Defining runs have been hitting their ends lately for a few key books. Last year, we saw it with Brian Michael Bendis leaving behind 8 years of Avengers stories and Ed Brubaker with similar years for Captain America. Another will join the pack come this May.
Huffington Post reports that Geoff Johns, after 9 years with the Green Lantern franchise, is putting his writing pen down for the series that he helped reinvigorate when he took over in 2004 with Ethan Van Sciver with the Rebirth series.
“I was getting to an end point and a story line that made sense for me. I felt like it was time to close my run and focus all my energies on the Justice League corner of the DC Universe,” he said, noting that his stories were collaborative efforts with artists and editors like Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Van Sciver and Peter Tomasi.
“It was a very, very hard decision. I absolutely love these characters but I felt like I had a story line that really made sense and felt emotionally satisfying and felt very big and very epic.”
It’s no surprising considering the responsibilities Johns carries. Being chief creative officer was one big task, but then also guiding current Justice League and Aquaman books was another tall order. Not to mention adding his upcoming run on Justice League of America with David Finch and a Vibe series as well.
Despite the Green Lantern comic fizzling in appeal over the last couple of years and the live-action movie not faring any better, you can’t deny how amazing the Corps’ popularity has become in the last 9 years. Rebirth started the trend and truly hits its stride when the Sinestro Corps War came about in 2007. As new colored-Lantern Corps were introduced, it all came to a head with DC giving Green Lantern its own company crossover event in 2009 with Blackest Night.
The artists truly have shined as well because of Johns’ epic storylines starting with Van Sciver over to Ivan Reis and then to its current penciler in Doug Mahnke.
Many discussions came about on this site because of Johns’ run on the title and we thank him for it. How May will end with a bang for the CCO will be a sight to see.
If you follow many of the great current comic creators today on Twitter, you sure enough saw an outpouring of respect and gratitude sent away yesterday to Karen Berger. You know her currently as the long-standing executive editor of the Vertigo imprint at DC Comics. From now until March 2013 though, she will be transitioning that post to a new team and leaving. Having held the position for 20 years and spearheading many great books in the medium, this is obviously a big deal in a niche industry such as comic books.
The speculation of course couldn’t be helped when this was announced regarding the direction of Vertigo. The “team” that supposedly is handling Berger’s position hasn’t been announced yet. And you’ve seen the many changes happen with the imprint since the New 52 started that has seen Vertigo streamline with the initiative. Constantine now being part of the new DCU, along with his own solo title coming out and the Hellblazer series ending at issue 300, is a sign of that. Yes, Vertigo announced lots of new projects at NYCC from guys like Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire (and we still have the Sandman prequel from Gaiman and Williams late next year), but one can’t help but wonder if we’re seeing a slow disassembling of a mighty brand that changed the way people thought of how comics should be done.
I admittedly came late to the Vertigo game. Not willing to take a chance for a long while, I finally gave in when a friend recommended Fables to me 7 years ago. Then I met my CBF comrade, Mike Buechele, later and he got me into the Sandman books, one of the series Karen Berger helped bring to DC before there was a Vertigo and helped make Neil Gaiman a household name to comic fans. These books changed my perception on what comics can do and I was hooked. Y : The Last Man, 100 Bullets, Scalped, DMZ, Northlanders, Sweet Tooth, American Vampire….you name it and Berger had something to do with it. Whether or not Vertigo sticks around for the foreseeable future, the one certainty we have is Berger’s legacy that inspired and challenged many to make comics about more than just the superheroes.
We’re in an industry that’s all about re-launching titles and adding adjectives to names that will grab as much readers’ attention as possible. Just look at the Avengers titles and you’ll get what I’m saying.
Image Comics and frequent CBF interviewee/Skullkickers creator Jim Zub is jumping on that trend, although not in the way you think, with Uncanny Skullkickers #1.
