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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!

Your 2021 Predictions, Part Seven: The Competition.

§ January 24th, 2022 § Filed under predictions § 8 Comments

So you know the drill by now: I’m looking at your 2021 comic predictions that you posted here, and the previous installments of this series can be found here: one, two, three, four, five, and six.

And I know I have a response or two that should be addressed…I’ll get to them soon enough. Probably Friday, for an “epilogue” post.

Now, let’s jump in and see what we’ve got for this round!

Yours truly handsomely writes

“1. The comics division of Marvel will see cutbacks…not to the extent of DC’s current travails, but Disney’s gonna put the partial-kibosh on the publishing line.”

Not anything quite as drastic as this has happened, to my knowledge. At least, not any kind of sign that Disney has stepped in and said “OKAY, ENOUGH OF THAT” on anything. I suppose this could be extended to the ending of the Marvel Action line over at IDW, but even that’s not quite the behind-the-scenes bloodbath DC endured.

“2. We’re gonna find out who Olivia Jaimes, the pseudonymous cartoonist of the Nancy comic strip, really is.”

Did not happen, but I figure it will sooner or later. (Olivia Jaimes rips off the mask – “ah HA, it is I, Bill Watterson!”)

“3. A significant portion of DC’s comics line will switch over to a thicker, more expensive (but still comic-sized, not like Black Label album-sized) format. Like, $5.99 for 48 pages will be the norm, rather than reserved for specials and one-shots. Not everything, we’ll still have $3.99 books. But the cheaper format will clearly be on the way out.”

Well, it’s hard to say “yay” or “nay” to this one, and it all feels like it’s still in transition. Yes, a LOT of books are being released with higher price points, but $3.99 comics are still a thing. To be fair, this was already sort of happening when I initially made the prediction, but I haven’t seen too significant a shift in balance re: pricing yet that’s much different from before. A few more $5.99 books, maybe.

The trick is noting when the extra qualities of the higher-priced books (like page count and paper stock) start getting scaled back to what would be today’s $3.99 format, but keeping the $4.99 and up price points.

Okay, depressing myself, let’s move on.

• • •

Bully, The Bull That Walks Like A Stuffed Man, horns in with

“Once again I predict that this year, comics shall be printed on delicious deli ham.”

Friend Bully, I’m pleased to report that the comic strip Heathcliff is doing the Lord’s work and continuing to print comics on and about ham, such as this example from early last year:

…Now you probably meant actually physically printed on ham instead of paper. I bet if anyone’s going to do it, it’s Heathcliff.

“Also: one or more DC 12-issue limited series will be abandoned by the publisher mid-series.”

I know Nice House on the Lake had a mid-series break, but that was planned, not due to sales. I can’t think of any, though I’m surprised The Batman’s Grave made it to the end. If I’m missing something, let me know.

• • •

Kirk beams in these

“1 – Archie will cease publishing their own books.”

Archie is still hanging in there! It feels like they’re mostly doing digests, collections, and an entry or two in their horror line, but there’s still the occasional standard comic book (usually a holiday special of some sort).

“2 – Another new distributor will appear to battle Diamond & whoever the others are”

Well, Penguin Random House ain’t new but they certain shook things up a bit by becoming Marvel’s main inroad to the direct market. I can’t believe that was just last year.

“3 – Jim Lee will leave DC as they change their publishing strategy. Fewer comics, more prestige books “

Jim Lee’s still hangin’ on there, as are plain ol’ funnybooks! But I feel like more higher-end books will be in DC’s future.

• • •

Raymond Zinsius gets right zin there with

“I predict that DC Comics will fold entirely.”

Boy, people sure have it in for DC Comics! It was an easy target given the slashing of the publishing line and the cutting of employees, but it’s still floatin’ along there. “I DON’T WANT TO GO ON THE CART,” DC weakly exclaims.

• • •

Andrew-TLA has some true life questions for me

“1. A whole slew of new titles will be announced, each promising to be the next big thing.”

Well, it’s a typical thing for new comics to be announced all the time. And very few of them start off with “oh, I guess we’re okay, maybe you’ll like us.”

“2. 92% of said titles will fizzle out by the third issue, becoming nothing more than footnotes in comics history, relegated to quarter bins for all eternity.”

I can’t say to the percentage, but in my experience, unless it’s a huge hit, sales on most comics tend to settle down by about the third issue or so (usually because by then the retailer’s figured out the actual demand for the book). As far as outright “fizzling” — I did have a few new titles debuting over the last year that were not-starters, with no interest from my customers from the get-go. And a couple of others that may have started big, but were mostly bought by speculators who didn’t want any issues past the first one.

I’m trying to put an actual number to the percentage, and…well, there are a lot of comics, aren’t there. I’d say roughly about half of debuting series kept a readership of some sort as the series continued, and maybe half were D.O.A. I don’t know how accurate that is, but I think that’s more or less right.

“3. A lack of consistent updates regarding the Fantastic Four movie leads to the CW commissioning a Terrifics series set in the Arrowverse. Nevermind the fact that Simon Stagg was killed off in a very early episode of The Flash.”

I remember them killing off Stagg, and I was like “that’s not just a name of some random character you can plug in for verisimilitude.” That’s, like, an actual character with a position in the DCU.

Anyway, no Terrifics TV show, which is too bad because that would have been hilarious.

• • •

Ray Cornwall pops over the fence with

“1. Something drastic will happen at IDW- either a closure or a takeover. There’s a lot of smoke there. I’m not rooting for this, especially since I love the reprintings of old newspaper comics, and I hate to see any comics employees lose their jobs.”

Not sure if this is the sort of thing you’re thinking of, but IDW did announce it was following Marvel to Penguin Random House for exclusive distribution. Like I said in that post I wrote discussing Marvel’s move, IDW had a presence at PRH already, which likely smoothed over the transition. Wondering which company already with a PRH deal will be next?

“2. DC will launch a new digital comics platform just for their comics, separate from Comixology. There will be some comic that is exclusive to the platform.”

I mean, DC is still doing DC Universe Infinite for their online backlog for both print and digital, but otherwise they appear content to let Comixology handle the comic sales. I mean, as far as I know, I’m not much of a “buying digital” comics guy.

“3. We will see new Miracleman comics. We will not see new Saga comics.”

Mentioning once again Timeless, in just under the wire during the last week of December. A certain MM (no, not Mickey Mouse) has his logo appear…so not the big guy himself, but closer than we had been.

And Saga waited ’til this year to come back.

Okay, we’ll wrap up the 2021 predictions next time, and ’til then put in your predictions for 2022 already.

