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Your 2017 Predictions, Part Four: In It to Win It.

§ January 19th, 2018 § Filed under predictions § 4 Comments

Okay, let’s knock out a few more of your 2017 comic industry predictions (previous installments: one, two and three). Like I said before, I’ll have follow-ups and corrections to my earlier response in the final part of this series, which should only be three or four months away. And if you have any predictions for 2018, put ’em here, but don’t guess that Tom Strong and Promethea will return to comics, because we already know.

So, once more unto the breach:

Andrew Leal presents the following with zeal

“NetFlix will consider bolstering their Marvel shows (and that sort of but not quite RICHIE RICH thing) with HERBIE (Popnecker, not the Volkswagon or the robot).”

I know it was just a joke prediction, but I would gladly donate pal Ian‘s life savings for a Herbie Popnecker TV show of some kind. I’d prefer, like, a CGI Herbie in a real world setting, or if we had to have an actual actor as Herbie…I don’t know, Matt Lucas? Whatever…I can just picture a Herbie TV show giving kids weird memories they’d half-recall as adults, wondering if they’d just imagined it.

“The Lego BATMAN movie and related tie-ins will make money and bring joy and probably lead some to consider just making the next Batman/Superman movie in Lego.”

It make money, it brought joy, but I don’t think there’s a direct follow-up in the works. And they’re still making DC superhero movies in live action, so no, like, Lego Justice League movie, which perhaps might have done better than the JL movie they actually put out.

“Mike will have fewer GRAPE APE comics in his shop than the previous year.”

I believe this is true. ONE HIT FOR ANDREW.

• • •

Brian offers up

“Marvel’s constant rebooting of titles will finally lead to some new sort of system (vs. having the twelfth number one of a given title, perhaps two or three of them in the same year). Such a new system won’t be any clearer, however.”

The “Marvel Legacy” initiative this year sorta helped to clear things up a bit, though I did have some confusion from some customers (“wait, why is this comic suddenly #218!?”). It would be nice if Marvel just left it as-is, sticking to those higher issue numbers instead of launching into new restarts…but Marvel just ended Guardians of the Galaxy at #150, and you know when they relaunch it, it ain’t gonna be at #151. So this Marvel Legacy “no really look at how long all these series have ran, once you add ’em all together” thing could just be a temporary cosmetic fix, until the next wave of new #1s comes in (which is the rumor goin’ around, I hear).

“Given rising production costs and the maturation of the digital sales market, one of the independent publishers will switch to solely-digital production, allowing for different controls on how ‘books’ are done.”

I don’t think this happened…a lot of the publishers that have been on the stands have surely expanded their digital offerings, but I don’t think anyone’s entirely abandoned print. There could be some small publishing house that I’m not recalling, so feel free to remind me!

“DC will start running into trouble as creative teams on the Rebirth books come and go, making it more difficult to line up the conclusion of the promised two-year line-wide arc.”

I haven’t really noticed too much of a problem here so far…yeah, there have been some team switch-ups, but nothing that seems likely to endanger DC’s long-term plans. Plus, if I recall correctly, Doomsday Clock, the beginning of the end of DC’s two-year plan, takes place a year in the future of the DC Universe, so the rest of the line still has time to catch up. I think.

• • •

MrJM jams in here with

“At least one high-profile/high-stakes criminal prosecutions for the creation and/or sale of politically/socially/sexually radical comics. Creators, retailers & fans share a serious ‘waitwhatohshit’ moment.”

I don’t think any one big thing happened to make us all go “…uh oh,” but there’s always some shenanigans going on as seen on the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’s main page.

“DC’s Young Animal imprint continues to make comics designed just for me!”

I’m going to say…”Yes. Yes they did. And are. And will likely continue to do so.”

“Alf makes a big comeback.”

Yeah, yeah, I know. But seriously, I’m sort of surprised there hasn’t been an effort to bring those Alf comics back into print. They were actually very popular at the time (as the story goes, even outselling X-Men comics on the newsstand), and had some pretty solid cartooning. Be a shame if they just vanished forever with no permanent edition to preserve them. …C’mon, ALF ARCHIVES…it’s gotta happen.

• • •

Chris Gumprich grumps

“A forgotten 1950s comic gets a new life when reprinted and becomes the darling of the Internet. The creators are unknown and probably too dead to reap any benefit.”

I’m sure 1950s comics were reprinted, but I don’t know that any of them got internet traction. Well, there was that pretty negative review of IDW’s reprints of weird old horror and romance comics which received a bit of attention, but that’s probably not what you meant. I mean, once I publish that complete collection of Spunky the Monkey, then we’ll be on the same page.

“Creators bring a modern take to a beloved 1970s cartoon, ignoring what made it popular in the first place. (My vote is for Hong Kong Phooey, but that was never popular.)”

The 1970s were a real wasteland when it came to cartoons anyone would want to revive…trust me, I grew up in the ’70s, most of those cartoons were terrible. I mean, sure, I watched ’em, but they were still awful. Well, there was Dastardly and Muttley, based on…well, technically a very late 1960s cartoon, but still really part of the 1970s. The comic based on that ignored a lot of the original cartoons…but in a good way!

We did get some ’70s characters in the Scooby Doo Team-up series, but those were all pretty true to their roots. Even Hong Kong Phooey! …Still willing to write that Mighty Man and Yukk revival, DC!

“A big-name creator says something stupid on Twitter, everyone gets upset, boycotts are called, and then promptly forgotten when another big-name creator says something stupid.”

I think we can just assume this happens every year!

• • •

Mike Loughlin laughingly adds

“Trump will show up in a Marvel comic. Readers will not be pleased.”

I think Savage Dragon beat ’em to it. And many people weren’t thrilled…particularly if they liked Trump!

“The Watchmen characters’ appearances in various DC books will derail the series’ plot lines and lead to declining sales.”

There have been tie-ins (more thematically than character appearances) but nothing that’s really completely derailed any of the books. Everything seems pretty well integrated, for once.

“Mosaic will be canceled; readers will be blamed for not pre-ordering/ trade-waiting/ Marvel Unlimited-waiting by someone who works for Marvel.”

There was a lot of talk about “readers not supporting the books” near the end of the year, regarding several announced cancellations. I don’t recall any such talk about Mosaic, which went from the character being a semi-big deal to “you know, I don’t recall seeing any solicitations for this comic for the last couple of months.” Well, okay, I exaggerate, I never noticed that it was gone. Just the latest title to fall by the wayside, without any real fanfare.

• • •

James proclaims

“Trump references E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E.”

Mostly from indies, surprisingly not so much from Marvel.

“Harley Quinn will get a (much needed) new creative team.”

A new creative team was announced last year, and debuted this week!

“The Fantastic Four will remain M.I.A.”

Well, you’re half-right, I guess, depending on how you look at it…half the team returned in Marvel Two-in-One at the end of the year. Technically, the Fantastic Four is still gone, but we’ve got the Fantastic Two on the stands. That’s, y’know, close.

• • •

My old pal mojo_iv squishes these in

“Chuck Austen will return with a 48-page adaptation of the 1988 film Action Jackson.”

Sadly, no. And I totally would have read that.

“Leftover plot points from Secret Wars will be used to justify a crossover between the main Marvel Universe and the Star Wars universe. Galactus will threaten Coruscant and only the 3rd or 4th Death Star or something can be used to defeat him, but it’s powered by Terrigen-infected Ewoks or Hoojibs or something and instead Rey and Quicksilver have to time travel back to the Prequels and stop Anakin and Padme from getting married or something. Meanwhile Jean Grey will kill 80 billion Mon Calamari and be given a pass because Phoenix.”

Okay, the Mon Calamari joke gave me a mean chuckle. But honestly, I am so surprised at the lack of Marvel/Star Wars crossovers (even, like, a full month of themed variant covers) that I can only assume it’s prohibited by highers-up. Otherwise it’d be nothing but “Dr. Doom versus Darth Vader…TO THE DEATH.”

“Dwayne McDuffie will rise from the grave to destroy us all.”

And we’d probably deserve it.

• • •

Okay, time for my beauty sleep, so that I may become even more beautiful, so I’ll pick up on the predictions this coming Monday. Thanks for reading, pals, and I’ll see you then!

Your 2017 Predictions, Part Three: All or Nothing.

§ January 17th, 2018 § Filed under predictions § 13 Comments

Okay, I meant to go edit in some more corrections and addendums/addenda in the previous posts (part one and two), but I think I’ll wait ’til we’re done going through all the predictions and do a final wrap-up instead. In the meantime, let’s get through a few more of your guesses for the events of 2017…and don’t forget to give me your predictions for 2018!

Rob London bridges the gap with

“Marvel villain Trump (you know, this guy) makes a comeback.”

Not that I can tell (as you might imagine, that’s hard to look up right now…”Siri, find me ‘trump villain evil'”) but I can’t imagine how anyone at Marvel could have resisted.

“DC launches an equivalent to Marvel Unlimited.”

(and Bryan Boles also noted “I think this is the year DC finally has a digital equivalent to Marvel Unlimited”)

Not that I can tell, but this seems like something The People want, since I had more than one person predict it!

“Agents of SHIELD ends in May; its spot in the ABC schedule is taken by a Ghost Rider series.”

Beyond all expectation, it’s still hanging in there. Who knew?

• • •

Wayne Allen Sallee sallies forth with

“Dr. Oz is not Ozymandias. Clark Kent is really Nite Owl from the Watchmen-verse AND Dr. Oz.”

Well…you’re partly right!

“The letter Thomas Wayne wrote to his son Bruce were simply the lyrics to ‘Seasons in The Sun’ by Terry Jacks.”

Close…turned out it was the lyrics to “MacArthur Park.”

“The DC/Watchmen thing will never be resolved because Trump and Putin will fight over something trivial–perhaps the hidden meaning of ‘Seasons in The Sun’–and Russia and the US will bomb each other to bits.”

