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Your 2022 Predictions, Part Five: Battle of Beiden Pass.

§ January 18th, 2023 § Filed under predictions § 13 Comments

Hi pals! Time to make the doughnuts again, lookin’ at your 2022 comic industry predictions. See what I’ve done already (1 2 3 4), and let’s get into what else you had to say!

• • •

William Burns lights a fire under my butt with

“1. The acquisition of Dark Horse leads to a major push for the Comics Greatest World setting and heroes.”

I went lookin’ and haven’t seen any movement in that batch of characters. A couple of articles I read on the Netflix/Dark Horse deal didn’t mention anything, which is where I think that info would most likely have come to light. But Comics’ Greatest World feels like a natural, at least for maybe a TV show in this superhero-crazy world. I mean, Ghost at the very least, right? But maybe that Barb Wire movie casts a long shadow over all the other CGW properties.

“2. There will be ballyhoo about the establishment of a new comics company designed to appeal to right-wing fans, with white male heroes and a generally conservative culture war slant. Nothing much will come of it.”

From what I can tell, the biggest right-wing comic news this past year was this proposed movie where someone got taken for a million bucks. It was based on a character that was being ballyhooed a few years back by some site or ‘nother as “the antidote to woke, SJW-loving Marvel” or words to that effect, and apparently they actually got out some issues, I guess? I haven’t seen any news about any current attempts at making a right-leaning publisher, but we can probably blame that darn liberal media bias for that.

“3. A Wonder Woman storyline will involve a non-binary Amazon.”

I know a transgendered Amazonian made it into a Wonder Woman story, but I can’t turn up any reports on a specifically non-binary one. I haven’t read any WW comics over the past year, so if a non-binary person turned up, much less had a full-on storyline, I would have missed it. If I’m incorrect, please correct me!

• • •

Jeff R. rites

“1. Movie projects announced by year’s end include Harley Quinn and the Secret Six, Dazzler, and Transdimensional Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”

At the very least there was a rumor that James Gunn could possibly have been doing something with them, but since Gunn took over the movie/TV adaptations of DC Comics, even if the rumor were true I’d imagine things would be on hold while everything gets hammered out.

As for the Transdimensional TMNT, best I can find is this 2016 episode of one of the cartoons. It’s the “most cowabunga crossover ever” so surely that should be enough for all of us.

“2. Peter David and Greg Pak return to the Hulk books and cowrite World War Maestro and Planet Maestro.”

Pak did come back to write the new Planet Hulk: Worldbreaker series, so there’s that. David has continued writing Hulk comics, but has moved away from Maestro and is now on to Joe Fixit. …Hey, how ’bout a Joe Fixit vs. Maestro story? “Fixit Imperfect,” they could call it.

“3. Nightwing 100 (solicited at least next year) is a wedding.”

Mmmmmmm this issue is literally coming out as I write this, so I don’t feel comfortable spoiling anything “on main,” as the kids say. So follow this link to find the answer! (The link is completely work-and-computer-and-sanity-safe I promise you.)

• • •

DavidG drops the following

“1. No Miracleman. But there will be a teaser for it, which will lead to nothing.”

As discussed in a previous installment of this prediction coverage, new Miracleman comics got released in 2022 just under the wire! Now, whether or not we continue to get more new issues, that remains to be seen.

“2. ‘The Batman’ movie will repeat the failings of the early nineties movies – too many villains, none of whom get enough screen time to resonate so the whole thing will be unsatisfactory.”

Well, who did we get in The Batman? Riddler was our main dude, with appearances by Selina Kyle AKA Catwoman, and the Penguin. The Joker shows up, sorta (though there’s a deleted scene with the character getting screen time). It never felt like it was too many, like any of them were getting in each other’s way or anything. I can’t speak for you, but I think it all worked out nicely in support of a pretty good Batman movie.

“3. The last LSH reboot will be ignored, and there will be another attempt to breathe life into the sixties version, possibly in the Batman 66 style. It will not be good.”

There was that Justice League Vs. Legion of Super-Heroes mini, still in the same continuity as the Bedis relaunch. But I haven’t seen anything more in the planning stages.

“Boy, those are pretty depressing predictions. Hope they are all wrong!”

Good news!

• • •

I think we should be able to wrap things up next time, so thanks for reading everyone, and I’ll see you Friday!

Your 2022 Predictions, Part Four: Emerald Edition.

§ January 16th, 2023 § Filed under predictions § 16 Comments

Before I launch into this next batch of your 2022 comic industry predictions, I want to clarify my response to Chris V.’s submissions as I wasn’t clear. He’d said that Grant Morrison wasn’t going to do any new work for Marvel or DC last year, and my reply should have been “that’s correct, he didn’t…I thought for a moment that Superman and the Authority was this year, but it was the prelude to that long Warworld story and came out the year before.” I’d meant to emphasize that Superman and the Authority was not in 2022, I only thought it was, but in my usual muddled way I didn’t get that across. Sorry, Chris V., that was definitely a most palpable hit.

Okay, now to more of your predictions. You can find Parts One, Two and Three at those links right there, and there are still 11 1/2 months to go in 2023 to get in your predictions for the rest of this year here.

• • •

googum googums

“1. Marvel’s going to decide the traditional 616-continuity needs to look way more like the MCU. It’ll probably be an event no one really enjoys, but kind of lumps it and moves on.”

I don’t think Marvel’s leaned any farther in this direction than they normally do, aside from publishing more comics featuring characters that are being pushed in the films. Like, sure has been a lot of Kang goin’ around in the ol’ Marvel funnybooks lately. And we’re getting a new Wasp series just in time for the next Ant-Man/Wasp movie to come out. So I think it’s Business As Usual in regards to this, but if anyone out there who reads more Marvel comics than I do thinks differently, please let me know.

“2. DC brings back HOUSE OF MYSTERY, or one of their other horror books. (It was that or war comics.)”

Titles like House of Mystery, House of Secrets, Doorway to Nightmare, the straight-to-the-point Ghosts — all great titles, still sadly underused. Though to be fair DC did drag out Ghosts a couple of times this past decade, one 100-pagers and one of those squarebound anthology comics.