Your 2021 Predictions, Part Six: On Golden Girls.

§ January 21st, 2022 § Filed under predictions § 8 Comments

Back in the saddle again for a few more of your 2021 comic industry predictions! Here are the previous installments: one, two, three, four and five — and part six starts…NOW!

Rob S. steals the show with

“1) As always, I’ll include a hopeful Legion prediction: I expect that the Legion of Superheroes title will continue after Future State, and Brian Bendis will continue to write the series through at least issue 20 (which would bring his run to 24 issues, with Future State and Millennium included).”

Well…there’s a continuation of sorts, with the Justice League/LSH crossover event by Bendis. Whether there’ll be more Legion after that, I don’t know.

“2) Kirkman and Samnee’s Fire Power gets a TV series deal at Disney+.”

No news I’ve been able to find that it’s been optioned for anything, but I’d be surprised if it wasn’t. Didn’t stop some gossip site I found from pushing the idea that folks should be investing in copies should a TV show eventually materialize.

“3) There’s an attempt to resurrect some Harvey properties in the same vein as DC’s Hanna Barbera line a few years ago. Mark Russell is tapped to write Hot Stuff. Gail Simone writes Richie Rich.”

This would have been awesome, but I imagine the owner of the IP would probably be appalled. “What…our characters, modernized and interesting? FORGET IT! More retro merch instead, please!”

• • •

Voord 99 confounds my ability to crack wise about his name with

“After the hilarious disaster of my predictions last year, I’m just going with:”

Okay, Voord, lay it on me.

“1. A film will be released in some way.”

Movies were certainly released in some way, with an increased reliance on simultaneous streaming-and-in-theaters releases, and not without the occasional issue. The success of the new Spider-Man movie’s theater-only release may have brought us back to something resembling a regular movie-going experience, if it weren’t for…

“2. We will tell ourselves that something cannot possibly get worse, and it will.”

…oh, hello Omnicron variant.

“3. Following the pandemic, we have a second Roaring Twenties, with a resurgence of flappers, radio serials, and jazz. Superhero comics desperately try to hold on until 2038.”

So I put a rumble seat in my Hyundai Tuscon for nothing?

• • •
Adam Farrar goes the distance with

“1. Miracleman by Gaiman and Buckingham: The Silver Age #1 is released. Is there a sunk-cost fallacy to these predictions? I’ve been pulling for this for so long that I’d hate to drop it and then it actually happens. 2021 shows a lot of promise and maybe it even delivers this! Just one issue. Not all six issues. Not even new content.”

Couldn’t even manage just one reprint issue, alas. But as I’ve been saying throughout this batch of prediction coverage posts, that Timeless one-shot, while not the continuation of Miracleman we’re all waiting for, at least hinted at some new MM content on its way. (I’m betting it’ll be Marvelman, keeping the character distinct from the self-contained Miracleman story.)

“2. Some new Astro City is released. It will be through a new publisher which also starts reprinting the earlier volumes, maybe even in a new format.”

It’s beginning, away. It’s back at Image, and in December they took orders for a paperback reprinting the early issues. So stuff is happening!

“3. The new Spider-Man movie will include a connection to Into the Spider-Verse with cartoon Miles Morales appearing.”

I haven’t seen the movie yet (specifically because I’m not going back to theaters anytime soon) so I don’t know if there was a Miles Morales reference at all, cartoon or not. Apparently there was an oblique reference to Miles, if not by name, in Homecoming.

• • •

DavidG weighs us down with

“1. LSH will be cancelled again, in a new record for shortest run. DC will continue to reprint the Silver Age stuff, because there is still a demand for the zero personality Legion I guess.”

The series itself looks like it’s done, unlesss they pick up again after the Justice League crossover this year. It does look like they’re keeping some of the Silver Age reprint stuff in print, though the only new reprint book this year was a hardcover version of the 1970s treasury edition. …And I like the Silver Age Legion! I mean, it took a 13-year-old Jim Shooter to come in and give ’em personalities, but that was still technically the Silver Age!

“2. Still no new Miracleman. Gaiman will now start denying that he has ever heard of the character.”

Again, we got a peek in Timeless, but it’s likely leading to a Marvel Universe-friendly version and not the Moore/Gaiman one. Pretty sure Gaiman’s not at the “deny everything” point yet!

“3. DC will finally pull the plug on floppies, figuring they have 80 years of content that they don’t know how to exploit anyway, so why deal with the hassle of creating more. Instead they will ramp up repackaging the stuff they have produced despite themselves, the largely continuity free stuff with an actual ending.”

The monthly comics endure, though sometimes it feels like DC is moving to the “all Batman, all the Bat-time” model. I hope the reprinting of old material continues, however…it’s always welcome.

• • •

Dave Carter lusted in his heart with

“I couldn’t possible be more wrong than I was for my 2020 predictions, Right?”

“1) DC’s Kids & YA OGN line gets farmed out, in part or in whole, to one of the Warner book publishers imprints.”

DC’s still doin’ it, near as I can tell, though they appear to have other younger reader/children’s books through other publishers (not so much “farmed out” as just “licensed”).

“2) The threads of Event Leviathan are picked up in Bendis’s Justice League.”

DING DING DING I’m actually caught up on Justice League so I can confirm this as a very palpable hit.

“3) A manga title I’ve never heard of becomes a best seller due to an anime version I didn’t know existed showing up on a streaming platform.”

Um…this is a subjective one, so you tell me…had you ever heard of Demon Slayer?

• • •

will fires at me with

“1) a Black Orchid TV show”

Nope, but I’d certainly watch just to see what the hell they’d do with that.

“2) Disney will buy DC”

Oh man, can you imagine? A post-credits scene on, I don’t know, a fifth Ant Man movie introducing Superman?

• • •

Scott Rowland does…something to get the boat ashore with

“With the loss of yet more licensed properties to Marvel, Dark Horse will merge with another company in a ‘Kitchen Sink buys Tundra’ kind of way, which will involve a media push for the ‘Comics Greatest World’ Properties.”

Actually, it kinda moved in the opposite direction, with Dark Horse getting the license to the “general audiences” Star Wars comics (and if there’s a stupider phrase than “‘general audiences’ Star Wars comics,” man, I don’t know…). That may forestall a merger for at least the near future. Comics’ Greatest World remains largely unexploited in recent times, however.

“DC will continue to haphazardly add old comics to their digital service, but will continue to ignore Sugar and Spike.”

I’ll tell you what, I keep waiting for DC Universe to add more late ’70s/early ’80s Superman comics, but nuthin’ doin’. Still finding plenty to read, but I really want those. Also no go on those Sugar & Spike comics, because why clutter up the service with good stuff?