Oh, Wayne…you know those two crazy kids would never fight over anything!

• • •

Stephen Conway twitters

“Daredevil will be the latest Marvel character to be replaced with a PoC legacy character, but there won’t be any wholly new character that receives their own book.”

Seems like Matt Murdock and his twin brother Swingin’ Mike Murdock are in it for the long haul…though I suppose recent supporting character Blindspot is right there if they decide to do the ol’ switcheroo.

“Several second and third tier publishers collapse. NuValiant folds as their much needed influx of Hollywood money never arrives.”

No comics-aggedon just yet…maybe a couple have fallen off (or at least scaled back) in the last year, but there’s no alarming attrition thus far.

“Charles Soule catches a rather bad cold causing him miss his deadlines, resulting in Marvel having a week with no new comics.”

That man apparently had a very healthy year!

• • •

Rob Staeger stages the new few items

“I’m gonna predict a new Legion series until they give us one. I’m going to go out on a limb and say DC will use some of Tom King’s Batman cred to launch it; he’ll write the first year.”

Hard to believe we’re still waiting for a new Legion of Super-Heroes series…but better to let it rest than just crank out series after series with declining returns. I do like your idea of Tom King writing it, though…that would certainly make it feel different from every other attempt at relaunching the series.

“While I’m making a wish list, I’ll predict another thing I’d really like: DC will publish a collection reprinting some of the Comico Jonny Quest series.”

I’d like a collection of that series from pretty much any source, but it feels like the time to have done that was maybe when the Future Quest series had started way back when.

“Of the original wave of Rebirth books, the first one cancelled will be Blue Beetle. Jaime Reyes will become a regular in a team book soon afterward.”

It didn’t happen ’til this year, with Blue Beetle ending this February…but Superwoman is beating it by a month, ending, well, right now.

• • •

Bully, the Little Foreseeing Bull, stuffs in the following

“Jaxxon the Giant Green Star Wars Rabbit will get his own five-issue miniseries.”

I don’t think this fella’s turned up at Marvel aside from a couple of variant covers…but I’d be all for a Jaxxon series. Except don’t call him a rabbit because:

“Fleishman’s Margarine will become the newest member of either the X-Men or the Inhumans, or both.”

Well, the Inhumans could’ve used the help.

“The crossover event ‘War of the Spiders’ will never finish. Neither will the human race.”

I’m not even sure what “War of the Spiders” even was. Man, crossovers sure do come and go nowadays. I mean, maybe it is still going, who am I to judge? The human race, however, is still going, sort of despite itself.

• • •

Rich Handley palms off the following

“Star Trek comics will cross over with at least two other franchises. One of them will have the word ‘Star’ in the title.”

Alas, no Battlestar Galactica/Star Trek event, nor did Barbra Streisand meet the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise in A Star Trek Is Born.

“The Watchmen’s involvement in DC Rebirth will ultimately turn out to be neither as interesting nor as important as folks are hoping.”

Well, we’ve got 10 more issues to go before we find out, I don’t know, Rorschach is Jimmy Olsen’s father, or whatever. We’ll just have to see!

“Then… KOREA!”

Why, this is just a cheap ploy to get me to run this panel again:


It’ll never work.

• • •

More prediction talk to come in just a day or two! Thanks for reading, pals.

Your 2017 Predictions, Part Two: Bring It On Again.

§ January 15th, 2018 § Filed under predictions § 3 Comments

AND SO IT CONTINUES SOME MORE: more looking behinder to see aheader via your comic industry predictions for 2017 and checking who got it right, who got it wrong, and how good your pal Mike’s memory is. Part one of this series is right here, and if you want to participate in next year’s event, drop your 2018 comics predictions in the comments here.

Let’s jump right in!

Hulk It Up, Y’all! smashes through with

“Monsters Unleashed will be the first truly fun big ol’ Marvel crossover on a long time, which will be much needed after Civil War II”

Well, parts of it were fun, but the series as a whole didn’t seem to grab the same amount of eyeballs as the Civil War event. I suspect, however, it was a sufficient palate cleanser for those sampled it.

“Wonder Woman will be a big ol’ flop, thus further damaging movie studios’ faith in female led superhero movies :(. If that happens, I will not be happy.”

Never fear, Mr. and/or Mrs. Hulk It Up, Y’all! as the Wonder Woman movie was indeed a big ol’ hit.

“That FCBD Star Trek TNG Mirror Universe comic will be a big ol’ load of fun, and somehow less bleak than a certain movie that also has the word ‘Star’ in it that came out this year.”

I quite liked that Mirror Universe story…I don’t read too many modern ST comics, but I make the occasional exception and this was was pretty fun. It was, as you say, less bleak than that one “Star” movie.

• • •

Pelasgus’s Pal Jason Sandberg submits

“Marvel will move several flagship titles to a biweekly schedule. (The change might be implemented in the manner of Waid’s current ‘Avengers’ run with .1 issues).”

There wasn’t a deliberate and consistent effort to duplicate DC’s biweekly books at Marvel, aside from the occasional shipping shenanigans that resulted in consecutive issues being released close together. There were those .1 issues alternating with their parent titles, like you said, but that’s not quite the same as a single biweekly book. As it turns out, Avengers is weekly for a storyline in 2018, which is not something I would have predicted!

“DC will launch a ‘Bat-Man and the Justice League’ title.”

There is a new (biweekly!) Justice League of America title that is basically “Batman and the Justice League,” which was actually solicited in the same month you made your prediction, but my guess is that you may not have known about it. It’s not titled “Batman and the Justice League,” which…well, I kinda wonder how that would have improved sales?

“Boom! Studios will announce a December 2017 ‘Klaus’ one-shot from Grant Morrison & Dan Mora, this will become a beloved annual Christmas tradition.”

Indeedy-doodly. I hope, like you, they do this every year.

• • •

googum googumed:

“There were a lot of comics with Obama covers. Not expecting anywhere near as many Trump ones.”

There were quite a few Trump parody comics in the past year…I think he’s still behind in numbers versus the Obama comics, but hey, it’s only been a year, I’m sure Trump will catch up in the next seven years of his term. But anyway, like I said in this End of Civilization post a while back, there certainly is a different…tone to the Trump books, isn’t there?

“Even though the sales are better than most other books, Marvel still decides to shake up Star Wars; with a new number one and setting stories after Empire.”

I am surprised the main Star Wars book hasn’t been restarted with a new setting and/or focus yet. I bet they’ll do what you predicted here eventually.

“Next big comics death? I’m guessing Storm.”

Storm is still amongst the four-color living at the moment. In fact, did we have any big character deaths this last year? I mean big as in “anybody caring” or “it made the TV news because nothing else was going on that day.” I know a character or three died in Marvel’s event, but I’m pretty sure all that resulted was some shrugging and assuming the character(s) will be back in whatever the next event will be.

• • •

Harvey Jerkwater spills the following

“Marvel will continue its strategy of creating a second version of every hero as well as its strategy of making the original hero temporarily evil (e.g., Superior Spider-Man, Superior Iron Man, the Hydra-fied Captain America) and it will lead to at least one hilarious misfire that will prompt years of ‘can you believe they did that’ internet giggles.”

Honestly, I can’t think of anything that meets that criteria more than Hydra-Cap. And we’ll never be able to let that sink into the memory hole because I’m sure he’ll get dragged out as a nemesis for every other event series from now on.

“The temptation to create a Big Event where the original versions of the Marvel heroes fight the second versions will prove too strong for editorial to resist.”

Marvel did in fact do this with their “Generations” series of one-shots, with Wolvering Vs. All-New Wolverine, etc. It wasn’t so much an event as event-tangent, spinning off from Secret Empire.

“The Punisher will pick up a ‘Mr. Myxyzptlk/Bat-Mite’ style puckish magical imp called ‘Li’l Bang-Bang’ to bedevil him with fanboy questions and magical shenanigans during his relentless mission of vengeance.”

Will pray every day to any entity that will listen for this to someday take place.

• • •

Bob Stec goes this way with

“Trump will NOT appear on comics covers or interiors as President Obama did, instead, he will appear in stories as thinly veiled (but obvious) villains across the Marvel and DC lines.”

The ol’ Trumpeteer has been showing up in lots of indie comics, and he was, shall we say, prominently presented in an issue of Savage Dragon. He’s made a few appearances in recent DC books (noted here), and the Marvel wiki has a couple of not-very-flattering appearances listed here. Nothing quite on the level of Serpent Society Ronald Reagan yet.

“A Marvel Comics Bronze Age Christmas Story Omnibus will be published. Over-sized and re-colored for your yuletide pleasure.”

Again, I’m surprised they didn’t do anything like this. They’ve got enough reasonably good holiday stories to make for a solid omnibus edition.

“Batman ’66/Gilligan’s Island mini-series will be published. It will contain a scene where Sherwood Schwartz and Julius Schwartz meet ‘n’ greet. Written by Keith Giffen and drawn by Kevin Maguire! C’mon you know this would be awesome!”

I can picture this greatness in my head, and I hate you for making me want this thing that will never happen. Unless of course I start a GoFundMe campaign to collect enough cash to commission a story by these guys that only I can get to read.

• • •

Thelonious_Nick cuts in with

“As Marvel sales continue to drop, DC holds steady, and Image gains ground, we start talking of a ‘Big 3’ comic companies.”

As I noted in an edit to the last prediction post, market shares held relatively steady, even if actual monies made dipped. I don’t think anyone’s talking “Big 3” yet, but certainly nobody’s ignoring Image as a powerful player in the marketplace.

“Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and Lego Batman movies earn ALL the money this year, Wonder Woman movie is too dark for parents to take their kids to see and fares poorly, Thor 3 seen as derivative and bombs at box office. Latest Spider-Man reboot and Logan stand-alone movie leave theaters after two weeks having barely made a ripple.”