Actually, we did get the return of a title that combines both DC’s classic horror and classic war books: that new Sgt. Rock comic written by Bruce Campbell! So, I don’t know, 1/2 point to you?

“3. I’d be surprised if no one else guesses this: Marvel and DC will finally reprint JLA/AVENGERS. And…that’s it. It won’t restart intercompany crossovers; there will be a sense they had to be shamed into it.”

As discussed in the very first installment of this prediction coverage, a new JLA/Avengers printing did indeed happen! And while I could cynically interpret the reason for doing so as guilt, I prefer to think they did it to acknowledge the legacy of George Pérez.

“I have never been right, in the slightest, maybe a decade running!”

I don’t know, you did pretty well this time! You stick it out long enough, you eventually succeed!

• • •

Existentialman makes me hit Google with

“1) Dark Horse Comics will announce the sale of its IP to a major streaming service, most likely Netflix.”

And here it is, “Netflix Lands First Look Deal with Dark Horse Entertainment.” Netflix, sadly, did pass on Grendel, which I would have liked to have seen, but maybe we can finally get that live-action Wacky Squirrel adaptation I’ve been wanting. (Yes, I said live-action. I want an actual person in squirrel make-up as the star. Someone get Adrien Brody on the phone.)

“2) Communication Workers of America will continue to support Comic Book Workers United in their effort to unionize at Image comics. Much will be reported but ultimately the effort will not succeed in 2022.”

Well, they announced in late 2021 that they formed a union at Image Comics, and this article from late in 2022 goes over where everything stands at the moment.

“3) Mike Sterling will continue to entertain us throughout 2022 and it will be fabulous!”

• • •

Rob S. sends along

“1) My traditional LSH prediction: An ongoing Legion series will be announced to follow JLA vs the Legion of Super-Heroes. It will maintain the Bendis/Sook continuity, but will have a new creative team.”

Not so far…it’s so strange that so much effort was made into getting the Legion back into comics (including bringing them back twice, in Doomsday Clock and in a Superman storyline) just to let them lay fallow again. I’m sure something’s coming along eventually…with a Legion animated movie imminent, and I think some other form of adaptation in the works, maybe, something’s gotta come out. DC’s the opposite of Marvel in some ways…if Legion were a Marvel property, we’d already have a mini-series and trade paperbacks of same for every Legion character out on the shelves right now based just on a hint of a possible movie or TV show.

“2) DC will publish a second ongoing anthology in the style of Batman: Urban Legend, this one centered on Metropolis.”

Not yet. I’d read it!

“3) A new crowdfunding platform will emerge, taking a lot of projects that otherwise would have been set up on Kickstarter, thanks to KS’s recent foray into cryptocurrency & NFTs.”

There seem to be quite a few out there…Zoop is one that I’ve seen a bit about. Kickstarter’s still hanging in there, though, even as crypto and NFTs collapse all around us.

• • •

LondonKdS kids me with

“1) Marvel launches a webtoon on Tapas based on various X-Men characters as wacky Gen Z college dormmates with superpowers.”

Man, I don’t even know what Tapas is. I’m barely figuring out TikTok. But I took a look and as far as I can tell, this hasn’t happened yet. Or it’s being hidden from me becaues I’m An Old.

“2) DC’s younger readers line does a crossover book bringing together some of the more divergent versions of DC characters from their earlier GNs (Kid Constantine, Breaking Glass Harley, Overdrive Batman etc.)”

I bet that would be neat. But I wonder if DC would rather just keep everything relatively standalone and not follow the pamphlet-style comics and all their continuity hoohars.

“3) Following Dan Slott’s Doctor Who miniseries, Titan announces a Sarah Jane Adventures comic series written by Ryan North.”

I didn’t remember the Slott Who happening, and sure enough all orders on the 2022 Special (the first of three annual specials) were cancelled at Diamond. Unless it was available elsewhere, I don’t think it came out.

That said, I’m all for a Sarah Jane comic. The world could use one.

• • •

Roel Torres rolls in with

“I predict I will sell thousands of copies of my comics. Fingers crossed! Here’s hoping!”

How very dare you, sir…trying to trick me into promoting your comics, like this issue of Frankenrocker from Bad Kids Press?

Never would I sink so low.

• • •

That’s enough for this time…as always, if you’ve got information I don’t regarding the above predictions, please feel free to lay it on me. Thanks, and I’ll see you Wednesday.

Your 2022 Predictions, Part Three: Forbidden Knowledge.

§ January 13th, 2023 § Filed under predictions § 7 Comments

Not as much blogging time tonight, so we’ll see how many of your 2022 comic book industry predictions I can get through. Here are parts one and two of the series, and you can still place your bets on what’s gonna happen in 2023 right here.

• • •

King of the Moon waxes and wanes with the following

“The one universal truth is regression to the mean so:”

Uh oh.

“1. 2022, the MCU backlash kicks in. Kids start complaining about having to understand 400 hours of previous shows and movies to see a new one and suddenly the MCU is not cool anymore.”

I haven’t seen this in my usual haunts, but I’m not looking in the “hip” places anymore, where they don’t use words like “hip.”

I tried created an account on TikTok, and 1) I’m surprised the “what’s your birthday” dial went as far back as the year I was born, and 2) apparently I screwed up somewhere and it gave me a “too many attempts, try again later” so no searching that platform for appropriate videos. Or even inappropriate ones. I’ll try again, as the app suggested, “later.”

So I went with the ol’ standby, which is of course Googling my little heart out. With the search terms “marvel universe too hard” I did indeed find a handful of links where folks are complaining that, as this Reddit thread was titled, “The MCU got to [sic] complicated.” And I think folks in that thread were disagreeing, I don’t know, Reddit gives me a headache.

I also found this article from a couple of months ago where a large number of superhero movie fans are surveyed and about a third of specifically Marvel fans say they’re “fatigued” by the amount of product being dished out to them.