“Marvel will finally release the 2001 By Kirby Omnibus.”

A crime this hasn’t happened. And by all rights, the Omnibus dustjacket should be solid black. Also, it’s a licensed book, and Marvel ain’t gonna shell out to another company to reprint something.

Okay, enough for today, since the next set of predictions in line are from me and I may or may not spend some extra time on those. Yes, I’m playing favorites. In the meantime, get in your 2022 predictions, even though January is getting a little long in the tooth to still be accepting those and comments will likely be turned off soon. Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you Monday!

Your 2021 Predictions, Part Five: The Triangle.

§ January 19th, 2022 § Filed under predictions § 4 Comments

Welcome to part five of about a thousand of my look back at your 2021 comic industry predictions! (Here are parts one, two, three and four). Also, I did drop in an edit to part four in regard to new information regarding a prediction I didn’t have an answer for!

And now…behold:

Michael Grabowski grips me with the following

“1. Riverdale of the Apes”

Look, Michael, how dare you throw this idea out there and have us proceed to deal with the fact it didn’t happen. Apehead! Archie Andrangutan! Reggie Mandrill!

“2. IDW hires Roger Langridge & Chris Samnee to finish their Thor: The Mighty Avenger series.”

That would have been interesting as part of the Marvel Action line, but alas, with that going away, I guess that’s that.

“3. DC hires Michel Fiffe to create a Grand Design-style limited series for the Legion of Superheroes.”

Another great idea which unfortunately didn’t happen (next “Grand Design” book will feature the Hulk). But honestly, DC could do worse. To paraphrase a thing I’ve said plenty of times: what’s DC afraid of, a Legion series that won’t sell?

• • •

Patrick Joseph sayeth

“1. Milestone’s relaunch gets pushed back another year/canceled.”

They actually did come out, and are still being released even now!

“2. Marvel acquires the license to the Hasbro books, and starts reprints of Micronauts and ROM”

Coincidentally, I was processing a certain issue of Incredible Hulk and brought up on the Twitters that Marvel couldn’t reprint this issue due to not having the license to ROM anymore. (As it turned out, Marvel has reprinted the issue, but with pages featuring ROM excised and replaced by a text explanation of what happened on them.)

Anyway, the one thing I wish the rights holders to ROM and Micronauts would realize is that the comics interest in these characters is centered around their connection to the Marvel Universe. Trying to feature the characters outside that context is…not really anything my customers ever wanted, that’s for sure. …So no, those two properties are still divided from the House of Licensed Ideas.

“3. DC goes all digital with periodicals, with collections and OGNs becoming their primary physical product.”

DCs still hanging in there, printin’ their funnybooks on dead trees, just like our primitive ancestors did!

• • •

Thom H shays

“1. Marvel will announce the wrap-up to Hickman’s big X-Men storyline by the end of the year.

Does anything really get wrapped up in the X-Men books? Hickman’s wrapping up his X-Men stint with that Inferno mini, which just ended. But I think the situation he set up is still going on even under the new creative team. I don’t pay a lot of attention to the X-books, so if Hickman had some big plot he was working on that did get wrapped up, I’m not sure. But like I said, the post-Hickman books appear to be of a piece with the work he did.

“2. I guess I can stop predicting the return of Injection at Image. The comic series and the show will both likely be announced as officially canceled.”

Yeaaaah, I wouldn’t look for any Ellis-related projects for the near future.

“3. One new issue of Miracleman is published in 2021.”

As discussed in a previous installment of these prediction posts…only if you count Timeless!

• • •

bret sector divides these up

“1. Brian Michael Bendis will leave comics to pursue hollywood full time…and then return to Marvel in 3 years to a triumphant (in the Kirby sense of the word) return.”

I don’t know about his showbiz pursuits (though a commentor here mentioned he was working on a Legion of Super-Heroes cartoon). He does seem to be in the process of leaving DC…but not back to Marvel just yet.

“2. Dark Nights: Metal and Dark Nights: Death Metal will surprisingly be followed-up this year by Dark Night: Bluegrass…not so surprisingly, Dark Swamp-Thing plays a major role in the storyline.”

It did surprise me that DC didn’t market any new series playing off the “Metal” theme (aside from releasing some variant covers for the series packaged with flexidiscs). But I guess Infinite Frontier was the official follow-up, though they missed the bet by calling it Infinite Metal.

Also, Dark Night: Bluegrass sounds okay, but I’d be mnore into Dark Night: New Wave. At last, dayglo colors on comic book covers again!

“3. Dark Nights: Ambush Bug will debut in 2020 and actually get me to read my first Dark Nights”

I presume you meant “2021,” if only because I think you should get a half-point for Ambush Bug returning in a regular comic. This time it’s Suicide Squad, but who knows where he’ll end up next!

• • •

Roel Torres rolls in with

“My prediction: I will be part of a creative team on a bunch of indy comics that will be published with Diamond Catalog distribution in 2021 and Mike will reference me in an ‘End of Civilization’ post.”

And there he is! Now I have to start doing my End of Civilization posts again to make fun of it. “Frankenrock? More like…uh, Franken-dumber! Amirite?”

• • •

Cassandra Miller crosses the following

“DC’s distributor will continue to alternate between semi-professional and amateurish at best, with no rhyme or reason, driving shop owners nuts. Instead of rethinking things, DC will double down on the ‘going it alone without Diamond’ thing. (They won’t actually *do* anything about the situation until 2022 though.)”

I have to say, I’ve had very few problems with Lunar Distribution. Always great packing, excellent fill rates, almost never have to report a damage. I think since I’ve started using them, I’ve maybe been shorted all copies of a single title twice at most, as compared to that happening nearly every week with a certain other distributor I could name.

Not to say that I haven’t seen complaints from other retailers about them, so maybe I’ve just been exceptionally lucky. As such, I don’t know if they’re “doing” anything about these problems or not, at least not directly. Really, the only problem I tend to have with Lunar is timeliness of shipments, but that seems to be more a FedEx issue. Even then, that’s not been too much of a hassle.

Okay pals, I’ve reached the end of my blogging time for the evening…will be back Friday with yet more prediction shenanigans! (And also contribute to the 2022 predictions right here!) Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time.

Your 2021 Predictions, Part Four: Transplant.

§ January 17th, 2022 § Filed under predictions § 9 Comments

Again, another short blogging window for today, so I’ll get through what I can of your predictions. (I promise to finish these sometime in January!) (Of 2022!) (Maybe!) Installments one, two and three can be found at…well, the pages I just linked to. And awaaaaaay we go!