GOTG2 did very well ($860 million), and Lego Batman had a good showing (about $312 million). But everything else you listed there did just fine, too! In fact, I think Logan was the second-highest grossing X-Men movie (behind Days of Future Past). Homecoming had a slightly higher box office than Amazing Spider-Man 2, and the other two movies you mentioned…well, you’ve probably heard how they’ve done!

“Following Life After and Exodus: Life After, the Life After will start its third series–Leviticus: Life After.”

Oh, you.

• • •

Simon says

“Retailers will start merging or collapsing.”

There were a lot of stories over the last few weeks about stores taking financial hits after a lackluster year…I’m sure we lost a few shops, but I haven’t heard of any specific shop mergers to, like, save businesses. Could start happening if problems continue…it’s an option that could be considered.

“Publishers will keep merging or collapsing.”

There’s certainly been some cooperation…Marvel teaming with Archie to get those Spider-Man and X-Men digests into grocery stores, for example, and IDW is still packaging high-end reprints and special collections for other companies. There was stuff like Netflix buying Millarworld’s stuff, but that’s not quite the same. I can’t think of any companies literally merging into one company in our industry, but I do have a bad memory for that sort of thing. Let me know what I missed and I’ll add it in here.

“A mainstream comic mag may launch.”

I get what you mean, but I can’t think of any U.S. publications that would match what you’re probably thinking of. There are plenty of mainstream graphic novels that are doing gangbuster business, like DC Super Hero Girls and anything by Raina Telgemeier, but there isn’t any regularly published comics mag that gets on all the newsstands and in the grocery stories that’s widely bought by folks who don’t normally buy comics…well, maybe Mad, but even that’s not what it was. Hey, maybe someday.

• • •

That’s the end for today…come back soon for part 3 of your 2017 predictions! And, of course, a big thanks to everyone who participated!

Your 2017 Predictions, Part One: Bring It On.

§ January 12th, 2018 § Filed under predictions § 7 Comments

You dreaded its arrival, and now it’s here…part one of 82 of “Mike looks back at your 2017 predictions!” And if you want to be part of the fun next year, drop your 2018 predictions into the comments of this other post from just a couple of weeks ago.

Okay, and awaaaay we go:

William Burns gets the fire started with

“Comixology will stop providing its pull list service for local comic shops.”

This does appear to be the case, but you were only a few months off…seems to be happening first quarter 2018.

“The age of Trump and the Republicans will see the Big Two retreat from ‘diversity’ books in favor of straight white male superheroics. This will be pitched as ‘a return to our roots’ or ‘giving the fans what they want.'”

Yeah, that turned into a real big stink in the middle of the year (as seen in this article, where a Marvel VP’s comments about diversity hurting their sales was countered by an examination of the actual business practices that were more to blame). As it stands right now, there are a number of books with diverse casts on the stands, but the trend on Big Two titles is, as always, “back to the status quo.” However, there’s usually always someone attempting to widen the appeal of the Marvel/DC books sort of despite the companies’ efforts, so the cycle will come around again.

“Batman 66/Maxwell Smart. C’mon DC, you know you want to.”

Man, I know I wanted them to. However, far as I know there’s nothing new on the comics front for Batman ’66 comics (save a trade collection of the B’66/Wonder Woman ’77 team-up). Hopefully something else will turn up…at least a Batman ’66/Wonder Woman ’77/Superman ’78 story.

• • •

King of the Moon waxes and/or wanes upon the following:

“Still no Power Pack ongoing series in the main Marvel Universe.

“Despite having the IP of a family of kids who get superpowers from a magic alien horse and have their own sentient spaceship that successfully ran for 62 issues Marvel won’t print money.”

Well, we did get a Power Pack #63 as part of the whole Marvel Legacy “let’s give one more issue to some cancelled series” hoohar, though I suppose that’s not exactly what you mean. Like, at the very least you’d think there’d be a budget-conscious “Power Pack” TV series on, I don’t know, Amazon or Crackle or something, with an accompanying comic book.

• • •

Gordon R. Dymowski blogs this, pal:

“Marvel will reveal in its books that Inhumans and mutants are the same”

Um…I’m pretty sure they didn’t? I don’t read any Inhumans or X-books so it’s possible this could’ve slipped by me, but I expect if such a thing did happen, the caterwauling that would have ensued would have been hard to miss.

“As part of its REBIRTH Initiative, DC will reveal that Nite Owl is the Earth-Watchmen’s Batman”

Not yet, at any rate, since we’re only two issues into that Doomsday Clock series, now available at a comic shop near you!

“Although larger conventions (like San Diego ComicCon, WizardWorld, etc) will still predominate, more people will attend smaller, local shows due to affordability of larger, turnkey conventions as well as an ability to reach local retailers, creators, etc.”

I don’t know the attendance numbers, but it does seem like there are more attempts at doing smaller, non-SDCC/WW shows in more places. I’ll mark this one down as “I’m gonna need someone else to tell me.”

“No Swamp Thing predictions this time, sorry.”

HOW VERY DARE YOU

• • •

LondonKdS accentuates the following:

“Titan will announce miniseries for every Doctor they haven’t depicted yet, including the ‘Shalka’ and ‘Fatal Death’ Doctors. None of them will have more than two issues out by the end of the year.”

Not quite yet, but give ’em time! And I would absolutely plotz if there were any kind of series based on the “Curse of Fatal Death” story. Yes to any comic that would give me Rowan Atkinson/Hugh Grant/Joanna Lumley Doctors.

“Full-scale campaign for right-wing ‘representaion’at the Big Two. One of them will cave in and publish a series which will tank for being blatant and dull propaganda.”

Haven’t quite reached that state of affairs yet, though I understand there are independent attempts at this sort of thing.

EDIT 1/12: Whoops…Michael Grabowski reminds us of something that might fall within this description from the past year.

“Marvel sales continue to fall, DC bump from Rebirth finally ends.”

Looking at the Retail Market Share charts at Diamond…there doesn’t appear to be too much of a significant change from the beginning of the year to the end. There are some ups and downs but market shares appear to be relatively consistent. I would think that the “Rebirth” branding probably did outlive its usefulness, as it’s been removed from the covers…though that may have as much to do with the arrival of the “final” part of that publishing effort, Doomsday Clock, now available at a comic shop near you!

EDIT 1/12 AGAIN: Whoops Part 2, as relative share of the market doesn’t exactly equal relative size of the market, a thing I remembered once I was, y’know, awake. Reports seem to indicate direct market comics shrinkage, so let me look into this a little further.

• • •

Tim Stevens evens us out with:

DC Comics will finally give Aztek the Ultimate Man his due and give him a brand new series.

Not yet, but he did pop up in the Justice League of America comic in December, just under the wire, so that’s close enough for me!

People will continue to insist Marvel hates the X-Men even as the number of mutant related books rise and rise.

Admittedly, that talk seems to have died down a bit of late, with that Disney/Fox deal happening. Maybe it’s still going on in the message boards, but I ain’t lookin’ in there.

People will talk about Image again as a viable 3rd company again as they did circa 2013.

That seems to be the generally accepted Number Three of the Big Two, though the actual strength of that position seems to come and go. It’ll stick around as a major presence for some time to come, I’d imagine.

Marvel will finally recognize what a talent their MarvelCom freelancer Tim Stevens is and give him his one boutique style line within the Marvel Universe a la Gerard Way’s Young Animal.

Nope, sorry, that’s one prediction over the limit, can’t answer that.

• • •

Hooper Triplett doubles down on

“Paul Grist will start a well-received new series that he stop unannounced and never complete.”

OUCH. Anyway, didn’t happen this year. IT’S BECAUSE YOU SCARED HIM OFF, HOOPER.

• • •

Greg A Assumes

Marvel will continue to try to make the Inhumans into a Thing; however, will also continue to have poorly received results.

Nope, Ben Grimm did not become a…oh, wait, I misread that. Well, there are still Inhumans comics, so I guess that counts as still being a thing. Not exactly taking the world by storm, no.

Marvel’s upcoming Inhumans television series will air the exact same number of episodes as Viva Laughlin before being quietly cancelled.

From what I can tell, Inhumans had eight episodes, which is six more than Viva Laughlin aired (though it apparently had 5 unaired episodes). I don’t know if it’s officially cancelled, but word on the street ain’t good. Yeah, that’s right, I get my word from the streets.

DC Comics will launch a new LSH series. Thanks to its unexpected creative team, the new series will have better than expected sales–particularly in digital and book fair markets.

We’re all still waiting to see what’s happening with the Legion as far as a new comic book series goes, but in the meantime, here’s live-action Brainiac 5 from next week’s Supergirl to keep y’all happy:

• • •

demoncat_4 conjures up:

“marvel will manage to get the ff rights back and do a tv show and have doom show up in an avengers film.”

You’re half-right…well, it’s a pending half-right assuming the Disney/Fox deal is permitted.

“dc will decide its time for swamp thing to show up in live action again and have him pop up on both the flash and legends then spun off in his own movie and tv show.”

Honestly, I’m surprised he hasn’t turned up on the CW somewhere, though maybe they had high hopes for that live-action Justice League Dark movie.

“given him now being part of arrow ragman will get his own comic and at last his own action figure and will be hard to get.”

Again, half-right! There was a new Ragman mini-series that started in 2017. And there’s no official action figure yet, but a Google search turns up a lot of custom figures. I guess technically those are hard to get!

• • •

My old pal Skinslip slides in with:

“At least two more Doctor Who ongoings will happen.”

We did get two mini-series, at least…so you were close!

“The Hasbro universe will add at least one more 80s toyline to boost sales”

There was a Transformers/Visionaries crossover comic that started just this month…but it was solicited in 2017, so I’m counting that at least as a partial hit (since, um, I don’t know that it boosted sales all that much).

“Big Trouble in Little China/Escape From New York will get a second mini series or become an ongoing”

No second series yet, but we did get another Big Trouble mini (“Old Man Jack”) so who knows?

