRANIUS (his second!).

“3. A popular monthly Lego Comics will be launched, presumably by DC Comics, but maybe BOOM Studios or First Second.”

Still waiting, unfortunately. I’m sure the original graphic novels do okay in bookstores…at least well enough to not settle for the pennies gained from a an ongoing comic book series for comic shop.

• • •

DavidG drops these

“1. This will be the year that DC relaunches Legion of Superheroes, as teenagers, to awful effect. I know I predicted this last year, but I have to be right eventually.”

Believe it or not, the Legion has finally returned to stands…whether it’s awful is up to you, I suppose. I think it’s okay, if a little…busy.

“2. This year’s Avengers movie will be peak Marvel – it will make slightly more than the last one, but won’t be out grossed for a long time, because of superhero fatigue and the key actors finally moving on. And the average person recognising that comics’ fondness for killing characters for a cheap emotional buzz, then bringing them straight back again, is essentially cynical and dull.”

Infinity War did just over $2 billion, which seemed like it would be hard to beat…’til Endgame got within spitin’ distance of $3 billion. I think that you’re probably right about it not being outrgrossed anytime soon, at least until that X-Men vs. The Avengers, Guest-Starring Forbush Man comes out.

Probably too soon for audience cynicism to set in regarding superhero deaths and such, at least in the movies. We’ll see how they’ll deal with the eventual casting of key roles of Iron Man or Captain America.

“3. Not only will there be no new issues of Miracleman, but Neil Gaiman will start to publicly hint that it is all too hard, and he has better things to do with his time.”

No new issues, no, but Gaiman still insists that more MM is on the way! I mean, you’re right, he probably does have better (and higher-paying) things to do, but I’m glad he hasn’t forsaken this project! Been waiting decades for the resolution to that cliffhanger!

• • •

And Adan Espino Michael DeForges it all up in this joint with

“1. After this Realms crossover with Marvel the books that were actually doing well with readers that I am enjoying (Hulk / Venom), will drop in readership due to interruption.”

Popping in at Comichron again, looks like Venom started out the year with close to 59,000 copies of #10, and ended the year with 74,000 of #21, so that seems to be doing okay…of course, other events and various hoohar beyond just War of the Realms would fiddle with numbers, too.

Immortal Hulk started off the year with 41,000 for #11 (a lot lower than I would ahve thought, honest) and ends the year with 50,000 for #28, so 1) sales may be catching up to all the positive attention it’s receiving, and 2) there were 17 issues of Immortal Hulk this year, which…man, I’d thought Marvel maybe eased up on that shit. Anyway, WoTR wasn’t too much of a series killer…I think in general people kind of liked that series, which, y’know, good.

“2. DC releases an indie creators title kind of like Marvel Strange Tales from years back, and Michael DeForge contributes and his story is one that I actually remember past a few months after reading.”

That would have been neat, but I can’t recall anything that was quite like that. What was the last time DC did that? That Bizarro Comics collection DC assembled to have a place to put that “Superman’s Babysitter” story they were finally shamed into publishing? I mean, some of that wasn’t bad. I’m sure indie creators did work for DC, but not on anything as overtly, well, “indie” as your Strange Tales example. No DeForge at DC that I know of, but maybe he can get in on their young adult/”gimme that bookstore money” line of books they’ve been doing lately.

“3. Marvel and DC both continue to release comics that are 20-22 pages long–of which half the pages in said comics have explosions on them for some kind of dramatic gravitas (only to be glazed over by myself)…at which point I will just dig out something tried and true, like Starman or Swamp Thing…or whatever Michael DeForge did in the last couple of years to scratch the sequential story-reading itch.”

Haven’t done a personal survey myself, but I feel like Big Explosion Content hasn’t cut too much into storytelling…at least, not in all the comics I struggled to read with my wonky eyes over the last year. I could’ve used more explosions to give me a break from trying to discern the word balloons.