Matthew crows about the following

“1. Marvel/DC do some series that go from digital serialization straight to collected version. No printed single issues.”

I know DC did…for example, there was this Harley Quinn: Black White and Red digital series that went straight to a print collection this year:

…And I could’ve sworn DC put out a book of all the Mark Russell-scripted Swamp Thing New Roots digital series, but I can only find a print volume that contains a couple of issues. Presumably the rest are on the way (or already out in a book that this aged brain can’t recall).

“2. Another publisher goes the A Wave Blue World route of only printing first issues and then releasing a collection. (Digital single issues still available.)”

I…am going to have to call “I don’t know” on this one. I’m having a devil of a time trying to research it, and may have to throw myself upon the mercy of my readers to set me straight. Problem is, I order so many comics for the shelf, and there are so many number ones, I can’t keep track of which ones just failed immediately and never put out a second issue, or used the print issue as a lead-in to their digital offerings. I checked a couple of publishers who were likely to do this, and no dice.

If anyone out there has info, let me know and I’ll updated this response.

EDIT: Glen to the rescue!

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

As we saw back in part two, we did have some in-person conventions, mostly later in the year as everyone figured the pandemic wouldn’t be that much of a problem by then. (SPOILER: they figured incorrectly.) One of them was the San Diego Comic Con at Thanksgiving-time, which I assume would fit the criterea of “major convention!”

• • •

Jason Sandberg overcomes his placebo addiction to bring us

“1: DC will launch a ‘Bat-Man and the New Gods’ title with Space Cabbie as the chauffeur of a hybrid Batmbobile/Whiz Wagon.”

I presume by hyphenating “Bat-Man,” you mean the red-suited, domino-masked Bat-Man Kane initially conceived prior to people with talent coming along and making something of the character. If that’s the case, I’m all for this comic idea, with Dumb Batman klutzing around and annoying Orion and Big Barda and the bunch. Alas, did not happen.

“2: We will get a Morisson/Mora KLAUS one-shot, with a sub-plot explaining why KLAUS didn’t appear in 2020 when we needed him the most! Seriously, what gives? C’mon, dudes.”

Make that TWO years without a Klaus! It’s been a blue Christmas without them, assuredly.

“3: DC will publish a ‘Swamp Thing by Rick Veitch Omnibus’ that will include the unpublished issue 88. This leads to a younger generation experiencing a Veitchaissance.”

Not yet, but I’m hoping something like that will happen someday! And I’m all for a Veitchaissance…I’ve loved his work for decades, and fully support it being discovered by new readers…y’know, so long as they, um, kinda look the other way if they come across this.

• • •

demoncat_4 raises a little hell with

“disney marvel will find out they own the rights to omega the unknown and annouce it as a tv series with steve gerber’s blessing and use his never told original ending”

Well, um, the trick with that would’ve been the “Gerber’s blessing” part, given that he, you know, came down with a touch of the “passed away” a few years back. But I do wonder how far deep into the library Disney will go before they adapt Omega into live-action? (And, I’m sad to say, probably not in a form that Gerber would’ve enjoyed.)

“disney will finaly let kevin smith have another crack at howard the duck as a live action tv show.”

Again, didn’t happen…greenlighting a Howard the Duck anything still feels like career suicide for studio execs who have lifespans of mayflies anyway. That said…I wouldn’t mind seeing Smith’s take on ol’ Howard. Yeah, yeah, I know, groaaaaan, but I generally like Smith’s work and think he might have at least have some understanding of the character (unlike the people responsible for that HtD movie, who didn’t at all).

“the cw will announce they have given the short lived swamp thing tv series a two season full order with recurring character ragman back in the dc live action fold at last”

I feel like the brief window of someone saving the show and reassembling the cast is long gone on this. I still hold out hope for some kind of new Swamp Thing TV show or movie, at least!

• • •

LondonKdS mashes up the following bangers

“1. As I predicted last year, DC gives up on traditional serial comics publication in favour of some other format.”

Not yet, though DC seems to be experimenting with other, pricier formats, so there’s that!

“2. Both Marvel and DC do plots in which a long-established big-name character comes out as LGBT. One of them is created by people who know what they’re doing and is praised by all except bigots, the other isn’t and becomes a notorious disaster.”

I don’t think anything’s been a straight-up disaster along these lines, at least from this particular cisgendered fella’s possibly ignorant perspective. But DC had two major stories featuring Tim “Robin” Drake and Jon “Superman” Kent each coming out, and yes, those were mostly well-received with the predictable “b-b-but they should make up NEW characters to be gay instead of changing old ones,” and um hello, Jon Kent.

So those made some headlines for DC, but I can’t recall anything similar for Marvel last year. I mean, I’m sure characters have been revealed to be LGBT (like, I saw Black Cat on a list…did that happen last year, because I missed that somehow, but then I don’t tend to read a lot of Black Cat comics) but nothing news-grabbing like DC. I mean, how do you beat “SUPERMAN’S GAY” as a headline, that’s amazing.

“3. One of the proposed Lumberjanes comics after the end of the main series is a Lumberjanes/Swamp Thing crossover. It ends up unexpectedly controversial, as the team-up involves the Lumberjanes making a major breakthrough in their understanding of the occult stuff going on around them by cooking Swampie’s tubers in the ashes of their campfire and tripping balls.”

why must you tempt me with comics that will never be

• • •

Robcat feverly scratches out these

“1- All DC’s new hire star writers for the monthlies, from outside of comics, will be gone, gone, gone by 2021, but one book will finish in 2022, limping along until it is put out of its misery.”

I was trying to think of something along these lines…maybe Joe Hill? The “Hill House” imprint mostly wrapped up in 2020, but it’s popped back up in 2021 with Refrigerator Full of Heads, the sequel to Hill’s Basketful of Heads, but the latter series is not written by him. Is that kind of what you’re thinking about?

“2- Geoff John’s Legion reboot/original Legionnaires will be back somehow, someway, somewhere. (Honestly, this should be a 2022 prediction. I’m pre-predicting.)”

We’re still technically dealing with the Brian Michael Bendis Legion at the moment, which peaced out with Future State: Legion of Super-Heroes in 2021. That version of the Legion just came back this year with a Justice League crossover mini-series. Who knows what will happen after that…the old Legionnaires coming back makes as much sense as anything else they’re doing with this franchise.