The solicit says enough than I can possibly say:
UNCANNY SKULLKICKERS #1
story JIM ZUB
art EDWIN HUANG
cover EDWIN HUANG & MISTY COATS
32 PAGES / FC / T
The UNCANNY SKULLKICKERS: Two hard-headed mercenaries kill monsters and cause havoc in their search for money, fame and adventure! A bold new direction! A perfect jumping-on point! A newly added adjective! Our nineteenth issue, but also a new issue #1! It’s all here, people! Don’t make us use more exclamation marks!!
P.S. Retailers: Rack this comic beside other “Uncanny” comics you may have hanging around and sell a ton of copies. Do it.
The retailer blurb is great and speaks well to how the comics are being marketed. And no surprise Image is going this route, as they’ve parodied comic book event/re-launch solicits in the past.
A little over 3 years ago, Disney set the pop culture world on fire with its $4 billion purchase of Marvel Comics. Fast forward to today and looks like Disney wants to light it up one more time with a shocking deal.
According to a Disney press release, it’s about to purchase Lucasfilm, Lucasarts, ILM, and Skywalker Sound for a reported $4.05 billion dollars. Much like with Marvel, Disney seems to want to take advantage of the vast history the Star Wars franchise has explored and build upon it amidst its under franchises under its belt.
What’s more shocking is that right off the bat, Disney reportedly has plans to get a “Star Wars 7″ movie in the works. George Lucas would still be around as a creative consultant.
Speaking of the man who made sci-fi blockbusters possible, he had this to say in the press release:
“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” said George Lucas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lucasfilm. “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I’m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney’s reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.”
I have to be honest – I’m conflicted. It’s definitely big news and Disney knows how to market and merchandise. That being said, this is also the same company that almost damaged Pixar’s creative vision before coming to terms and purchasing them. I’m sure people are ready for a change after Lucas’ prequel trilogy left bad tastes in their mouths along with Lucas himself of late saying he is tired of the fanboyism (although to be fair – some of that is justified).
Now you have to ask – what does all of this have to do with comics? Look no further than Dark Horse. Other than Hellboy and B.P.R.D., Dark Horse relies heavily on their licensed properties to compete in the direct market – Aliens, Predator, Terminator, Conan and yes – Star Wars too. Marvel was originally the go-to publisher back at the peak of Star Wars’ popularity in the early 1980′s. Disney now owns Marvel. You get where I’m going with this?
Obviously, this all just happened now, so we know nothing more about Disney’s plans with the companies. But you got to feel for Dark Horse and an uncertain future that’s been brought upon them.
Joss Whedon is pretty much getting the keys to the Marvel kingdom at this point. A $617 million domestic gross at the box office for Avengers will do that for you. Off the heels of Whedon getting the go-ahead to direct the Avengers sequel for 2015, CBR is now reporting that Whedon’s secret TV project is getting the green light. That project would be S.H.I.E.L.D.
Not many knew that when Whedon signed on to direct Avengers that he would be given access to developing a TV show under the Marvel library. He’s expected to co-write the show with his brother, Jed, who he collaborated with on the short run of Dollhouse. Not much else we can share, but Marvel’s looking to get production moving ASAP.
I’m personally excited for this and hopefully Disney and ABC give Whedon the time and day to develop a smart action show that Fox couldn’t give him for Dollhouse. Getting into the nitty gritty of other S.H.I.E.L.D. operations is intriguing. And if they’re bold, I would love to see them get gutsy and explore different time periods of S.H.I.E.L.D. like Jonathan Hickman’s last run.
A good friend of ours here at CBF, Ben Spark, passed along a great giveaway for a comic that has great potential. Described as a cross between Wizard of Oz and John Carter of Mars, The Only Living Boy is already out on Comixology for a cheap 99 cents. How can you pass on that?
Author David Gallaher had this to say about the story:
The book, which has been billed as a cross-between The Wizard of Oz and John Carter of Mars, tells the story of a young runaway who finds himself lost and alone in an alien world. The artist and co-creator of the series, Steve Ellis, has illustrated for DC and Marvel Comics and is currently raising two children of his own. We believe that our book, which is available digitally now and in print shortly, is fun for children of all ages.
Ben Spark also is sponsoring a giveaway which has a lot of cool extras to go along with the original story. You can grab all of the details here.