But I also found complaints along those lines going back farther than that, so I suspect the “backlash” element will always be there within the target audiences for these things, as opposed to those folks who were against the idea of these movies from the get-go. When this backlash reaches a critical mass, one that actually affects the box office/viewership of these franchises, that’s when the worry will set in. I don’t quite have my finger on the pulse of today’s youth, but I feel like they haven’t quite reached that point yet where they’re all “pffft, Marvel movies, that’s for old people.” Y’know, like Star Wars.

“2. GenZ video bloggers discover Jim Shooter. One YouTube video rightly declares him ‘The Amadeus Mozart of Comic Books’ and they are right. Suddenly I am cool for always liking Jim Shooter.”

I don’t see any particular trends along those lines looking at the YouTubers (Swamp Thing’s favorite video platform) but searching just for the past year…there are a surprising number of videos about Jim. Many featuring interviews (or convention appearances) directly with him. So I don’t know if any of these videos are by Generation Z, but I will include this video here, uploaded only a few months ago discussing Shooter’s finest moment, the Dazzler graphic novel:

• • •

Cassandra Miller almost lives up to her name with

“Another major publisher leaves Diamond; by the end of the year, Diamond declares bankruptcy and is put into a restructuring agreement.”

It was announced just a few short months ago that Dark Horse Comics was leaving its exclusive distribution deal with Diamond and also offering its wares through Penguin Random House, who also has Marvel and IDW, among others, in its roster. Like those two publisher, Dark Horse will continue being distributed through Diamond as well, but PRH has free shipping and (maybe) a better discount than Diamond will be able to offer, so, y’know.

Diamond is still with us, and surprise surprise the number of shortages and damages I’ve had from them have plummeted, the more vendors they hemorrhage. Don’t know if that’s because they have less to sort, or the pressure’s on to keep any more vendors or retailers from bailing, I don’t know.

• • •

Chris V, Our Friend, declares

“1.) Considering that Victor LaValle writing Sabretooth wasn’t some sort of fever dream but actually seems to be reality, I can only guess that Christopher Priest will write a Marvel Comic this year.
No, not the Christopher Priest who used to write as Jim Owsley.
Christopher Priest of the Prestige fame.
LaValle writing Sabretooth was even more surprising than simply LaValle writing a mainstream Marvel title.”

Yup, that LaValle Sabretooth series actually happened. No word on that particular Christopher Priest, but Marvel’s had a few comics with prose authors doing comics lately (like The Thing by Walter Mosely). Maybe we can get that Elsa Bloodstone mini-series by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

“So, I’m going to go with Christopher Priest writing a Sub-Mariner series…because, why not?”

We did get a Namor series, so that’s a half-point there! And it was written by a filmmaker, not a novelist, so…I don’t know, close, I guess?

“2.) After completely botching Hickman’s Krakoa post-‘Inferno,’ Marvel will announce that continuing Krakoa as the new status quo for the mutant titles was a huge mistake; leading to Marvel putting together a shoddy, rushed company wide crossover to try to fix the Krakoa mistake while still refusing to erase any prior Marvel continuity.
The results will end up similar to fan reaction to Secret Empire.”

The Krakoa-era is still going, and I don’t think we have a conclusion to it coming soon. But I don’t think this is a “miss” so much as “a hit that hasn’t happened yet.” Maybe in a year or two.

“3.) Grant Morrison will not work at DC or Marvel for at least the entirety of 2022.”

I was gonna say “…maybe that Superman and the Authority book,” but I forgot it was a lead-in to, what, eighteen year run of the Warworld story in the Superman comics. So, unless there’s something I’m forgetting, aside from reprints, I think Morrison did slip out of their grips, for the time being.

• • •

I said this was gonna be a short one! Thanks for reading, pals, and we’ll be back at it on Monday!

Your 2022 Predictions, Part Two: Shadowlands.

§ January 11th, 2023 § Filed under predictions § 11 Comments

Hang onto your hats, we’re about to jump back into your 2022 comic industry predictions…you can see Part One here, and if you want to submit your own predictions for 2023, you can do that here!

William Gatevackes crashes in with

“1. George Perez’s diagnosis will lead to movement to get comic book creators healthcare for their golden years. It might actually make some headway.”

If there was one, I haven’t seen it, but like I said in Part One of this coverage, I don’t see everything that’s going on, so it’s possible I missed it. But given that well-established comic creatives like Peter David have to do a GoFundMe for recent health issues, I’m inclined to say not much has changed for folks in the U.S.

“2. There will be hints in films dropped of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC Extended Universe crossing over at some point. These will be inside jokes but might lead to something.”

Again, like I mentioned last time, there were DC hero namedrops in Eternals, which, granted, was a 2021 movie, but still. As far as I know, they haven’t done much more along those lines. A quick Google search reveals an alarming number of sites claiming that a DC/Marvel crossover movie is “possible.” Here’s a sample, but I’m going to suggest take any such reports with a giant grain of salt.

My guess, for this to happen at all, it would have to be like what happened in the ’90s when the comic market collapsed and Marvel and DC (and others) started doing crossover events to attract readers. When/if the superhero movie market starts failing, that may be the only time it’s vaguely possible such celluloid interaction could happen. But when you think of it as “Disney teaming up with Warner Bros.” that might put it in a slightly different perspective.

“3. A TV Series not adapted from the Big Two will become a “WALKING DEAD’ like cultural phenomenon.”

While there are quite a few comic-to-TV adaptations not from the Big Two, I don’t know if any have approached The Walking Dead when it was at its peak. Unless, like, Squid Games was based on a comic or something. Or was that 2021? Invincible was 2021, too, I think. The Boys? I don’t know. I think I’m gonna say Chainsaw Man, because what the heck.

“And I know you said only three but…
4. Mike Sterling will have a year free of health problems and continue to entertain his fans with his wit and humor.”

Well, I still haven’t got COVID, my eyeballs have been hanging together, and aside from a Christmas migraine, I’ve been okay. Now whether I’ve entertained with whatever I have that passed for “wit” and “humor,” that’s for you to judge.