“3- I was gonna say DC abandons the monthly single story comic, but that’s been a regular prediction for a while, so I’m gonna go wild with this: DC brings back Batman Family as a $9.99 monthly comic in a test to see if they could eliminate the monthly single story comic. The cover is great, pin-ups look good, and one story has a star writer/artist team. The other stories are kinda… meh. By issue 4 people have lost interest.”

Like I said to LondonKdS, DC seems to be trying out new formats, and Batman: Urban Legends, a higher end monthly anthology actually is pretty close to your idea of a “Batman Family” comic. Sales seem relatively strong, considering, but being a Batman book helps sell the format. Given that DC is slowly turning into “Batman Comics, Inc.,” that’s probably good news for them.

“I wanted to predict Marvel announces a Fantastic Four movie with John Krasinski as Mr. Fantastic, Jenna Fischer as The Invisible Woman, Rainn Wilson as The Thing, and B.J. Novak as The Human Torch but didn’t want to burn a prediction on that piece of nonsense. Man, I’d pay good money to see that, though. Creed as Willy Lumpkin would be pure comedy gold!”

Ah, the old “sneaking in a fourth prediction by pretending it’s not a prediction” trick. Very clever indeed, Anyway, no casting news on FF yet, and I’m betting when they come I’ll recognize just as many names as I did with your list, which is “one.”

“Here’s hoping 2021 was a better year for your eyes.”

So far so good!

• • •

Okay, here’s hoping I can get through more next time! Thanks for reading, folks, and don’t forget to leave predictions for 2022!

Your 2021 Predictions, Part Three: Rose the Prude.

§ January 14th, 2022 § Filed under predictions § 5 Comments

Gonna be a little shorter entry this time, folks…sorry, long day at the office combined with being flat out exhausted = low content mode here. But, I’ll try to cover at least a few of your predictions here today. (And here are Parts the First and Second.)

William Gatevackes opens up with the following

“Warner Brothers’ gambit of moving all their films day and date streaming will backfire financially. They will be scrambling to cut costs and DC Comics will be a main target of these cuts. It could mean massive layoffs or a massive reduction in their publishing.”

In regards to day-and-date streaming…well, I don’t know. One article has Warner executives seemingly happy with it, and another article released just two days later is like “nope, ain’t working.” I don’t much get the economics of streaming anyway, but I’m sure a big budget movie like Wonder Woman 1984 that was planned for theatrical release didn’t get the take anyone was hoping for, what with the streaming option and the theater debut at a time when people really don’t want to be sitting in a theater.

A look at shows a worldwide gross of $166 million. That sounds like a lot of money to you and me, but that’s likely “flop” territory for Wonder Woman. Granted, it wasn’t a surprise and it didn’t hurt plans for another sequel and another movie focusing on the Amazons. Plus, Googling the keywords “wonder woman 1984 hbo max new subscribers” brings up this quote:

“‘The release of Wonder Woman 1984 helped drive our domestic HBO Max and HBO subscribers to more than 41 million, a full two years faster than our initial forecast,’ said AT&T CEO John Stankey in a statement.”

…and 41 million subscribers at between $9.99 and $14.99 monthly apiece works out to…a hell of a lot of money. So I guess these movies are just loss-leaders writ large.

I’m sure someone will pop into the comments to give more accurate statements on the financial implications of all this. Just from this layman’s perspective, I don’t think Warners has anything to worry about in regards to limited box office at the moment.

“2. There will be a new Image title from a heretofore unknown creator that will become the next ‘Walking Dead.’ Meaning crossing over into other media and becoming a cultural phenomenon.”

The only Image book that was really a “phenomenon” this year was Invincible, which had me move a whole lot of copies of the trade paperbacks, and even those giant Omnibus volumes. But those are written by Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, so that’s hardly an unknown creator, and plus Invincible was on TV, which is why people were seeking these volumes out in the first place.

Maybe on a lesser level was What’s the Furthest Place from Here?, which again isn’t really by unknowns, and didn’t become a huge cultural phenomenon…but it had a strong following and crossed over into other media in that they had tie-in 7-inch records. So I’m saying that counts!

Plus it gives me an excuse to run this video advertising the comic that was personalized for my shop:

“3. Marvel will at some point either announce or publish a “Predator Kills the Marvel Universe” book.”

More like “lawsuits killed the Predator,” amirite. But apparently everything’s settled all friendly-like now, which hopefully means the original screenwriters are sittin’ pretty. Thus, maybe this will be the year Predator kills everyone in the ol’ Marvel U.

• • •

MrJM jams in the following

“1) Some things will get worse”

Well, publishing scheduling and distributor shipping seemed to be a little more squirrley than in the past. Three different major comic distributors mean three different opportunities for books to be late.

“2) Some things will get better”

Despite everything, business is way up at my shop!

“3) People will disagree about which things got worse and which things got better”

No, I’m reasonably sure the two things I noted above are irrefutable fact. And if we’ve learned anything from the last few years, nobody will argue with actual facts!

• • •

Old customer Kurt Onstad bounces his way into the following

“1) The New Warriors mini-series that was solicited will have at least one issue released this year, for trademark purposes, if nothing else.”

I don’t recall any, and the retailer database shows the last series was 2014 or thereabouts. But don’t worry, the New Warriors haven’t been off the stands long enough for, like, Dark Horse Comics to snatch up the copyright. At least, I don’t think.

“2) Some DC creators will try to push towards ‘Future State’ being the actual future, while others rebel against it, creating a confusing mess that will require a reboot in 2022.”

It seems as if they’re still incorporating elements of that future, such as the “Superman going away” thing in the Super-books. And there are books that are just straight-up set in the “Future State” era, like I Am Batmanand Future State: Gotham. I don’t think it was in any danger of taking over current DC continuity aside from a mini or two and some storylines. Here’s hoping a reboot will never be cessary!

“3) My podcast ( will hit Episode 100.”

Odd, it’s almost as if you knew that would be the case ahead of time…! I’M KEEPING MY EYE ON YOU, MISTER

But y’all can listen to that very episode right here.

Okay, that’s enough shenanigans for today. I’ll be back Monday with yet more of your predictions! And don’t forget to leave me your new predictions for the next 11 1/2 months of 2022!

Your 2021 Predictions, Part Two: Guess Who’s Coming to the Wedding?

§ January 12th, 2022 § Filed under predictions § 14 Comments

Continuing my look back at your 2021 comic industry predictions (part one here). And as yet another reminder, get in your 2022 predictions before much more of 2022 passes us by!

Mike Baehr bares all with

“1. Some of the conventions that run in the second half of the year will try to return at a reduced size”

Well, I’m not 100% certain how to easily verify or debunk this, but this list of 2021 conventions certainly shows a lot of cancellations and postponements earlier in the year. Those taper off as the year goes on, but it should be noted the San Diego Comic Con did run in November for only three days and a smaller turnout.