• • •

Eric L takes the L mostly on one of the following:

“The DC Rebirth books will gradually return to a 3.99 price point.”

Very gradually…a series or two got demoted to monthly from biweekly, with the attendant $1 jump in price. I expect the trend to continue.

“The Wonder Woman movie will be critically acclaimed, but underperform at the box office.”

It was critically acclaimed indeed, but did amazingly well at the box office, too! Good news all around!

“The entire Watchmen invading the DC Universe storyline will be ignored or dropped entirely.”

Nope, it’s still going strong, what with the currently-running Doomsday Clock, now available at a comic shop near you!

• • •

Okay, that’s it for now! Tune in same Watchmen-time, same Watchmen-channel, for the next exciting installment!

“It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see.” – Winston Churchill.

§ December 27th, 2017 § Filed under predictions § 47 Comments

It’s That Time of year again, where I ask you, the four or five remaining Progressive Ruin readers, for your comic book industry predictions for 2018 A.D., which you can place right here in the comments section of this very post.

The rules are, as always:

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! THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE, PLEASE DO NOT IGNORE IT. This rule also means “no multi-part list of somewhat-related predictions under one bullet point pretending to be a single prediction.” C’mon, take it easy on your pal Mike.

In a few days, I’ll start looking back at your predictions for 2017, going over the hits and the misses and the “I’m not sures,” so pack a lunch or three for that particular journey. But please, in the meantime, fill up the comment section here with your visions of the near future. Your participation remains a big part of what I enjoy about doing this website, and is always appreciated.
 
 

The Witching Hour #72 (July 1977) – art by Luis Dominguez

Your 2016 Predictions, Epilogue: The Karate Killers.

§ January 20th, 2017 § Filed under predictions § 6 Comments

Now I’m sure we all have other things on our mind today, but I’m still gonna wrap up my look back at your 2016 predictions, and if you’re just joining us, you can catch up on parts one, two, three, four and five at those handy links there. Also, I’m still taking your 2017 predictions for the time being, so drop ’em in there while you can.

Okay, I’ve covered all the actual predictions, but a few of you had some things to say in response to my last couple weeks’ worth of posts. First off, Andrew mentions in response to my assertion that no webcomics have been adapted into film/TV:

“No actual webcomics have made it to any screen yet, but the first season of SyFy’s Channel Zero is taken from the short story Candle Cove by Kris Straub. He’s the cartoonist behind Chainsawsuit, Broodhollow, Starslip, Checkerboard Nightmare, and a few other things here and there.”

I knew about the show, and the original story, but hadn’t realized its webcomic connection. Thanks for letting me know!

DanielT corrects me on my mistaken belief that no TV shows based on Image properties had cropped up:

“Outcast. Though I’m not surprised you forgot/didn’t know about it because I NEVER hear or read anything about it.”

Geez, you’re right. You could have pointed a gun at me and demanded I name an Image Comics-based show that wasn’t The Walking Dead and I would never have been able to come up with it. I seem vaguely to remember even…giving away promo postcards? Something like that? Anyway, yeah, you’re right, I totally forgot about it. Don’t think I’ve even seen frame one of the show, or who’s on it or even what channel it’s on. Can’t know everything!

A.J. comments

“I gotta say, the section intros are genius. ‘James kings me with’ is inspired.”

Yeah, I do that mostly for my own amusement, though I should note the irony of giving your intro the single most boring one. Sorry about that…it’s been a long day! Anyway, I try to do one for everyone, though sometimes I got nuthin’, and sometimes I make a reference that wouldn’t be obvious to the casual reader, but just to that person in question. (For example, the commenter from Thailand where I used the word “ties’ in his intro.) And that’s how the sausage is made, everyone!

Allan Hoffman clarifies, in response to my Miracleman comments:

“Neil Gaiman has said there are administrative/legal things (yes, still) that are holding things up. When that clears up is anyone’s guess.”

It seems shocking that would be the case, since I thought Marvel through money at whatever barriers there were until they went away. But, I guess it wouldn’t be Miracleman unless there were ridiculous delays of some sort. Now you modern-day kids know what we elderly folks went through when MM was still occasionally coming out through Eclipse!

David Alexander McDonald has more to say…! (I tease because I love!)

“The redemption of Jay Garrick was actually what I’d expected — the thing with the Man In The Mask was a gimme, especially when fake-Jay’s doppleganger on Earth-1 was named Hunter Zolomon.”

Yeah, sorry about that, I sorta read your prediction as “the guy who claims to be Jay Garrick will redeem himself,” because I couldn’t remember the timing of the episodes vis-à-vis the time of your initial prediction. But you’re right…as soon as the Man in the Mask showed up, it couldn’t have been more “LOOK THIS IS THE REAL JAY GARRICK” if it had a caption pop up every time he appeared reading “THIS IS THE REAL JAY GARRICK.”

David also says, as a follow-up to his prediction that he’s spend money with my store

“I never did buy anything from you, but that was because the Dawn figure got sold the day before I went to pull the trigger on it. Ah well. YOUR TIME WILL COME, MIKESTER.”

I’LL GET YOUR MONEY YET, DAVID ALEXANDER MCDONALD!

Thelonious_Nick notes that my Paper Girls/Stranger Things comparison was closer than I thought:

“Ha ha–I thought Stranger Things WAS pretty much Paper Girls, though they changed the girls to boys for some reason. I really irritated my wife by pointing out the parallels/ripped off ideas for each episode.”

Was it really that close? I haven’t read Paper Girls yet, and only have watched the first episode of Stranger Things, which didn’t really grab me. Is this another Invisibles/The Matrix bit of hoohar?

David Alexander McDonald (what, him again?) notes in regards to Defenders reprints

“There’s a number of other Defenders comics releases aside from the Masterworks digital collections. There’s been a Defenders Epic Collection (The Six-Fingered Hand), Doctor Strange And The Secret Defenders, and Deadpool And The Secret Defenders is coming out next month.”

Oh, there’s definitely plenty of Defenders goodies available or soon available. I was just going off the “omnibus” comment, assuming complete, sequential reprints of the original series was meant, which is why I only specifically pointed out the Masterworks volumes. (If I recall correctly, only one of the Defenders Masterworks is currently available, which is why I pointed out their availability via digital means.)

MrJM dares consider the following possibility

“I think a Tarzan/Alf comic would solve a̶l̶l̶ some of our nation’s woes!”

Alf could’ve eaten Sabor and saved Tarzan’s parents, which…well, would have nipped all this “King of the Jungle” business right in the bud, frankly.

philfromgermany says

“Instead of getting on Vertigo’s nuts, people might wanna read some of the titles they put out, like Sheriff of Babylon, Fables ever after, Unfollow or Astro City…
Is this still good natured ribbing or should some people just look for a new hobby if comics makes them so bitter?”

Now, in fairness, the person who made the initial comment about Vertigo is a longtime customer of mine who reads probably 95% of Vertigo’s output. His reaction was more “I can’t keep up!” than “I hate all this Vertigo stuff!” honest! But, without impugning the quality of any of the Vertigo output, I do have to note that it’s not quite generating the interest or excitement it once did. A lot of comics aren’t, nowadays, so it’s not all on Vertigo. There’s just no “gotta read it” book with more widespread appeal that would attract attention to the imprint as a whole, like Preacher or Sandman or even Fables once did. And frankly, I keep forgetting Astro City is under the Vertigo brand now.

Mike Loughlin sez, he sez

“I like that they put the Young Animal series in their own imprint as I think Vertigo should be creator-owned (or at least co-owned) comics vs. DC properties. Incidentally, would love to see what the Young Animal creators would do with Tim Hunter or Black Orchid.”

I’ve often said to customers that DC’s Young Animal imprint feels like early DC property-based Vertigo, which seems to help sell it to more than a few folks who miss that particular era. I think keeping creator-owned books and the DC-inspired “edgier” books in separate imprints is a good idea, too, but I can’t help but feel maybe a new Vertigo title based on an established DC property could bring more eyeballs in that direction.

And finally, Bully, the Little Bull Stuffed with Just Plain Sugar, Honest cracks wise with

Hey, I’d buy an Angel Love hardcover treasury! that is, if I had enough money left over after buying my

[youalreadyknowwhatpicturegoeshere.jpg]


Well said, Bully and Angel!

Thanks for sticking through all this, pals, and let’s do it again next year! Don’t forget to leave me your 2017 predictions…and I’ll see you on Monday with some non-prediction stuff, hopefully!

Your 2016 Predictions, Part Five: The Spy in the Green Hat.

§ January 18th, 2017 § Filed under predictions § 4 Comments

We’re in the home stretch of looking at your 2016 predictions…parts one, two, three, and four are still right where I left ’em. And please, give me your 2017 predictions if you so desire.

• • •

Longtime customer Rob marches in with

“I’ve only got one, but from the last 6 months, it appears that DC Vertigo has a new strategy. So I predict that DC Vertigo will launch a new (ongoing or mini-series) title every week for the entire calendar year, in an effort to make me not care about Vertigo comics anymore.”

It seemed like they were cranking out a whole lot of ’em for a while there, didn’t it? They seem to have scaled back some now, while still searching for the new Vertigo “killer app” to put the imprint back on its feet.

Hwy, maybe if they did an actual weekly Vertigo comic…an anthology series featuring short chapters of old favorites and new concepts, just to see what people respond to. That sounds neat to me, if only because I’m not the person who’d be handling the logistics of it.

• • •

vester invests in the following:

“1. DC Comics will recruit an artist or writer who has worked in recent years in Marvel”

Darn it, I’m always terrible at this sort of thing because I never can keep track of or remember who’s going where and doing what to whom. I checked some of DC’s recent “exclusive creator” hires (for example), but it’s usually someone who’s worked for Marvel and DC among others. But I can’t think of anyone on par with, like, John Romita Jr., a longtime mostly Marvel dude, coming over to work on Superman, like he did a couple of years back. Maybe someone out there with a brain that isn’t old and decaying like mind can clue me in.