However, I appreciate your cited alternatives…more Swamp Thing reading is always encouraged by me, of course. And I sure hope Mr. DeForge appreciates the advertising!

• • •

Is that it? Are we done? I think we’re done! Well, except the mopping up, which we’ll do on Friday, so we’ll all meet back here then. Thanks for reading and contributing, pals, and I’ll be back then.

Your 2019 Predictions, Part Five: Refuge.

§ January 27th, 2020 § Filed under predictions § 5 Comments

Okay, nearly done here looking back at your 2019 comic industry predictions (and here are parts one, two, three and four). Should wrap up the predictions proper today and Wednesday, with some short follow-up to your comments on Friday. And then it’s back to this sites usual diet of me talking about Death of Superman comics.

Oh, and I forgot to mention last time you can still submit your comic-booky forecasts for the remaining 11 months of 2020 right here.

Anyway, let’s get this presagery party started!

Rob Staeger stages the following

“1) Tom King and Barnaby Bagenda reunite for a Legion of Superheroes book. What’s more, it’s been delayed for so long thanks to Doomsday Clock’s reduced pace that the first four issues come out weekly, to make it event and make use of the backlog.”

Unfortunately no…an interesting creative team, but not the one we got (though the one we did get seems to be okay so far). I think you’re right about delays causing some shenanigans, if not specifically like what you mentioned. They basically brought ’em back ahead of Doomsday Clock bringing them back, so…yeah, it got a little mixed up there.

“2) Autumnlands by Kurt Busiek and Ben Dewey finally returns from Image.”

Well, they did a new printing of the first trade earlier in the year, but probably not what you meant. This story on Busiek’s appearance at Comic Con notes that new material is being prepared, so maybe we’ll get something soon!

“3) A popular board game will get its own comic book — possibly Pandemic Legacy or Betrayal at House on the Hill.”

We did get another Clue series (Candlestick) from IDW this year. Otherwise…well, I’m at a bit of a loss, if only because my board game knowledge is fairly limited. I know the games you mentioned there, and I’d probably recognize a few more from my days managing a combo game/comic shop…but if a particularly obscure (well, okay, it probably wouldn’t have to be that obscure given, well, me) game got converted into a comic, I may simply not as recognized it as such, or forgotten the solicitation info, or whatever.

But I think that Clue comic (or “Cluedo,” for those of you in civilized countries) meets your criteria, so points for you on that. Now if only someone would do a dead-on adaptation of this game (including all the weird passengers you had to rescue).

• • •

David Oakes makes like a tree and leaves me with

“I predict that Mike will get at least three ‘Mike will get hit by a meteor’ predictions following his last tweet.”

Not so far, but I haven’t read all the predictions yet. If any turn up, I’ll amend this response! Also, David is referring to this tweet where I also noted that I’d stop doing this prediction things every year if I don’t hit a certain minimum number of responses. Well, you’ll be glad to know I hit that minimum again for the 2020 entries, so look forward to me asking you for your 2021 predictions around December!

“In comics, something even more incredulous than all the joke predictions will happen, and we won’t even be surprised. Ant-Man and Blue Devil are the new norm.”

I was trying to think, what was the most ridiculous thing to happen in comics this year? …That there was a Watchmen TV show, and by most accounts it was actually good? That seemed pretty unlikely.

And Ant-Man…Ant-Man is mainstream, baby! The world loves Ant-Man! That’s about as norm as it gets! And alas, Blue Devil had his chance, what with the TV show Swamp Thing Also Costarring Blue Devil appearing on the DC Streaming service, but that program was too beautiful for this fallen world.

• • •

De lights in with

“A Fortnite comic book will be published.”

I don’t think there’s a physical comic that’s come out, at least not through Diamond, and Googling turns up lots of fan-made comics, so there’s that. However, gird yourself for the parody comic Fartnite, and…hey, look, have I ever told you that I used to get in trouble as a kid for even saying the word “fart?” And now “fart” is, like, on children’s books and toys and fart jokes appear in every kids movie and frankly I’m a bit irked.