It looks like a lot of the later cons just ran as scheduled, in those days where we thought all the vaccines and boosters would have make things go back to relative normal. But I’m wondering how things will look for the early part of this year with COVID infections spiking drastically.

“2. Marvel/Disney will finally start cracking down on unauthorized use of the Punisher skull by cops and other right wing yahoos (this one is wishful thinking)”

I didn’t see any major stories about Disney (or Marvel) doing anything about that, aside from creators speaking out against the logo’s unofficial usage. CBR did run this article in 2020 about Marvel’s apparently limited options in regards to this. (I did find this article about removing the Punisher skull image as it was “view[ed] as a rebuke to the racial justice movement.”

Marvel/Disney’s solution for now is just changing that character’s logo into this terrible thing:

…which won’t get any traction and the old skull logo will continue to be associated with both the character and certain distasteful elements in real-world society, but perhaps I should save that for my own 2022 predictions. Anyway, can you picture Frank sitting down and designing that as his image to strike fear into criminals?

“3. Despite hopes to the contrary, there will continue to be be no posthumous revelations about Steve Ditko”

Sorry, no surprise previously-unpublished photo layouts for Playgirl. Maybe next year.

• • •

Jeff R. rites

“1. HBO is going to announce a ton of DC property streaming TV shows, including 3 of these properties: Wonder Woman, Amethyst, Transmetropolitan, Legion of Super-Heroes, and Animal Man.”

Well, it wasn’t any of those (Transmet seems unlikely for Reasons, but remember when Patrick Stewart was interested in the property?), but there was at least that Gotham Police series that ties into that forthcoming Batman movie. And I presume the new Peacemaker series was noted sometime in 2021. Plus, there was that backdoor pilot for the Dead Boy Detectives in Doom Patrol. Plus, I think this supposed Green Lantern series was been floating around prior to that, right? EDIT: Being told in the comments that latest Legion writer Brian Michael Bendis mentioned doing some preliminary work for a Legion of Super-Heroes animated cartoon for HBO, so there you go!

“2. In 2021 the number of major marvel characters who are literally immortal will outnumber those who are not.”

I get what you mean, but technically, all the characters are immortal, so long as they keep selling. Even Uncle Ben pops up from time to time.

“3. Someone, maybe HBO again greenlight’s Elf*Quest as a prestige tv project.”

Someday Elfquest will get that big-budget adaptation! But just not yet, I suppose. In looking this up, I did find this Wiki entry for something that was attempted in 1992:

“In the early 1990s, an ad for a multi-volume animated adaptation of Elfquest appeared in the comic. A few issues later, the Pinis told readers they’d withdrawn from the deal, and that readers should ask for refunds. Those who didn’t eventually received a 50-minute VHS tape from Abby Lou Entertainment, copyright 1992. Covering the first volume of the book, it consists of color still images taken straight from the comic, some minor animation, and spoken dialogue.”

Oh good gravy, that sounds like it must have been very disappointing. I couldn’t find video of it (granted, I didn’t search long) but it sounds almost like those early Marvel cartoons.

• • •

Chris Gumprich pays up with

“1. With the recent explosion of 70s reprints, someone will repackage and reprint the complete run of the legendary Atlas/Seaboard line.”

Media rights for Atlas/Seaboard were snapped up a few years back, surprisingly. I suspect once the movies and TV shows start up, if ever, that’s probably when we’ll start seeing those reprints. Or maybe they’ll simply retool the properties while keeping some of the…semi-baked premises of the comics out of the public eye by suppressing any reissuing.

“2. Archie Comics will present a line of new Archie stories set in the 1950s, with the same light-hearted approach as the originals.”

Not that I’ve seen, unless they slipped a short story in one of their million digests past me!

“3. DC will announce a new line of specialty comics aimed at a traditionally-ignored demographic. It will fail to immediately catch on and be cancelled in eight months.”

At this point a “traditionally-ignored demographic” at DC would be “people who don’t want to read Batman comics,” but I get what you mean. Nothing’s really coming to mind…I mean, they’re still doing young adult graphic novels (neither new nor for an ignored audience). Well, they started doing reprints of their Death Metal series packaged with records, so “record-collecting comic book fans” are having their time in the sun right now.

“And a special, bonus, cheating prediction that I already know is coming true:
4. I will complete my collection of Atlas/Seaboard comics when I finally track down a reasonably-priced copy of VICKI #4.”

HOW VERY DARE YOU. Just for that, I’m not going to sell you my copy of Vicki #4 that I’m using as a coaster for my drink here.

• • •

Hal Shipman sails forth with

“1. DC will continue to awkwardly fumble around while trying to ‘patch’ their storytelling, both in print and in film. The mishmash of post-Future State will almost immediately slide back to an even more awkward form of status quo.”

I guess Infinite Frontier counts, though it’s more of a follow-up exploring the multiversal/rebootery/retconnathon of Death Metal and such, rather than yet another patch applied to paste over those cracks caused by Crisis on Infinite Earths. It seems like it may be a little awkward as I’m still not entirely sure how “every story counts” and characters remembering all their various histories will be properly implemented as such.

“2. Marvel will basically do that with print. But the MCU will evolve more naturally because actors age. Ironically, THIS will be the first time that a comics-based continuity will generally follow a more real world timeline.”

Marvel just keeps on keeping on, with relatively few multiversal shenanigans going on, though Timeless (released just under the end-of-the-year wire) seems to promise at least a little of that. As far as their movies…well, yeah, sure, they’re not going to have 70-year-old Scarlett Johanssen runnin’ around being Black Widow. …Or maybe they should, that would be kind of awesome.

But as far as being the first comics-based continuity to function in real-world time: BEHOLD.

“3. Rather than just putting ‘Heroes in Crisis’ out of continuity and saying, ‘Yeah, we fucked that up,’ DC will make a third (fourth?) attempts to try to paper over Wally West having murdered a lot of people and “rehabilitiating” him, because it almost worked with Hal Jordan. (Attempts #1 & 2 being that Lobdell mini and the Reverse Flash basically being Parallax).”

Pretty much was 2021’s Flash Annual was about…”redeeming” the character and putting the events of Heroes in Crisis behind him. Frankly, I”m surprised it took this long.

• • •

Former employee Nathan dares to darken my doorstep with

“1. In the latest of his escalating series of gimmicks, Robert Kirkman will stealth-cancel Walking Dead Deluxe after issue #12, and the world will learn this when retailers open their shipments of Walking Dead Deluxe #13 to find… Solid Blood #1.”