• • •

Chris Gumprich cashes in the following

“1. Archie Comics realizes the true gold is in the pre-1990 comics and the digest reprints will exclusively focus on those.”

Archie’s focus seems to be 1) themed (like all-ages holiday or slightly edgier horror) one-shots, and 2) digests, which still seem to be a mix of newer material and a little of the older stuff from what I’ve seen. I imagine if you dig too deep, you start getting to the slightly racier stuff, and start getting cultural references in stories that today’s kids wouldn’t get. I mean, even that one story where they recolored a vinyl album into, apparently, a large compact disc, and redialogued the relevant balloons, wouldn’t quite fly now. “What’s a compact disc?” But then, kids might be able to relate better to vinyl, come to think of it.

“2. Matt Wagner announces he’s working on MAGE IV. No one believes him.”

I’d believe him. If he did it. Which he didn’t. But I’m still up for The Hero Disco-Dances whenever he gets around to it.

“3. DC relaunches a classic beloved character into their own series, then cancels it by issue 8.”

Well, there was the Aquamen series, which appears to have ended with #6, though I’m not sure if that was intended to be a mini-series or not. But then, a comic writer (was it Steven Grant?) recently said that pretty much everything is treated as a “mini-series” by default now, which I guess is probably self-evident by lifespans of books at the Big Two. Anyway, I’m seeing stories out there claiming “AQUAMEN CANCELLED” so I guess it was intended to go over six issues, maybe? I presume Aquaman still counts as “beloved.”

• • •

John Lancaster casts these in

“1. Friendly Frank’s will rise from the ashes to be the next competitor to Diamond’s comic book distribution.”

Might as well…more the merrier.

“2. Arnim Zola will finally be given his due and be made into a major villain, only to be ruined by the current crop of young writers that don’t understand Jack Kirby at all.”

Haven’t seen him too much this past year, but frankly I’d rather Marvel focus on him than Kang.

“3. Dial H for Hero will inexplicably become the next worldwide phenomenon…for about a week. Sockamagee!”

Oh, I wouldn’t say “inexplicably” if that happened, the premise (original and the ’80s revival) feels like it would be great for a TV show or cartoon. If it didn’t get called out as a Ben 10 rip-off, that is.

• • •

Daniel, who I hope is still reading, had this to say

“Marvel announces their own version of DC Fandome, which is effectively the beginning of the end of San Diego Comic-Con as the mega media convention it has become in the last 20 or 25 years (and will likely lead to it becoming the smaller version of itself that it was in the 1980s).”

With DC not doing a Fandome last year, it would have been a good time for Marvel to step up and fill that void. SDCC still does appear to be going strong, though. I don’t know what would unseat the San Diego show at this point, beyond a backlash against comics that drives down the show’s popularity and reduces its value to the city’s economy.

But speaking of Marvel conventions, have you seen this?

• • •

Adam Farrar comes closer with

“1. New Miracleman. I don’t think I even believe it this year. But I can’t stop predicting it. It’s a sickness.”


“2. Jonathan Hickman will write at least part of one X-book after Inferno #4. It might just be a one-shot or collaborating on a key story.”

There was X-Men Unlimited: Latitude #1, released in March of last year, written by Mr. Hickman! My search also apparently turned up his name being attached to the late-in-the-year release X-Men Annual #1 (#1? honestly), but far as I can tell it’s only credited to another writer. What am I missing? I don’t have a copy right in front of me to check.

“3. Al Ewing writes a DC book.”

Not yet, but he has his own page on DC.Com…only one credit there so far (the 2012 anthology Ghosts, but there’s always room for more!

• • •

Shannon Smith forges this

“Comics with codes to redeem for credit towards NFTs and crypto. Satan laughing spreads his wings.”

Ew, gross, I didn’t see any but I bet someone must have. I’m going to consider myself lucky that I didn’t in case any are out there.

• • •

demoncat_4 hopefully will never change with

“1 dc will get its film act together with the first being a swamp thing film directed by del toro”

Sadly, not yet, but here’s hoping that’s part of James Gunn’s plans.

“2 dc will also try again for a swamp thing tv series and it will last long enough to finaly have the constatine swamp thing team up in live action directed again by del toro.”

Also not yet, but from your lips to God’s ears, demoncat_4.

“3 disney will annouce they are doing a howard the duck tv series to be directed by kevin smith with jason mewes as dr. bong.”

Also also not yet, but you know what? I’d totally watch that. I know we’ll never have Steve Gerber writing our favorite duck ever again, so what the heck, let Smith have a shot. Anyway, I feel like Marvel Studios is slowly testing the waters for some kind of new Howard media thing, so some kind of TV (probably not a movie) isn’t ass impossible as it had been in the past.

• • •

Jason A Sandberg kicks the following into my face

“1. Realizing that have caught lightning in a bottle, MARVEL will make the Al Ewing/Javier Rodriguez DEFENDERS into an ongoing title. There will be much rejoicing and mindbending across comics fandom.”

We did get a second Defenders mini out of ’em, anyway. That ain’t nuthin’!

“2. In memoriam for the loss of a beloved creative titan, MARVEL and DC will publish a deluxe hardcover reissue of the JLA/AVENGERS crossover by Busiek and Perez. Proceeds will go to the

As noted last time, we did get a reprint but in softcover. Proceeds did indeed go the the Hero Initiative, however, so that was nice.

“3. 2022 sees the long-promised, long-delayed return of JUPITER. There will be a modest Indigogo campaign that leads to a growing grassroots readership, which organically builds as the years roll on. Mike Sterling gets comped a retailer box of the new JUPITER #1 and becomes the go-to West Coast retailer for JUPITER.”

I can’t help but htink you’re trying to promote Jupiter, by a certain Jason A Sandberg, available at this link or through the now-fixed sidebar ad on this site! Still waiting on that case of Jupiters, however.

• • •

Okay, that’s enough blood squeezed from a stone today…I’ll be back on Friday to continue the fun, so come back, set a spell, take a load off.