“2. The Iron Fist actor for the Netflix series will probably be a white person.”

Yeah, that certainly turned into a thing.

“3. Batman v Superman will be ok, but not AS GOOD as it looked like in the trailers and Ben Affleck will be named the best Batman in DC Comics movie history.”

Welllll…I thought it was okay, and I thought it was better than promised in the trailers, but I hear tell I may be in the minority opinion on this. I do believe most people thought Affleck made a good Batman, and are looking forward to his turn in a solo Batman film…however, there is only one Best Batman in the movies, and I think we all know who I’m talkin’ about.

• • •

Mike Loughlin laughs it up with

“Marvel sales will take a sizable hit, mostly due to 1) audience indifference and 2) Marvel Unlimited.”

On a case-by-case basis, certain new Marvel series launches haven’t…done entirely well, far as I can tell. But overall, their market percentage, per Diamond’s stats, seem to have hovered around the same levels throughout the year. Now, maybe per-unit sales have dropped across the board for everybody, and, say, 40% of the market at the beginning of the year represents a lot more than 40% at the end of the year, but relatively speaking Marvel’s in about the same position it was.

• • •

Mick slips me the following:

“1. Dynamite hires Jim Shooter to provide a satisfying conclusion to the Dark Horse Gold Key revival. This leads to”

I’d actually forgotten Dynamite had the Gold Key characters. No Shooter on the project, it appears, alas.

“2. Dynamite and Valiant work together to get Unity 2000 finished and published as a trade, along with most of the old Valiant/Acclaim stuff in all of its awkardly-licensed glory. This, strangely enough, leads to”

I’d like to read a completed Unity 2000. Again, sadly, did not come to pass.

“3. Jim Shooter updates his blog.”

He did! A few times!

• • •

Dan mocks my pain with

“DC will publish Absolute Editions of ‘‘Mazing Man’ and ‘Angel Love.’ Dark Horse will celebrate their 30th anniversary by releasing an Omnibus edition of ‘Boris the Bear’ including all the post-DH issues.”

Would buy the hell out of all these. Well, okay, I’d have to think about Angel Love for a minute. But I own all the ‘Mazing Man and Boris the Bears and would love to have nice, permanent editions of them. …I don’t know if there’s a market that would support this sort of thing, but it’s nice to think about.

• • •

Kid Kyoto has got no time for The Man’s rules with

“1-A second tier publisher (Valiant maybe, or even Dark Horse) will go digital only. Publishing is so much easier when you dont have to futz with those pesky atoms.”

Haven’t made that jump yet!

“2-The Legion of Super-Heroes will return in a new reboot. (Early 2017 prediction, the LSH will be cancelled)”

Close, but wrong year! Also, OUCH.

“3-Batman and Superman return to normal, for a bit anyway.”

Well, yes, kind of…Superman is back to “normal” in the most abnormal way, but we’re still seeing how that plays out.

“4-Image passes DC to become the #2 publisher, at least for a few months of the year. Maybe just one. But still the writing is on the wall.”

Boy, lots of people predict Image passing DC pretty much every year. If Image had more than one Walking Dead, that might happen.

“5-Big Vertigo push at DC, since nothing else seems to be working.”

Vertigo seemed to slow down a bit, in favor of other big pushes at DC!

“6-Which brings me to the big one… DC. Wow things are dire sales wise. I took the New 52 thing 5 (!!) years ago as a jumping off point and I think many others did too. So… what might work? Maybe move to the multiverse? Each title is a self-contained universe, not linked to the others. That would be neat huh?”

“Rebirth” is kinda/sorta a return of multiversal storytelling, in a way, considering what’s going on, so you’re not too far off!

“7-Which brings me to the bigger one… DC management. At this point Didio and Lee’s record has to be making for some awkward questions in Warner. I would expect new management soon.”

They’re still hanging in there!

“Sorry didn’t notice the 3 prediction limit…”

WHY, KID KYOTO, WHYYYY

• • •

Harvey Jerkwater nicely suggests

“1. ‘Batman V. Superman’ will be pretty good and do very large business, further encouraging other studios to push for (a) more superhero/comic book movies and (b) more shared universe movie series. This will lead to some horrible boondoggles. But not in 2016.”

I don’t know if BvS specifically encouraged more superhero movies, shared universe or otherwise, since everyone still seems to be pretty gung-ho about them right now regardless. I mean, Universal is still gonna do their Universal Monsters shared-universe movie thing, right? That would sound like a boondoggle, unless it gives us more Creature from the Black Lagoon, which would be great. Also, this movie would suddenly be official canon.

“2. Sam Wilson will continue to share the role of ‘Captain America’ with Steve Rogers through the year. The Fantastic Four will not return to the stands in 2016.”

Correct, and also correct. …I’m actually sort of getting anxious for a new Fantastic Four series. Hope it’s good.

“3. The ‘meatball party’ episode of ‘Teen Titans GO!’ will inspire a crossover led by Cyborg and involving meat products fired at high velocity. It will be awesome. I CAN DREAM.”

Had to look up this episode and what the hell is even going on over there. One can only hope the live-action Cyborg in the forthcoming Justice League movie follows this characterization.

• • •

DavidG whizzes

“The Suicide Squad movie will out gross Superman/Batman. Captain America will outgross both of them, but will prove to be the high water mark of Marvel movies.”

SS didn’t quite match BvS’s take, but Civil War did beat them both in the box office. It wasn’t Marvel’s top-grossing film, but whether it’s the high-water mark of Marvel films quality-wise depends on you, the viewer at home!

“Someone at Marvel will notice that the Inhumans are not and never will be the X-Men, and that there is a reason they have never sustained a title for more than a couple of years (hint: it’s because they are very very dull). So the X-Men will feel the love again, despite the minis use marketing push they give to the movies.”

They’re still trying withe the Inhumans, while also doing a new X-Men launch this year. Having their Inhumans and their muties, too, it appears.

“DC’s Rebirth will just make everything worse, hard as that is to believe.”

I think by and large people like “Rebirth,” to be honest, and it appears to have done a good job correcting some of the missteps from the New 52.

• • •

Bruce Baugh breaks the following

“Either Marvel or DC will start providing digital sales figures. Because of Amazon’s longstanding disinterest in doing things like that, the figures will be aggregated so that it’s impossible to distinguish sales via Comixology and anywhere else. The data and its limits will set off horribly ugly, horribly dull arguments.”

I don’t think they’ve been providing digital sales figures aside from generalities, as you’ve noted, but apparently Mad‘s recent statement of publication includes digital sales. Since Mad is published by DC, I’ll call that a hit! Now to see if we get specific sales figures on more titles in the future…not that I can recall a statement of publication appearing in an actual comic book lately.

• • •

Tec15 predicts

“1) Suicide Squad will comfortably out gross Captain America: Avengers 2.5, despite all the Hot Topic, Edgelord Joker jabs the internet makes.”

As discussed above, Civil War beat it out by quite a bit, though SS’s take was nothing to be ashamed of.

“2) Warner Bros will announce a number of AAA games based on DC characters. In response Disney will announce a mobile tie in for Marvel.”

Not a big mobile gaming fan, but there was a DC game app that seemed to have a bit of money put into it. And there seems to be no shortage of Marvel mobile games, judging by the number of screenshots I see on my Twitter feed.

“3) DC will announce a new digital first Lego Batman title.”

Not yet, far as I can tell, and if they don’t, it can only be because DC Comics hates money.

• • •

Crowded House pushes me out of the room with

“1. Superhero movies will continue to be massively profitable and will dominate the entertainment industry for at least a while longer, though the cracks in the facade of sustainability will begin to show.”

They certainly seem to be not leaving us any time soon. As I’ve said here and elsewhere, it looks like a bad superhero movie is now generally seen as a bad movie, and not necessarily an example of why superhero movies are going to die Any Second Now. That shores up the sustainability a bit.

“2. In response to these cracks, both Marvel and DC launch their newest plans to continue their dominance at the box office-a sentient virus that turns their viewers of superhero movies and TV shows into members of that movie/TV show. Now they can never end, because everyone you know will be touched by the virus, and you have to know what happens to them. And then you’ll be caught, and you’ll be part of them now. Yes. You are one with them, they are one with you. The superheroes never have to stop. Never. They will always be with you, in you, within you. Feel them in you. They come for you. But don’t worry, it’s all for the best.”

I, the living embodiment of Frank Miller’s The Spirit, finds this a tad farfetched.

“3. Disappointingly, none of post-end credits reveals at the end of any Marvel or DC movie will feature Herbie Popnecker.”

Our country’s second-greatest shame.

• • •

And that was that! Thanks for participating, everyone, and remember to leave me your 2017 predictions! Probably one more post following up on your comments to these posts from the last couple of weeks, so I’ll see you Friday for the exciting epilogue to our journey!

Your 2016 Predictions, Part Four: One of Our Spies Is Missing.

§ January 16th, 2017 § Filed under predictions § 7 Comments

Okay, I should be able to wrap up my look back at your 2016 predictions this week…if you need to catch up, here are parts One, Beta, and C. And don’t forget to give me your 2017 predictions!

• • •

Tim B buzzes

“1. There will continue to be a Kamandi shaped hole in DC’s line up. (I know I predicted this last year but If I keep on predicting eventually I’ll be proved wrong)”

You were a lot closer this time ’round, with the Kamandi Challenge Special coming out this week, and the actual Kamandi Challenge series to follow shortly! It was all announced last year, so I’m calling this a hit! Hooray for you!

“2. The Defenders Omnibus/digital release to coincide with the Netflix series.”

No specific tie-in volume to the still-forthcoming Defenders series yet, but I suspect there will be at some point. In the meantime, it looks like that a lot of the Marvel Masterworks volumes for the original Defenders series are available on Comixology.