Oooh, that whole “end of Walking Dead thing was so aggravating. At least he hasn’t pulled anything like that with the delxue edition (though I could use a few fewer variant covers per issue, even as I realize that extra covers is probably what’s bringing the money in).

“2. To everyone’s great surprise, confirmation of Pete Davidson being cast as Adam Neramani in Guardians of The Galaxy 3 causes X-Force Annual #2 to explode in value.”

This just gives me a headache. Anyway, your terrible prediction has not yet come to pass.

“3. There will be at least one lawsuit involving Crossover.”

Nope, everyone seems to be playing nicely! There, I’ve addressed your contribution, Nathan, now getoudda here.

• • •

William Burns fires me up with

“1. Marvel and DC both do a ‘superheroes get vaccinated’ campaign.”

I did find this article from late last year in which DC Comics teamed up with the White House to provide DC-related bandages, coloring books, etc. in support of children’s vaccinations. And Marvel published a special Avengers comic to promote gettin’ your shots.

A quick Googling also shows several folks in superhero costumes to help kids along during their jabs, and a number of promotions extolling parents who get their kids vaccinated as generic no-need-to-license superheroes. So yes, superheroics are doing their part to keep kids healthy and safe.

“2. At some point, Kamala Khan meets Kamala Harris.”

Far be it for Marvel to pass up this opportunity, but if they did it, I can’t find it. Also, I’m kinda circling around a joke relating this to the whole Superman/Batman “Martha” thing but I haven’t quite landed the plane yet.

“3. Lots of local comic shops don’t recover from the virus downturn and close permanently.”

Sadly, I have heard of a few shutdowns, which is too bad. I managed to ride out the period where I literally wasn’t allowed to open, mostly because I was the only employee and I busted my butt doing mail order that whole time, but other shops weren’t so lucky. I don’t know if it was “lots,” but anyone losing their livelihood to this pandemic is too many.

• • •

Nat Gertler is all about the following

“Marvel will launch a COVID-masked hero which will ship the very month that COVID is declared not-a-problem and everyone will go back to everything.”

Not yet, but it really is just a matter of not “if” but “when.” “In the great tradiion of the Disco Dazzler, here comes….”

“Scholastic will start a non-parody kids superhero GN line.”

I don’t think I’ve seen anything quite along those lines…I presume you mean, like, “straight” superheroes in the style of Marvel and DC, just “scaled down” for schoolchildren. As opposed to all the super-type characters on this list. I suspect it’s just a matter of time.

“The Obama’s media company will start dipping a toe into comics.”

Again, not that I can find, unless they’re the secret money behind all these Trump comics. Those sneaky, sneaky guys.

• • •

Brian doesn’t make it easy for me to come up with a joke intro for his name with

“1. As theater openings and scheduling remain more fluid, the core metaplot of the MCU will become more centered in the Disney+ miniseries, with the films being used for big stories with big effects (think of one-shots versus serial storylines), drawing the cinematic universe oddly more towards its parent in style.”

Well, yeah, to an extent, I think. It was Loki and What If that pushed the whole “multiverse” concept that we saw later in the new Spider-Man movie and in next year’s Dr. Strange sequel. Plus Falcon and the Winter Soldier gave us our new Captain America for the time being. So I don’t know if that all counts as “backbone” but it’s certainly teeing up future shots.

“2. With Disney+ and HBO Max getting attention for their superhero and genre properties, we’ll see a new round of ‘studio shops around to create/curate a cinematic universe from another set of comics properties,’ just on a streaming service instead of in theaters.”

The last big example of this I could think of was the Seaboard/Atlas thing I mentioned earlier, picked up by Paramout in 2019. It doesn’t say it’s for streaming, but after Disney’s and Warner’s examples, I’d be surprised if we didn’t at least get simultaneous debuts in theaters and on Paramount+. If there were other major pushes to getting other “comic book universes” I didn’t see ’em. Or I willfully forgot them. Someone wake me when Tubi gets the rights to do T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents.

“3. As we all get used to the new media status quo, then…Korea!”

Why, I’m not going to fall for your cheap ploy to get me to put up that


Okay, that’s enough fun for today. Tune in next time, same Spirit-time, same Spirit-channel, for more 2021 prediction talk!

Your 2021 Predictions, Part One: The Engagement.

§ January 10th, 2022 § Filed under predictions § 10 Comments

Well, here we go, pals, for a relatively long-ish ride through all the predictions you all planted on me at the end of 2020. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get crackin’. (Also, don’t forget to give me your 2022 comic industry predictions!)

Bruce Baugh breaks in the following

“#1. There won’t be new issues of Miracleman in 2021.”

Nope, still no new issues yet, but right at the tail end of 2021, on the very last New Comics Day of the year, we got this.

“#2. There will be reprints of First Comics series – not the whole catalog, but a bunch. This is in addition to the Sable reprint being Kickstarted; I get no credit for prophesying things already happening.”

Hoo boy, I’m trying to think if anything came out last year (aside from Jon Sable). Anyway, did a little searching and the closest I can come up with is this Nexus Newspaper Strips paperback, which, you know, Nexus was published by First, and this book does contain a story from the First Comics years.

“#3. There’ll be a livestream of the entire process of making a regular issue of a monthly comic. The creative team and the audience will have fun and the issue won’t be very late.”

I’m sure this happens, on YouTube or Twitch or somewhere, on a regular basis. I did find this video (published on my birthday in 2021, no less!) about an artist who livestreams his comic creation. The video is literally titled “this artist draws entire comic books live on his Twitch streams,” so, um, there we go, I guess.

• • •

DK strikes again with

“1) LSH cancelled (what else is new). DC continues to blow it with this once-mighty franchise. Even Bendis can’t sell this concept to today’s readers. It needs a Grant Morrison.”

Well, with #12 in January 2021 being the last issue for the foreseeable future of the regular series, followed by a two-part Future State: Legion of Super-Heroes shortly thereafter, I think it’s safe to say that particular experiment is mostly ended. Though I should note that there is a Justice League/Legion of Super-Heroes mini coming out shortly, which may be the only way to get Legion characters on the stands anymore: team ’em up with other folks.

“2) The Thing will be the most surprising casting announcment for the MCU. It will be a very big name doing VO work for a Digital Grimm ™.”

We got a director announcement at the end of 2020 (Jon Watts) but no official word on actual casting far as I can tell. I saw a rumor (just a rumor!) about Seth Rogan as the Thing, and, you know, sure, why not. I’m sure it would upset somebody somewhere, but some people are always upset, y’know?