Your 2022 Predictions, Part One: Imperial Edition.

§ January 9th, 2023 § Filed under predictions § 13 Comments

Okay, you’ve been dreading it all year…it’s time for me to look back at your 2022 comic book industry predictions and see how you all did! (And don’t forget to enter your predictions for 2023 before too much 2023 has gone by! Remember to put your predictions JUST in that last link…don’t leave ’em in the comments for this post!)

As always, I do not have the all-seeing eyes of Uatu the Watcher, so I may not have the knowledge or Google-fu necessary to validate or invalidate some of your prognostications. If you have info I do not, please feel free to jump in and I can issue a correction.

So let’s get this prediction party started!

Kurt, whom I have known since he was just a young, yet still bearded, lad, predicts thusly

“I only have the one prediction, and I truly hope it comes true.

“With the news about George Perez, a special release of JLA/Avengers hardcover will be published this year, with the proceeds going to the cancer charity of George’s choice.”

Well, it wasn’t a hardcover, but a limited edition paperback was released, benefiting the Hero Initiative which Pérez very much supported. One would hope the great demand for that reprint, which far outstripped its supply, would goose Marvel and DC a little into thinking maybe they should get that back into regular circulation, and as long as I’m wishing for that, I’ll also wish for a magical flying dog that speaks because that’d be cool to have, too.

Anyway, it’s still hard to believe George Pérez is no longer with us.

• • •

Pal Nat naturally is all about comics with

“1. People will proclaim that the comic book is dying. There will, nonetheless, be comic books through the end of the year.”

Gotta be honest, I haven’t been hanging out in the online places where that sort of talk gets bandied about, but given that it’s a perennial worry, I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if folks were yakking about that as usual. A quick Googling shows that, yeah, sure, there was some shouting from both sides about “comics are thriving!” and “hoo boy goodbye comics” so, business as usual.

“2. Jim Lee will start drawing a miniseries. It will be very well drawn.”

No mini-series, but I bet if you took all the covers he drew over the past year, put ’em all together in one comic, and convince some poor bastard to somehow dialogue ‘n’ caption it into a story, you’d have a top seller.

“3. The split distribution market will bring back black-and-white issues as a force.”

I have seen a few more black and white titles pop up here and there, but now quite a patch on the wave of ’em we had in the ’80s. Interestingly, I am seeing some comics from, say, Lunar, that I’m not seeing distributed by Diamond. And yes, some of them are in black and white. Not many, but they’re there!

• • •

Turan skates on thin ice with

“1. Here, and at many other websites devoted to comics, there will be much discussion about what can be done to get people outside of the usual fanbase to read comics. At no point in any of these discussions will the name Raina Telgemeier be mentioned.

“2. Nor will the name Charlie Mackesy be mentioned. Or Rachel Smythe. Or Dav Pilkey. Or Alison Bechdel.”

I’m going to try to ignore the slight here and take this prediction, which really is just the one, at face value. First, I don’t talk a whole lot about expanding the market and getting new readers, beyond Free Comic Book Day blah blah that I usually do. But yes, you’re right, actual mass market comics successes like Raina et al. can get dismissed, oe or outright overlooked, by funnybook pundits as “not really comics” — by which they mean “not stapled magazines with flying people punching each other.”

I’m the last person to deny these comics giants and try to carry plenty of this material in my shop, in addition to the more traditional Marvel/DC and so on. Dog Boy, Plants Vs. Zombies, any Raina book…always consistent sellers for me. Though the trick with selling Raina’s books is that many kids who come into the store 1) already own ’em or 2) already checked ’em out from the library. But they still sell just fine.

“3. Prior to the release of each new Marvel movie in the coming year, there will be several people confidently predicting that this will finally be the one that flops. (At sites devoted to films, or to pop culture generally, these people will be wishing for an end to comics-based movies. At sites devoted to comics, these people will be wishing only for the Marvel movies to go away, so that the public will finally recognize the great genius of Zack Snyder.)”

I think I got the general sense that…yeah, this happened. Like Nat’s predication about people saying the comic industry is dying, the “superhero movie is over” people are always around now too. I think the movies are evolving, at least a little, to move away at least slightly from the usual formulas…but not too quickly. Marvel as a movie brand will likely not go away anytime soon…following the comics’ lead of making every movie more-or-less a chapter in the ongoing Marvel story is an insidious way to guarantee at least some measure of success for each release.

I can see this strategy getting tested as Marvel starts prepping the seeds and stems for cinematic shenanigans (“WUNDARR: THE MOVIE”) but by God they got people to see an Ant-Man movie, so I’m not giving them the 10-count yet.

And I haven’t seen the Snyder contingent braying too often lately, as I’m pretty sure I blocked most of them on Twitter, where they live. But I’m sure they’ll make their displeasure known as soon as James Gunn puts out a new DC movie that contains, say, a single joke.

• • •

Thom H hails us with

“1. DC will announce Tom King’s next 12-issue Black Label series: Scarecrow with Jae Lee.”

Almost there! As awesome as that would have been, instead we got Danger Street, a 12-issue Tom King Black Label series featuring…well, I wrote about it here.

“2. Marvel Studios will announce John Krasinski and Emily Blunt as Mr. Fantastic and The Invisible Woman in their new Fantastic Four movie.”

News stories as of December have John Krasinski saying that Marvel hasn’t talked to him about being in their 2025 Fantastic Four movie, despite having played the character in last year’s Doctor Strange movie. I haven’t seen many details about the film beyond the director apparently stating he wants the movie to reflect the comics accurately. Look, I’ll believe that as soon as I see Galactus and the Watcher looming over New York on-screen.

“3. Bendis’ Legion of Super-Heroes will return for one last brief run before disappearing once again.”

Well, we have that Justice League Vs. Legion of Super-Heroes mini with Bendis’ LSH, announced in 2021 and running six issues from mid-January to late September. I guess that sorta counts.

• • •

DK comes back from his holiday in Cambodia, starts stealing people’s mail, declares soup is good food, and prepares to lynch his landlord after saying to me

“It’s prediction time AGAIN? That went fast.”