“3. Have a Good Year (no I don’t mean the tyre…)”

Well, I can’t suppose I can complain. I mean, I made it out of 2016 alive. We’ll see about 2017.

• • •

Gareth Wilson volleys over the following

“1) Deadpool will make a brief cameo in a Marvel movie or TV show. Yes, Deadpool, and yes, mainstream Marvel.”

I think that would be funny, but no go so far. Doesn’t help that the Deadpool media license is restricted to a studio that isn’t Marvel Studios, so no surprise appearances in Avengers Part 6: The Space Phantoms Attack or anything. Probably more likely to see Howard the Duck cameos.

“2) Superman will be killed off on the Supergirl TV show.”

Probably keeping that in the bank for a later, less ratings-y season.

“3) In the comics, the Fantastic Four and several prominent X-Men will be stranded in another universe.”

Apparently at the end of Secret Wars, Reed and Sue are off traveling the Multiverse or some darn thing, so while they’re effectively out of the Marvel Universe for now, the only thing stranding them is the fact that Fantastic Four comics aren’t really selling at the moment. The X-Men also haven’t been kicked out yet, far as I can tell, though I’m sure once everyone buys the Inhumans as the able-to-be-exploited-in-media-Marvel-can-actually-own replacements for them, off the X-Men go!

• • •

My old, old customer Kurt Onstad has a ball speeding in with

“1) Fox and Marvel will finally come to an agreement that brings the FF under the Marvel Studios banner.”

As much as everyone hoped and prayed for this to happen, hopes and prayers had their usual effect of “bupkis” and no apparent movement on this front yet. I was in the minority, probably, thinking that, while that recent Fantastic Four wasn’t, well, good, they could possibly build a worthwhile sequel based on it. I mean, the parts were there, something could be done with them. But I suspect we’ll get yet another reboot or three before Marvel can ever reclaim them.

“2) Superman vs. Batman will not do as well as originally predicted, leading to a glut of ‘Is the Superhero Movie boom finally over?’ articles followed immediately by Civil War breaking previous superhero movie records, allowing us to mock incessantly the previously-mentioned articles.”

I don’t think Civil War broke any records, but it brought in over a billion bucks worldwide, so no one’s complaining, I’m sure. BvS didn’t break the billion mark, but still made about $900 million and again, that’s nothing to sneeze at. I didn’t notice any more “superhero movie fatigue” reporting this time around…we’re probably more likely to get “less bad superhero movies, more good ones, please” articles at this point, since superhero movies don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

“3) Speedball will show up in the Damage Control TV series, leading to him finally getting an ongoing series again. (Of all my Speedball-related predictions over the years, I think this one has the best chance of actually coming true…)”

Damage Control hasn’t made it to the air yet, but I’m betting we’ll see Speedball in a live action something-or-‘nother, sooner rather than later.

• • •

Adam Farrar predicts the farrar future with

“1) DC will at least attempt to celebrate Wonder Woman’s 75th anniversary with as much fan fare as they’ll devote to Green Arrow’s 75th and Barry Allen’s 60th anniversaries. It might not be as big a deal as they did for Superman or Batman so it will still be underwhelming but it might not look as bad. Meanwhile, DC and Marvel will not celebrate the 45th anniversaries of Swamp Thing and Man-Thing to heighten the anticipation for their 50th anniversaries in 2021.”

She got a special anniversary comic, some postage stamps, a “75th Anniversary” logo/label thingie, a special feature in Variety, and some other stuff, so there was some attention paid to her last year! And while I’d love to see special Swamp Thing/Man-Thing 50th anniversary celebrations, I’d keel over dead from shock if DC or Marvel acknowledge this in any significant way. Looks like it’ll be up to me.

“2) Marvel will launch a new on-going ‘Fantastic Four’ comic that reunites the core cast. This will most likely come out of a crossover.”

Not yet, but when it does happen, I’ll bet money that it will indeed be out of a crossover.

• • •

Philippe Leblanc barbs me with

“1) DC Comics and Marvel comics will stop publishing comics altogether declaring the whole thing ‘a pointless exercise.’ They’ll both experiment with a model where they release Excel spreadsheet with adjustment to their respective communities bound and stapled with various full page drawings of Batman (for DC) and Wolverine & Punisher (for Marvel). Marvel will keep Ms. Marvel going as its last comic title while DC will keep a Black Canary as its last title.”

I’m pretty sure Marvel and DC are desperately hoping their parents companies don’t declare publishing comics a pointless exercise! Also, while they’re looking for cost-cutting publishing measures, I don’t think they’ve quite gotten to the point of the Spreadsheet Pin-up Variant comics. And alas, Black Canary‘s solo book has fallen to the wayside (while still appearing in other comics), but I hope Marvel does keep Ms. Marvel going up ’til the bitter end of the company, if only to spite, you know, jerks.

“2) Comics shops will sell less Marvel and DC comics to an alarming degree. Comic shop owner begin largely diversifying their offering in a mad attempt to save their shops. A resurgence of creator-driven, indie comics will save the market. Diamond collapse.”

Well, a lot of Marvel relaunches of late have not sold quite to expectations, but both Marvel and DC are hanging in there. I wouldn’t want to see Diamond collapse, however. The plan we have in place now may not be perfect, but I think we’d all be much happier improving what’s already there, rather than just stripping it away without an improved replacement, or even just any kind of replacement, ready to go. Too many livelihoods would be disrupted or outright demolished. I am in no way creating an allegory to any other thing that may be going on right now.

“3) Copra will become the best-selling comic of 2016”

Imagine a world were this could be true.

• • •

Erik swings in with

“People will start reading Tarzan comics again, having finally realized how awesome Tarzan is.”

We got that Tarzan/Planet of the Apes series, and that’s doing okay! Probably not exactly what you meant, but it’s a start. But honestly, I don’t know what would make Tarzan a major player in the comics market again. Everything that comes out now is a niche in an already niche market, and once relatively popular licenses like Tarzan, or the Shadow, just struggle along or depend on oddball crossover events to get attention. Not that there’s anything particularly wrong with oddball crossover events (Tarzan/POTA and the recent Shadow/Twilight Zone series are fun!), but it’s hard for them to get traction on their own. Not impossible (Shadow: Death of Margo Lane did okay), but sometimes properties can get a bit long in the tooth and harder to sell to new audiences. (Says the guy who still sells plenty of Batman.)

There’s probably a much longer essay in this answer than I’m making time for now. Let me think about it a bit more.

• • •

Andrew ventures in with

“1. Dark Horse will announce a deal and/or ongoing talks to develop one of their company-owned properties as a live-action streaming series. Early reaction is ecstatic as most commentators forget that most of the publisher’s best and highest profile output is creator-owned.”

Does Dark Horse have any properties they outright own? The Mask, maybe? I can see them pushing a new media exploitation of that over, say, trying to get a Concrete movie going. But nothing that I saw this year, alas.

“2. Deadpool will fail to meet expectations at the box office. Not to Fantastic Four levels, but enough that studio executives should realize that R-rated superhero movies are a tough sell. They won’t, but they should.”

Hoo boy, pretty much the opposite happened. It seemed like they were falling over themselves to make edgier, R-ratings-er superhero movies after Deadpool took off.

“3. IDW will somehow manage to hang onto their Disney licence. The books will, however continue translating European stories and sell at a price point beyond the reach of most kids’ pocket money.”

I don’t know, kids have a lot more pocket money nowadays. And they’re buying comics…but mostly not Disney ones. Well, okay, that’s not true, they’re buying Frozen and Disney Princess…but the traditional Duck and Mouse books are still going to the older fans.

• • •

Bret Sector subdivides his predictions as follows:

“1. Your standard Marvel comic will clock in at $4.99.”

Not just yet, though that price point does seem to pop up a little too often.

“2. iPad Pro will come in a giant-sized treasury edition for optimal reading of digital giant-sized, bronze age treasury editions.”

I would love this, but can already feel my eyeballs drying from the heat.

“3. Omnibus omnibi (i.e., 10,000+ page omnibus collections of omnibus collections with stainless steel reinforced spines and their own mahogany pallets) will be all the rage, in particular Deadpool OO.”

I can see archaeologists from future civilizations digging up books like these and wondering “just what sort of gods where these people worshiping, anyway?” So perhaps we lucked out that these sorts of books haven’t popped up in Diamond’s solicitations yet.

• • •

Wayne Allen Sallee sallies forth with

“1. DC will continue to put out mini-series throughout 2016, rather than introducing ongoing titles.”

As we know, we got “Rebirth” instead. Still got plenty of minis squeeze in there, though!

“2. Someone, somehow, will find out what Jim Lee actually does on a daily basis. I hope that someone is you, Mike Sterling. Please keep a journal.”

I tried, Wayne, but, you know, the restraining order an’ all.

“3. PAPER GIRLS will be developed into a film. Set in 1988, it does well enough that other films will be made that take place in the fairly recent past, much as we saw a lot of films set in the 50s a few decades ago.”

Not just yet, but that’s not a bad prediction. Though it seems like the Netflix show Stranger Things may have some influence pushing people into that recent-nostalgia TV/movie-making phase.

• • •

Rob S. sneaks in like a thief in the night with

“1. There’ll be a new Legion comic announced by the end of the year. A big-name writer poached from Marvel will write it.”

No announcement yet…time will tell if you’re right about the second part.

“2. Afterlife with Archie will ship a dazzling two (2!) issues in 2016.”

DING DING DING winner winner chicken dinner! Unless you count second printings, in which case three issues shipped.

“3. DC will continue teasing connections to old timelines, but keep the general context of the New 52 universe.”

I believe you just described the entire “Rebirth” event.

• • •

That’s enough for now. Come back soon for the exciting conclusion!

Your 2016 Predictions, Part Three: One Spy Too Many.