“3) The Immortal Hulk approach will be used to refresh another Marvel major. Everything you know is wrong, there’s a supernatural explanation for a science-based hero yada yada.”

Nothing really jumps out at me, but I don’t read every Marvel comic. At least, from a retailing standpoint, no series has “broken out” like Immortal Hulk did, with a wild new take on a character…except maybe the folling Hulk series. Hulk as a spaceship, powered by an angry Hulk, piloted by Bruce Banner. I mean, that feels like a magical reimagining, anyway.

• • •

googum googumed

“Ah, I keep telling you, I’m never right!”

Oh, don’t be like that, googum! Someday it’ll be your time to shine…and will it be today?

“1. Has there been a COVID-relief book yet? Feels like there should’ve been, but can’t think of one yet.”

And you were right! COVID Chronicles: A Comics Anthology (which I carry at my shop) was released, and according to the publisher’s website:

“The comics in this collection have been generously donated by their creators. A portion of the the proceeds from the sale of this volume are being donated by the publisher to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) in support of comics shops, bookstores, and their employees who have been adversely affected by the pandemic.”

So Yes googum, There Is A COVID Relief Book. I’m sure it won’t be the last.

“2. Is it time for a Legion of Super-Heroes event? When was the last time DC tried to use them as the tentpole for anything? Maybe it’s due.”

You were close! I mentioned the Justice League Vs. The Legion of Super-Heroes above, which looks something like this:

…but it’s due to release in…well, just a few days, actually. So you weren’t too far off!

“3. I feel like the CW’s DC shows are all sputtering to a stop. That might not be quite right; those shows were probably successful, but not as big as DC/WB wanted them to be. Maybe Doom Patrol as well, that Alfred show, anything else they had going that wasn’t as big as the Mandalorian.”

I looked up this chart here, and if I’m understanding correctly, The Flash has dipped down a bit so far this season in ratings compared to the previous season. Now I don’t know what counts as “a lot” of viewers anymore, in this new world of much more competition for eyeballs. Realistically I’d expect everyone’s expectations to be down, that ratings that would mean death for a show in the past are now considered fine and dandy. Maybe those ratings are, like, “CW good.” Even if they’re only about 1/6th of Young Sheldon‘s take.

For comparison, Legends of Tomorrow‘s ratings last year seemed…well, fairly dire. Stargirl‘s ratings seem to be a bit closer to Flash, but again, I’m not sure what constitutes “good” here. (The latter was picked up for a third season, so they were “good enough” I suppose.)

Also, I don’t know if these ratings take in downloads, streaming, etc. I watched pretty much all of Stargirl on the CW app through my Roku.

• • •

Yes! positively offers theese

“1. The Boys Amazon show continues to be popular and zeitgeist defining, despite a general critical agreement that the third season’s writing fell off a cliff. This could be due Superhero-decontstruction-fatigue, total deviation from the comic, or choosing the wrong Garth Ennis gross-outs to bring into the adaptation.”

Season Three isn’t coming ’til this June, so it’s too soon to say if fans are sick of it yet. I know spinoffs (or at least a spinoff) is planned, so burnout on the show is a greater possibility should that happen.

And good ol’ Garth…some of the stuff he comes up with is, to an extent, tolerable on the printed page, but once moved to film of actual humans doing some of these things…sheesh, yeah, I get your meaning.

I gotta say, though…the forthcoming “superhero burnout” (deconstructed or not) has been offered up for a while in regards to all this media featuring comic book characters, and it hasn’t happened yet. Which frankly, surprises me, too. It’ll happene someday, I’m guessing.

“2. Disney and Warner Bros, sorry, Marvel and DC, announce an Amalgam level joint effort, but it gets derailed. Leaked proposals germinate on the internet and fuel so many clickbait articles.”

Wouldn’t that be something. It would probably take an near-collapse of the entire entertainment market for these two giants to even consider pairing up like that, like when Marvel and DC started doing crossovers all the time while the comics industry’s flaming roof came crashing down upon us all. See also: that Star Trek/Star Wars crossover everyone wants.

“3. Wonder Woman 1984 and Dune enter theaters and streams. No one can say if they made or lost money without a clear metric of success; one gets a sequel, one does not.”

I was looking at the Wiki entry of WW84 (sorry, too tired to type the whole thing, though I suppose I could have instead of typing this explanation), which basically says “yeah, it didn’t even break even in theaters because of COVID, but it sure got streamed a bunch.” Says two follow-up projects are in the works…another Wonder Woman movie (maybe WW92, which will show her waiting in line to buy the black-bagged copy of Superman #75) and a movie just focusing on the Amazons.

That new Dune was released later in the year, at a time when folks were pretending it was safe to go to theaters again, so it actually made back double its budget (or thereabouts) worldwide. Apparently not a breakeven point, according to the Wiki, but better than nuthin’. It also got streamed a’plenty as well. A follow-up is planned for this film as well, in 2023.

• • •

King of the Moon decrees

“Ryan North’s Power Pack will be a massive sleeper hit and Disney will recognize they have gold just sitting there in a kid’s super team with a spaceship.”

Power Pack the comic did…well, so-so, at least at my shop. And doing a quick search shows “yes, there’s a movie coming,” and “yes, there’s a TV show coming” and “nope, it’s all on hold” and I have no idea what’s happening with it now. It certainly is money being left on the table at this point, but I bet Marvel will get around to it soon or later.

• • •

Okay, that’s it for today…come back Wednesday for more perusing of your prognostications!

“With craziness, you can’t predict it. There’s very little defense you can have on craziness.” — Bryan Cranston.

§ December 15th, 2021 § Filed under predictions § 37 Comments

Here we go again! It’s time for you — yes, you, don’t look at the person next to you, I’m talking to you — to give me your comic book industry predictions for the allegedly-approaching year of 2022! I do this every year (click on the “predictions” tag for proof) and always enjoy everyone’s contributions.

Just drop your submissions in the comments section for this post, and please adhere to the following rules:

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

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

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

4. Limit of three predictions per person, please!

I had a lot of entries from you folks last year, so I’ll be spending a good chunk of next month going over the 2021 predictions and seeing how you did. Well, how we did, since I submitted my own last time (and posted a screenshot on Twitter so no one would accuse me of editing them after the fact).

But get your awesome auguries for 2022 in now, and we’ll take a look at those in (gulp) January 2023! Thanks for participating, pals, and good luck! Maybe this will be the year Miracleman starts coming out again!

Okay, one more thing about the predictions.

§ January 22nd, 2021 § Filed under predictions § 4 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.

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