Yeah, tell me about it.

“1. DC and Marvel will not re-issue JLA/Avengers in 2022.”

Well, at only 7000 copoies, that’s almost like not reissuing it….

“2. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will contain at least one big obvious DC Comics character as a parody/homage a la Squadron Supreme.”

I didn’t notice any, so there wasn’t any obvious one, I guess. A cursory scan of Google results doesn’t show any Easter-egg-esque hidden DC details either. I suspect lawyers on both sides are discouraging that sort of thing, beyond I suppose some dialogue references to Superman and Batman in Eternals. (Which apparently some people are taking as meaing those characters exist in the Marvel Universe, and c’mon son.)

“3. The X-Men will drop in sales and the characters will become less popular in 2022. There will be serious talk of a complete reboot.”

I haven’t found good information on their sales in my usual haunts, and Comichron doesn’t have their full end of the year reports up just yet. And Googling just brings up YouTube videos and gossip sites that wallow in any negative news they can find, so I can’t say for sure. From my retail end, sales have remained mostly consistent on the “main” X-Men titles in current continuity, like Red and Immortal and the main series. Spin-off or side stories (like Legends and Wolverine) have equally consistent, but lower, sales. Other X-titles barely register (like New Mutants and X-Force and such), and X-Treme X-Men was D.O.A.

So…I don’t know? Main titles are fine, the too-many-spinoffs-because-Marvel-forgets-history-and-is-doomed-etc. Haven’t heard serious talk of a restart/reboot yet. But give ’em time.

• • •

Daniel T putts in the following

“Mike Sterling will continue to blog. His series on variant comics will ALMOST be finished by the end of the year.”

I did continue to blog, much to everyone’s chagrin. And my variant cover-age continued, albeit at a much slower pace. Not sure if I’m circling a conclusion yet!

• • •

Patrick the Saint has the patience to tell me

“1) Tom Kings next 12 issue books will be My Greatest Adventure & Carrie Kelly”

People want more Tom King 12-issue series! He’s busy with Danger Street right now, but maybe afterwards he can do your idea. I’d totally read it.

“2) Since IDW has lost the all-ages line of Marvel- Marvel will begin licensing them out to Archie, which will put them in digest form and Marvel will be on a news-stand for the first time in over a decade.”

They did it once! …But it’s been a few years and I don’t see any more being offered up at the moment.

“3) Next big craze in variant covers: Taking a panel George Perez did and blowing it up to make a variant cover.”

There have been a few Pérez variants, but of the pin-up variety, no so much of the blown-up interior panel kind. If they ever do, I recommend taking them from this comic, regardless of title or company.

• • •

Okay, that’s enough of a start. ‘ll continue this Wednesday with even more of your predictions! Thanks for reading, pals, and we’ll see you then!

So this was going to be a real post…

§ January 6th, 2023 § Filed under blogging about blogging is a sin, predictions § 4 Comments

…about one of two different subjects, but the first one was going to be the first of a series, which was a problem as I’m starting the look back at your 2022 comic industry predictions next week. And the second one…turned out to be a lot more complicated than I thought it would be at first glance, and I can’t really stay up ’til 3 AM getting it all puzzled out. So, those are for another day then!

But speaking of predictions, you do remember that I’m looking for YOUR 2023 comic industry predictions! Put ’em in this little chromium comments section here, so long as you mind the very important rules.

Thanks everyone…I know this wasn’t much of a post today, but you’ll be looking back on it fondly once I get crackin’ on the walls of text looking back at those older predictions. Gird whatever needs girding before then, and I’ll see you on Monday!

3! 3! 3!

§ December 17th, 2022 § Filed under predictions § 3 Comments

Sorry for no Friday update, as I’ve been busy with Christmas stuff, but I at least wanted to pop in and remind you that I’m still taking your comic industry predictions for 2023!

HOWEVER: I ask that you please follow the rules, to make life easier on me and on everyone else participating! I specifically asked that you not criticize other people’s predictions, but let’s not comment on them either…I went through and deleted a couple of responses that did so. Also, I don’t mind jokey submissions, as I can usually do something with those, but the rule of “3 per person” still applies!

Again, thanks for participating, and I look forward to covering them all in 2024!

“Most of our future lies ahead.” – Denny Crum

§ December 12th, 2022 § Filed under predictions § 45 Comments

“It can’t be that time already?” Oh yes indeedy it can! I am asking for your comic industry predictions for the year Two Thousand and Twenty-Three, so park your flying cars and put your giant mutated future-brains to work and get your predictions in by dumping them in this little ol’ comment section here.

All I ask, as I ask every time I’ve done this before, is to follow these simple rules! ESPECIALLY #4 PLEASE:

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! You don’t have to do that many if you don’t want, but don’t do more than that! Please, I’m begging you!

Much gratitude to you in advance for participating…it’s been a lot of fun (if a lot of hard work and typing!) the previous times I’ve done this, but it’s always enjoyable to see what we all expect from this weird business.

Thanks, and we’ll find out in January of 2024 how y’all did. And we’ll see next month how our 2022 predictions turned out!

Your 2021 Predictions, Epilogue: Blanche and the Younger Man.

§ January 31st, 2022 § Filed under predictions § 4 Comments

So yes, I spent 1/12th of 2022 looking back at your 2021 comic industry predictions. Well, what can I tell you…you guys left me a lot last time. Anyway, today’s post will be catching upon on a few corrections/clarifications over my responses from the last (ahem) month, since I’m only mostly human and can’t catch every single thing that rolls down the road here. Look back at the previous installments (one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight) and then let’s see what exactly I have to say for myself.

(I did edit in a correction into the body of the main post of part two, in regards to preliminary work on a Legion of Super-Heroes cartoon being announced, which I missed.)

• • •

From Part Three:

Here Daniel gives me a general explanation of the economics of streaming services. I mean, I figured it was something like that, but it’s nice to have it all spelled out.