§ January 13th, 2017 § Filed under predictions § 3 Comments

…Aaaaand welcome back to Mike Goes Over Your 2016 Predictions at Excruciating Length, but if you’re just joining us, parts One and Two of this Predictapalooza may be found at the links attached to the words “one” and “two” that you just read. Also, if you want to chip in with your comic industry predictions for 2017, here is where you’d want to go.

• • •

googum googums:

“1. When Marvel’s ream of new titles aren’t all immediate million-sellers, a lot of them get cancelled. But the criteria for what gets cancelled and when is going to seem completely arbitrary. One critical darling gets cut, while another with worse sales goes on; and so forth. Feelings are hurt.”

Marvel’s cycles of relaunches and cancellations seem to have been just business as usual, though it appeared the ending of the Squadron Surpeme spinoff Nighthawk got a lot of attention. I suspect we’ll be seeing a lot more cut-short runs in the near future, based on how some of the newer launches have been doing.

“2. After doubling-down on Batman doesn’t immediately yield huge profits, DC is forced to go further down its list of properties to reboot. House of Mystery, Kamandi, and Sgt. Rock are all brought back; with varying levels of success.”

You were close on Kamandi, which is coming back in a month or two…though not really a “reboot” so much as a gimmick “round-robin” series, which still looks like fun anyway. I mean, in a wider sense, DC did sorta reboot everything mid-way through the year, but there wasn’t really any chance-taking with most of the books, as far as properties go. I mean, the most oddball book of the bunch is Hellblazer, really.

“3. Batman v. Superman might do well in theaters, but not as well in the action figure aisles. With a glut of ‘Batfleck,’ it lingers on shelves and causes future superhero figure lines to be cut back.”

I haven’t noticed any scaling back of the action figure business in the wake of BvS, but we’ll see what they do for Wonder Woman. If anything, I’m seeing an upswing in solicitations for the high-end figures…the $50 to $100 ones in the fancy boxes with too many extra hands or heads. That’s in addition to continuing offers for the standard-issue figures, so it’s not as if they’ve backed off from general interest figures in favor of boutique collectibles. …To be honest, I haven’t been in a store’s toy aisle in quite a while, so I don’t know what’s warming the pegs.

• • •

Anthony hops in with

“1. Flash/Arrow universe will NOT crossover with Gotham or Supergirl”

Not with Gotham, but definitely with Supergirl. Twice, even!

“2. Marvel glosses over Miles Morales being in the 616”

He has an ongoing, and he was part of the Civil War II event, so Marvel hasn’t started ignoring him yet!

“3. Godzilla Resurgence doesn’t get released in America”

Had to Wiki it up, but it looks like it had a limited release and did manage to make a not-insignificant amount of cash. Not bad for an old radioactive monster.

• • •

PTOR conjures up

“The Dazzling Dystopian Disney/Marvel Mighty Marching Merchandising Machine for the Benedict Cumberbatch Doctor Strange movie will CRUSH me under its brobdingnagian weight, and I’ll be selling off internal organs in a vain attempt to keep up.”

Whether he was crushed beneath said Doctor Strange merchandise, I don’t know…can one of you guys swing by his sanctum and check up on PTOR? Anyway, there was a lot of Strange merch, because 1) it’s Marvel, and 2) it’s Disney, so that should come as a surprise to nobody. But really, all you need is an Eye of Agamotto replica pendant. And maybe the cape.

• • •

David Alexander McDonald tries to do me in with

“1) DC. Dan DiDio remains in place. Geoff Johns, surprisingly, doesn’t get sucked into Hollywood yet again. On the comics front, nobody can make up their mind what they’re doing any more because everything seems to be falling down and failing, even The Dark Knight III, which collapses under its own weight of hubris as it bangs on. Grant Morrison’s Wonder Woman Earth-One becomes the focus of increasing amounts of hate, until DC pulls the book and issues an apology for daring to take the character back to her roots. The DC Multiverse ends up confusing everybody because one faction wants to run with ‘anything goes!’ while another faction is terrified by the financial hits DC took in 2015 and wants to contract the whole damn thing back to core books.

“The dregs of the New 52 finally stagger to issue #52 and DC reconfigures all over again, without actually bothering to reboot. Due to the stress of all of this, in October Dan DiDio grows hair.

“Batman v Superman comes out, staggers, and dies, continuing Warner Bros’ disastrous streak, but Suicide Squad makes it. Heads roll at Warner Bros, and rumours of strange things being done to the Wonder Woman film emerge from the darkest corners of gossipville.

“The TV front continues to cook along. The end of Flash season 2 kills Harrison Wells off again (nobly), redeems Jay Garrick, and makes it clear that there’s more than two universes to play in, enabling a possible Supergirl crossover (that everyone will deny can ever happen, until it does.) Legends Of Tomorrow will sneak Booster Gold in. Now on a mad streak, the Berlantiverse will bring back John Constantine once again, on the way to launching him into a fourth DCCW series, this time DC’S HOUSE OF SECRETS.”

So, that’s prediction #1, eh? Geez louise. Well…Dan and Geoff, still around. DKIII is actually still selling very well for me, despite delays and adding a ninth issue. WW Earth-1 is still around, and people seemed to like it. Folks seem okay with the multiverse shenanigans. Don’t know if anyone was “terrified,” but DC did reconfigure without exactly rebooting, so good call there. Dan’s head remains bald and beautiful.

NEW PARAGRAPH. BvS and Squad both did fine, if not the billion point five everyone expects superhero movies to make now. Haven’t heard anything odd about the WW movie, and heads could be rolling at the WB, but when aren’t they at any major media company?

THIRD PARAGRAPH FOR PREDICTION ONE, DAVID: They did replace Wells with another Wells, and I hope they serve up a new Wells every year. Jay Garrick was redeemed, but probably not in the way you were expecting, and yes indeedy we have the DC Multiverse on people’s televisions, somehow (including that Supergirl crossover!). Booster Gold apparently does have something in the works, but not tied to the other shows. Constantine ain’t back on TV, though the actor from the TV show will reprise the character for the animated Justice League Dark movie. I’d love a House of Mystery show, however.

“2) Giant-Size Man-Thing. Er, Marvel. Marvel’s All New, All Different not-a-reboot (honest) will run into major issues because of the Perlmutter decision to screw with the Fantastic Four and the X-Men and promote the Inhumans. Editorial will try to push more graphic novels out, and more omnibuses. There will be mass confusion.

“On the film front, Deadpool will do okay, X-Men: Apocalypse will not. Captain America: Civil War will fall a bit short of expectation financially, but this again won’t be superhero fatigue but ongoing cinema trends. Doctor Strange will do okay, if not gangbusters, although production will be fraught due to a very tight time frame.

“Marvel TV…will see Jessica Jones given a second season, Luke Cage being a huge hit, Daredevil officially getting season 3, and all of the shadows around Iron Fist being blown away as though punched by a fist that’s become like unto iron! Um, anyway. Agents Of SHIELD will get a fourth season, and inexplicably have a story that gives us Man-Thing in time for the Doctor Strange movie. Agent Carter will get a third season as well, this time with twelve episodes. Other mooted Marvel TV shows will fade quietly away again, both MCU and otherwise. There will be a big foofawraw as Fox, in desperation, attempts a Fantastic Four TV show, having drowned the FF sequel in the bathtub.”

Well, FF is still out of the picture, and the confusing X-Men promotion will actually be this year, 2017. Nobody gets the huge Inhumans push, though their comics are doing…okay, mostly. Marvel’s graphic novel program is still pretty much business as usual, and folks seem to be taking it in stride.

Deadpool way exceeded expectations, while Apocalypse did okay but not as well as people hoped. Civil War and Doctor Strange both did extremely well. People still like their superhero flicks!

Jessica Jones was indeed renewed, Luke Cage went over well, Daredevil was also renewed, and I don’t know how Iron Fist will do, and in fact I’m not quite sure what your prediction means! Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. did get a fourth season, but we’ll see if a fifth is in the offing. …Ooh, too bad about Agent Carter, though. And oddly enough, Fox is attempting an X-Men tie-in show, but that doesn’t start ’til next month.

“3) At some point during the year I will contact the Mikester and buy something from him. Why will this happen? Because. Mike’s one of the good guys, has been generous with his time and words, and deserves our support. SO SAY WE ALL (c’mon, you poozers, SPEAK UP!)”

LISTEN TO THIS VERY WISE, IF VERBOSE, MAN.

• • •

Jer sez

“1) The big events this year will revolve around movies. Batman v. Superman, Captain America, and Doctor Strange will all do well. Audiences will respond to Suicide Squad with a baffled WTF, though it will probably do well financially. None of these movies will do much for comics except that we might have a shot at finally getting all of the original run of Suicide Squad into print.”

Well, a movie called Civil War certainly played a part in getting a Civil War II on the stands. And I think you called it on Suicide Squad, though some people did react well to certain aspects of it (like Harley Quinn). And yes, the classic Suicide Squad is coming out in trade!

“2) On the TV front – Legends of Tomorrow on the CW will do reasonably well, but not better than the Flash. Supergirl will probably get picked up for a second season, but if it doesn’t it’ll move to CW. It’s a coin toss as to whether Agents of SHIELD gets a fourth season or not, but I’ll go ahead and say that it gets the axe but ABC puts together a different Marvel show to fill the timeslot. DC will fumble the ball with the Legends of Tomorrow comic book to the surprise of no comics fans, but to the bafflement of fans of the TV show looking for tie-ins.”

A quick look at some articles on the matter noted that Legends of Tomorrow didn’t do all that great, though its ratings doubled during the “Invasion” crossover. And as noted already, Supergirl did move to the CW, and S.H.I.E.L.D. got its fourth season. And while I liked DC’s Legends of Tomorrow comic, it definitely wasn’t the TV show, though it’s not like I had anyone asking for a specific tie-in for it anyway.

“3) On the comics front – no big events this year and the great jumping off point for old readers that both of the Big Two gave to readers last year means that there will be lots of handwringing and gloom-n-doom analysis and we’ll get dozens of articles all year about the decline of the Direct Market.”