“2. Someone involved with Comicsgate will eat a bad egg salad sandwich, spend hours on the toilet contemplating life, and then return to being a total jerk.”

Speaking of farts…well, you know, to be fair, who hasn’t? Okay, maybe not the jerk part. For you. Not me, I’m usually a jerk.

“3. Predator vs. The Planet of the Apes will be published by Dark Horse/Boom and outsells Batman.”

Why this insta-money idea hasn’t been brought to fruition baffles me.

• • •

David Alexander McDonald clowns around with

“1)The DC Universe will be dead before it can finish running the full slate of shows, due to bad numbers. It will be folded into the Warner Media streamer and DC will finally strike a deal with ComiXology to join Unlimited.”

Gotta be honest…surprised it’s still around, too. They seem committed to keeping it around, at least for now (though making rebroadcasting deals with Doom Patrol and Stargirl seems to point to…something). Your scenarios are very possible at some point, but not just yet!

“2) Marvel Comics will get a huge overhaul (again) and Marvel Studios will shock people by cutting back to one or two films a year and disappoint everybody by not announcing either and X-film or an FF film in 2019 (FF will go to TV.)”

Honestly, it’s hard to say if Marvel’s going through a new huge overhaul or continuing an overhaul that’s been going on a while. They did slap a new coat of paint on the X-Men comics franchise and pumped out too many books at once, so maybe that kinda counts.

As far as the movies go…the main Marvel Studios has at least two for this year (Black Widow and The Eternals), plus all the associated Sony Spidey films (liike Morbius), and it looks like we’ve got four Marvel Studios flicks in 2021. So, it’s probably safe to say nothin’ is slowing down with the Marvel movies.

“3) Losing their licenses pushes Dark Horse to revive their Heroes line as a film/tv shared universe. It will not get off to a good start.”

I’m kinda surprised they haven’t, unless the Barb Wire movie is making folks a bit gunshy. But that’s a lot of IP they’ve got sitting around gathering dust. Surely someone must have come sniffin’ around to license the characters, though, right? I mean, the Seaboard/Atlas characters got picked up for films, for God’s sake.

EDIT: David’s comment reminded me…I didn’t address all of his predictions! He answered his own about the DC/Comixology deal (“yes”) and I actually did look up the X-Men/FF movie announcement thing. Turns out while they did say at Comic Con plans were afoot, no specific announcements were made. So, uh…sorry I didn’t answer those right away, David!

• • •

Rob London bridges this post with

“A few prominent long-running comic strips attempts to emulate Nancy by bringing on creators who weren’t born during the Eisenhower Administration and modernizing the strip – I’m thinking Blondie or Mark Trail.”

To be fair, I haven’t read a lot of comic strips over the last year, so I haven’t noticed too much repolishing of the properties there (aside from the two women in B.C. finally getting names).

My guess is that, even with Nancy doing relatively well, that’s still not enough for other strips to take the plunge into such a dramatic shift. Nancy changed so radically I suspect it was a case of “either do something, or we’re cancelling the strip,” and I don’t expect other strips to radically change either without equally dire fates awaiting them.

“2. DC launches a revival of Scare Tactics, the mid-’90s monsters-who-are-in-a-band comic, written by a real-life musician.”

Seems like a natural for the Young Animal imprint, doesn’t it? They haven’t returned, far as I know, but then I haven’t read everything. Maybe they’re in the background of a Harley Quinn issue. Wouldn’t put it past those guys.

“3. With Marvel and 20th Century Fox under the same umbrella, 2019 brings us the return, in some form, of the amazing Apeslayer! http://comiczine-fa.com/features/among-us-walks-an-apeslayer

GET THOSE PETITIONS IN NOW, FOLKS

• • •

That’s that for today…come back Wednesday for the shocking conclusion, and then Friday for the equally-shocking epilogue! Thanks for reading, pals.

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