Patrick Gaffney makes no mistake in saying

“There was a reprint of The New Warriors Omnibus in 2021, with a new Vol 2 coming in 2022. Maybe that hit the copyright needs of the above poster?”

…in reference to the suggestion that Marvel would put out a New Warriors issue maybe just for trademark purposes. Frankly, I think it would take a bit longer for New Warriors to get out from under Marvel’s control. But at least there was a New Warriors publication of some sort that got there.

• • •

From Post Four:

In reply to my not knowing about companies that put out a first issue then skipping to releasing the whole story in a collection, Glen came out of seclusion with

“Scout has an imprint called Nonstop that publishes a first issue and then a full ‘collection.'”

…and I took a look and sure ‘nough. I don’t see anything about the other “issues” being available digitally, which was a stipulation of the prediction, but hey, it’s close enough. (And I tried to edit that info into the original post at the time and messed it up, so here it is properly! And I fixed it in that post, too.)

• • •

From Part Six:

Billy boings on in with

“Who owns the Harvey properties now and why is that a thing?”

Harvey is now owned by Classic Media, though when I wrote my comment about Harvey’s owners probably wouldn’t want “adult” updated versions of their characters out there (like what DC did with Looney Tunes and Hanna Barbara) I somehow thought Harvey properties were still in control of someone from that Harvey family. Some properties, however, are still under the Harvey family purview, such as Sad Sack and Black Cat (as per Wikipedia). But the other characters…well, I still don’t think we’ll be seeing a deconstructive and lightly-edgy take on Stumbo the Giant anytime soon.

Also in this comments section was discussion over my statement that Marvel probably wouldn’t reprint Kirby’s 2001: A Space Odyssey because that would involve licensing fees and stuff like that, since Marvel didn’t own it. There was some question as to who does actually own the rights to the film, which was under the MGM banner. This recent Forbes article, in short, says that Ted Turner bought the rights to a huge chunk of MGM library…which then fell under the Warner Bros. label when the two merged. As such…DC Comics is more likely to reprint that 2001 comic than Marvel. 2001 is currently streaming on HBO Max, in fact.

The rest of MGM’s catalog was just bought by Amazon, including the James Bond series, in case you were wondering where the rest of the studio went.

And in an email response to an omission from Part Six, where in talking about Legion of Super-Heroes reprints I forgot about the Before the Darkness HC Vol. 1, which not only came out in 2021, but I actually read the darned thing too.

Just slipped my dumb mind for some reason. Thanks to Paul for pointing this out.

• • •

From Part Seven:

Daniel (that dude again) asks

“[If comic books went away and trades/graphic novels took over] could most comic shops survive that change to what would essentially be a bookstore model?”

That’s a question folks in the biz have been wondering for years. Switching customers from visiting on a weekly basis to buy monthly-released comics over to…pricier formats released on a biannual or less frequent basis feels like quite the challenge. But a comic bookstore (versus a comic book store) would require more stock, and more diversity, to encourage more browsing and more buying….

I can’t go into every detail on this right this second, but I think if the change was gradual stores would probably be okay. If Marvel and DC said suddenly Scarlet Witch-style “no more floppies” that could be a problem.

Wayne Allen Sallee wonders

“did INFERIOR 5 finish the run? I thought COVID-19 killed it about 4 issues in, same with TERRIFICS, actually. The two month break and all.”

Both completed their runs in trade paperbacks, which included unpublished (at least in physical form) issues. I still need to finish reading Terrifics, in fact…that was a really good comic.

• • •

From Part Eight:

Matthew notes, in response to the prediction of a wisecracking kid version of John Constantine showing up

“We did get The Mystery of the Meanest Teacher: A Johnny Constantine Graphic Novel, so the ‘kid’ part of that came true at least.”

There you go! I meant to read this, but I’ll have to add it to the pile of approximately a million other things I need to read.

I boggle Daniel T’s mind with

“Have you really not read a Spider-Man comic in 20 years?”

I really do think that 9/11 issue was the last new Spidey-Sam comic I read from beginning to end. I’m just not a Spider-Man Comics guy, at least when it comes to recent stuff. I read all the McFarlane issues when they came out, and I actually had a subscription to the title around 1979, which was actually a replacement title when my Pizzazz subscription ended because that mag was cancelled.

Now I have read Spider-Man comics in the last 20 years, but mostly revisited the classic Lee/Ditko run, and I have a particular fondness for ’70s Spidey. But nothing going on in Spider-Man comics in the last couple of decades have been of any interest to me. Sorry, just Not My Thing, I guess.

And yes, in fairness to Chris V, the Big Wheel apparently has shown up in Iron Man, so he gets at least partial credit for his prediction of the return of this…whatever it is.

• • •

OKAY, IT’S FINALLY OVER…at least until next January, when I go over your predictions for this year! Thanks for reading, everyone, and we’ll see you Wednesday!

Your 2021 Predictions, Part Eight: Break-in.

§ January 27th, 2022 § Filed under predictions § 4 Comments

Phew! We’re almost done, honest! This post should wrap up the prediction coverage, then either Friday or, more likely, Monday, I’ll do one final installment going back over some corrections and additions an’ stuff. Also, sorry about no post on Wednesday, as the internet was out at the house Tuesday night and I wasn’t about to type all this out on my phone.

Okay, here are all the previous installments in this year’s coverage: one, two, three, four, five, six, and seven. And now, let’s get to your submissions!

Signal Watch missed my signals with

“I just realized we were supposed to only do three. Uh, any three you please, I guess.”

You’re lucky I’m such a pushover (and so close to the end here) and I’ll go ahead and do all six. BUT Y’ALL READIN’ THIS DON’T GET ANY IDEAS ABOUT ALSO DOING THIS

“1. The new power-that-be at DC will finally have some time to sort out what they inherited from Didio and we’ll start to hear announcements that will freak everyone out (continuity refactoring), but which are actually a good idea.”