We did get big events from DC and Marvel, which did fine and didn’t cause an attrition of readers, that I noticed, though DC’s Rebirth numbers are beginning to normalize, and a lot of Marvel’s post-CWII relaunches are landing with a big “thud.” There’s always “the end of comics” market analysis talk, but some of these flops ain’t helpin’.

• • •

Interstate Shogun hits the road with

“1. With the reprinting of Master of Kung Fu in Omnibus editions becoming a big hit for Marvel, a new ongoing series will once again be tried. That’ll be the good news. The bad news? Kaare Andrews will write and draw it.”

No new ongoing, which just slightly surprises me. With eveything else Marvel is throwing at the wall, I mean, why not?

“2. With the success of Dark Knight III, and with DC looking for anything that will sell, another series will be announced, Dark Knight IV: Dark City. In this one, a beaten down Bruce Wayne travels to Russia to box a heavyweight contender with spiky blond hair. Along the way, Bruce also tracks down a serial killer with a taste for hookers. He even takes one bowling to try to lure the killer out. Great family fun for all!”

Well, in all seriousness, there seems as if there will be a Dark Knight IV, which was announced in 2015. Of course, if it’s out by 2018, I’ll be shocked.

“3. The new Miracleman material will finally come out in 2016 and it won’t seem like such a big deal. Miracleman will be subverted into the 616 with little fanfare and become buddies with the Sentry.”

No new MM stuff out yet, but they longer they wait, the less anyone’s going to care. I mean, I’ll care, becaues I’ve been waiting for the continuation of that story for decades, so what’s a few more months/years?

• • •

Back on Monday for more! And give me your 2017 predictions!

Your 2016 Predictions, Part Two: The Spy with My Face.

§ January 11th, 2017 § Filed under predictions § 3 Comments

I continue my long march through your 2016 comics industry predictions (part one is here)…and if you have any predictions for 2017, please park ’em right here so I can discuss them next year!

• • •

Thelonious_Nick monkeys around with

“1) Marvel announces next slate of movies for 2020-21, includes Howard the Duck, She-Hulk, and Defenders.”

There appear to be some untitled Marvel projects in the offing, so…well, who knows. She-Hulk is probably the only (slight) possibility, since Defenders will be a Netflix thing, and as a friend once said to me when discussing the possibility, no studio exec wants to the person who says “yes” to a new Howard the Duck film. (A new Howard film isn’t necessarily impossible, but the previous film casts a long shadow…I’d be happy with weird cameo appearances in future Marvel films!)

“2) Image passes DC in sales, becomes second-largest comic company. Unfortunately, this is due largely to DC sales dropping and only slightly to modest rise in Image sales.”

Not yet! Though I bet some people at DC would push Grandma down an elevator shaft to get anywhere close to Walking Dead numbers on any given title.

• • •

Longtime blogging-this pal Gordon D. predicts these:

“1) Although BATMAN V SUPERMAN will do well at the box office, DC will shift their efforts towards their television output, developing a stronger partnership with the CW. ARROW will announce that 2016 – 17 will be its final season, and SUPERGIRL, after being removed from CBS’ schedule, will find a new home on the CW.”

As per that Newsarama link, DC ain’t scaling back their movie plans…Batman V Superman did do well, but it fell just slightly short of the 1.5 billion bucks that some Marvel movies have made, which apparently disappointed somebody. Hell, I’d be happy with that. But anyway, DC’s TV presence still remains strong, with Geoff Johns announcing a new as-yet-unidentified CW show in the near future, and Arrow (along with all the other CW shows) getting renewed for the 2017-8 season. And yes, Supergirl did move from CBS to the CW.

Plus there’s other DC shows, like Gotham, and several cartoons, and…yeah, they’re doing okay.

“2) Companies like Image, Dark Horse, Dynamite, and IDW will form part of a ‘second tier’ of major companies (like DC and Marvel), with many smaller companies vying for increased consumer dollar.”

Well, that’s kind of how it is now, sorta. It’s The Big Two, and the Not Exactly Tiny Four-or-So Companies, and Everybody Else. That’s how Previews is arranged, anyway. I suppose we can call that a “hit” since, at least, things haven’t changed away from that, at the very least.

“3) SWAMP THING will get its own CW show. Yes, I’m calling it here and now.”

From your lips to God’s ears. Don’t think it’s too likely in the near future, though with Swamp Thing as a regular on the new Justice League Action cartoon, he’s at least on our TVs!

• • •

Andrew ties me down with the following:

“1) I will send you an e-mail asking about the status of my pull list.”

It’s true, this totally happened.

“2) Tomorrow I will have porridge for breakfast.”

Not unless Goldilocks got to it first.

“3) At lunch time tomorrow I will eat a sandwich.”

The judges will also accept “hot dog.”

“4) At least one person will send you more than 3 predictions.”

Nope. Never happened.

• • •

Boosterrific boosts his favorite topic with

“The much rumored, long delayed live-action Booster Gold project will finally see the light of day. (And we will rejoice!)”

There seem to be a few articles about such a project being in the works (like this one), so while the movie’s not out yet, it may be out eventually!

• • •

Jeff R. rites

“1) There will be a Legion of Super-Heroes book by the end of the year.”

Alas, no, but…

“2) Unfortunately, by the end of the year the entire DC Universe will either be or be on an announced path towards being either rebooted or retrobooted, and this will, as these things generally do, make the Legion’s continuity unworkable.”

…things were rebooted, kinda sorta, and as part of this re-fiddling of the DC Universe, some small amount of groundwork was put down for the Legion’s eventual return. So don’t give up hope yet!

“3) Meanwhile at Marvel, no regular series called ‘Fantastic Four’ will be published or solicited in 2016.”

The Fantastic Four is still out of commission, sadly. The Thing’s been hanging around in Guardians of the Galaxy, but that’s not quite the same, really.

• • •

Signal Watch chimes in with

“1. Inexplicably, the DC publishing wing PTB will remain in place, and everyone comes into the office silently for a full year, not making eye contact”

They’re still all there, more or less. As to the state of their interactions, I cannot say.

“2. Old-age Steve Rogers will get a book where he spends his days wondering if he should get some of that life insurance that only costs pennies a day and there’s no physical required. Also, Sharon has to keep showing him how to use his phone.”

Old Steve was reverted back to Young Steve relatively quickly, so none of this came about, I’m afraid. Instead, they quickly put him out in a new comic that nobody had any complaints about and continued on with no trouble whatsoever.

“3. I dunno. Probably some cross-over thing at DC where, afterward, some B-lister swaps identities with one of the major characters.”

There was a crossover/event thing of sorts, in Rebirth. And, oddly enough, there was some identity-switching, but it involved the “pre-Flashpoint” Superman and Lois Lane and their New 52 counterparts, so no B-listers involved there, I guess. Unless you count the New 52 Superman as a “b-lister,” which I wouldn’t blame you for.

• • •

demoncat_4 summons up

“1 cw will announce as part of their flash and arrow crossover oliver and barry will team up with swamp thing .”

With John Constantine popping up on Arrow this would have been a nice followup, but it was not to be, I fear.

“2 dc will at last figure its time for ragman to get his due and announce a ragman limited series.”

On the other hand, Ragman made to Arrow, so there’s at least that!

“3 marvel studios will reveal at last they have the fantastic four rights back but will have them just guest star in an avengers film. plus also have the rights issues for namor and hulk okayed and films are part of wave four. marvel will announce a she hulk film along with omega the unknown film.”

I think we all hope the FF will fall under Marvel’s studio’s auspices someday, but not this year. I’d be okay with seeing all those other films, even if they weren’t announced last year, but darned if I don’t want to see an Omega the Unknown movie right now.

• • •

ExistentialMan ponders the following

“Sterling Silver Comics deservedly wins the Eisner Retailer of the Year award!”

Why, that’s my store! I did try for the “Best Free Comic Book Day” category, but didn’t take top place. Darn that Electoral College! But we had fun and I think I had the Best Free Comic Book Day anyhoo.

• • •

MrJM slams down the following

“Alf makes a big comeback.”

I checked and double-checked my huge in-store pog selection, and I’m afraid the answer is “no.”

Actually, I’m surprised we haven’t had more attempts than we already had at an ALF revivial. I know the fella who wore the ALF costume for the full-body shots passed away. There seems to be plenty of free-floating nostalgic amusement re: ALF but not enough demand to actually support a new ongoing ALF-anything.

• • •

Michael Grabowski manhandles the following

“1a. DC will try publishing a Batman title semi-weekly in 2016. Two issues of the same title in sequence each week, released on Wednesdays and Saturdays for a full month for an 8 issue arc.”

Not yet, though if they’re going to do this, it’ll have to be digital since standard comics distribution couldn’t handle two new comic days in the same week. Unless they did the “street date” route, which would make some retailers quail about having to hold back a Bat-book ’til later in the week.

“1b. Due to a mix-up in the production sequence, two issues will appear out of order, spoilng whatever events were intended to be a dramatic surprise.”

Not that I’m aware of. Unless it happened and it was covered up immediately!

“2. Tony Isabella will be named editor for Best American Comics 2017.”

Alas, no, but I name him Best All-Around Comic Book Guy, and hopefully that’ll make up for it!

• • •

James kings me with

“1. The last $2.99 comic will be published by the Big 2”

They’re still hanging in there, though only barely at Marvel.

“2. Tom King will be the next talented writer that DC fails to keep (I’d love to see him on Detective or even Batman if Snyder is wrapping up his run)”

DC’s still hanging onto him, and you got your wish with him on Batman!

“3. Mike Sterling will appreciate that I only made 2 predictions, while also pointing out that this is technically my 3rd prediction”

This is the sort of thing Captain Kirk would use to overload a tyrannical supercomputer.

• • •

That’s enough fun for now…To Be Continued in the Very Near Future, friends! And don’t forget to leave me your 2017 predictions!

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