I feel like the only real DiDio-esque thing we got was Generations, and the universe-altering aspects of that series were pretty much downplayed. We haven’t had any real Breaking the Internet in Half shockers from DC in the past year regarding any tomfoolery with their fictional milieu, aside from an attempt in some series or ‘nother at playing with the “every story happened” conclusion of Death Metal. Think we’re still working out, or at least trying to figure out, the full ramifications of that.

“2. DC will keep the monthly format, but also have in-continuity OGNs closer in format to those books published at younger readers.”

Monthly format, yes, the in-continuity graphic novels, not so much. DC used to do those on a fairly regular basis (there was that Flash: Life Story one, a Superman one, that Morrison JLA/Crime Syndicate one). There were original graphic novels, sure (like Batman: The World) but nothing really quite like what you’re describing, with OGNs supplementing the mainline continuity of the monthly books on a regular schedule.

“3. Marvel will change Spidey’s costume back just as the solicits for the new but mid-00’s looking outfit appears on action figures, statues, etc…”

Okay, here’s the thing. I’d completely forgotten Spider-Man had changed costumes. I never noticed on the covers. Literally made no impact on me. I have no clue if he’d changed or not. And it’s almost impossible to Google (hello, lots of references to No Way Home).

Anyway, had to Google and remind myself and yeah, I’m pretty sure that costume hasn’t appeared in or on anything. I mean, I did a quick search and didn’t spot it, but maybe one of you out there who’s been paying attention could let me know. And maybe Spidey’s been wearing the costume inside the comic and not on the cover? I have no idea. I’m pretty sure the last new Spidey comic I read was that weird 9/11 one.

“4. X-book sales fall precipitously once it becomes clear they painted themselves into a narrative corner and magical swords could not get them out”

If X-Men sales have fallen, it’s probably more because of that’s the usual cycle of X-books (if not all comics) now, where a relaunch gets some extra eyeballs, then that additional audience gives way to the folks who always read the title. I think we’re at the low end of the cycle now, as all the X-titles are petering away into nothing, though X-Men itself is still doing…okay, but even that had a restart with a new #1 so maybe the new car smell hasn’t worn off that book yet.

“5. Big build up for The Big Wheel as Marvel’s new Galactus-level threat”

I literally had no idea what this was referring to. Honestly, my first thought was this:

…but what you meant was this, not to be confused with this. Anyway, more interesting than Kang, so Marvel missed the boat here.

“6. Swamp Thing will be rebranded as a hip teen with a shock of green hair who rides a hoverboard and tells people to recycle, along with sidekick/ pal J-Con, a wise-cracking British kid with, I dunno, a nosering”

Well, a couple of years ago we had Swamp Kid, which was close but no tuber. So, nothing this good came out last year, I’m afraid to report.

• • •

Wayne Allen Sallee sallies forth with

“Late to the party, Mike. Hope your eyes stay great, my Big Wish for 2021.”

My eyes have been…mostly stable this year. At least no major surgery needed!

“1/DC will think out of the box for a change and give us a Swamp Thing/Mogo maxi-series. Black Label, of course, so it doesn’t end up like Space Cabbie.”

Well, I gotta be honest, I haven’t read Swamp Thing: Green Hell #1 yet, so maybe Mogo’s in there!

“2/DC will continue to exist as a comic company.”

Like my eyeballs, still hanging in there.

“3/When Wayne buys Sterling Silver’s Bunches of Back Issues to help the economy, owner Mike Sterling will stop including copies of CYBER FORCE#2.”

Sorry, one of these must be included with every mail order purchase. Look, California has weird laws, what can I say.

• • •

Existentialman exists only to produce the following

“1) Marvel will begin introducing the Aliens and Predator IP into their super-hero continuity by April.”

Well, aside from variant covers (of course) where the Aliens faced off with, I don’t know, Power Pack, they’ve remained out of the actual Marvel Universe proper. I mean, the Brood Vs. Aliens? C’mon, it needs to happen. And Predator, of course, was a non-starter last year due to legal issues (though may be on the way now).

“2) Marvel will choose not to retire/cancel the Punisher character. Instead, they will release a story arc where he unflinchingly fights against white supremacists and racial hatred.”

I believe Marvel did have a story where the Punisher rejects the appropriation of his symbol by other parties, but that was a couple of years back. I haven’t read much Punisher of late, but aside from his general disdain for all racists, I don’t know that a story explicitly addressing these issues was done. I do know Marvel’s address this topic, as previously noted in these prediction response posts, by changing his logo to something that might as well have an expiration date on it for how long it’s gonna last outside that series.

“3) Mike Sterling will continue to bring us joy in 2021 through his kind, patient, fantastic sense of humor and insight into the human condition”

Why would I start now?

• • •
Daniel depresses me with

“‘Mazing Man: The Absolute Edition”

One of these days, ‘Mazing Man mania will spread across this country and a beautiful publication like this will see the light of day. Ah, a thing to dream of.

• • •

Damien has a bad omen with

“1. DC will relaunch the Showcase Presents line so that they can finally publish the Sugar and Spike collection and make all the money.”

I’d love to have Sugar & Spike back in any print format. I’d accept Sugar & Spike napkins at this point.

“2. There will be a big change in the management structure at Marvel with a surprise hire as Creative Director. Maybe a return to Marvel for Jim Lee or Brian Michael Bendis.”

I don’t think anything like this happened this year. At least, nothing quite so drastic as DC’s changes.

“3. A major comics feud will end when Alan Moore and Grant Morrison9 get married. They will claim that the ghosts of Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby were their bridesmaids but no one will believe them.”

We must never let them join forces. The danger to this world caused by the partnership of these wizards is unfathomable.

• • •

And BRRR puts all this nonsense on ice with

“1) Marvel will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first appearance of Deadpool with a six issue limited series. Each issue will have 30 variant covers.”

Given the date of your prediction is January 18th, 2021, and this news story about a Deadpool one-shot and 30 variant covers is in December of 2020, I think maybe you’re were being a little facetious. Anyway, those 30 variants…um, wore out their welcome right quick.

OKAY WE’RE DONE. Come back…yeah, probably Monday, and I’ll take a look at your comments and corrections. Thanks for reading as always, pals!

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