A lot of people seem to be questioning why DC is trying to launch "new" properties instead of putting out books for characters like Hawkman, the Atom or Aquaman, which is a fair complaint.
After all, DC has plenty of characters that do not currently have books. How many of those properties are smash hits or massive successes though? DC is most likely just looking for the next big hit rather than simply ignoring their many characters that do not currently have a book. Even if the recently announced Magog isn't the next big hit, he still may turn into a viable property and sustain an ongoing for a while.
So, DC could put out another Hawkman or Aquaman book that will do okay for a year or two before being cancelled or they could take a chance on a new character (or recently purchased line of characters) and maybe get a new long term and viable character, possibly even a smash hit, no matter how unlikely that is.
Personally, I like that the fact that DC is taking a chance with some new stuff instead of putting out another doomed for failure book that would most likely end with cancellation and just be a retread or "all new, all different" take on everything that has come before. Of course, the odds of any of these books actually succeeding is very low. I'm definitely going to check out JMS's work on the Red Circle characters and then decide if I actually want to follow up on any of them. Keith Giffen's enthusiasm for Magog is kind of infectious, so I'm also willing to give it a shot. As for the Milestone characters, I have no interest in them and won't be picking their titles up.
Leinil Yu Needs to Work on a Sci-Fi Book
Although I'm not a big fan of Secret Invasion and Superman: Birthright, the one thing I truly enjoyed about each of them was the art by Leinil Yu, who seems to have a knack for coming up with great sci-fi inspired designs, from Skrulls to Kryptonian architecture. I would really love to see him on something like Fantastic Four just to see what he would come up with.
Don't Explain It!
There has been a tendency at Marvel and DC by some writers to explain some of the sillier aspects of their characters, like the "S" symbol on Superman or the fact that Wonder Woman's costume is based on the American flag or the secret origin of Barry Allen's bowtie. Don't. Just accept the that fact that it is silly and don't worry about it. It's like trying to use real world science to explain why some powers work. It's not something that should be focused on.
More Marvel Trade Variant Shenanigans
Both Ultimates 3 and the first volume of Matt Fraction's Invincible Iron Man have five variants for the various collections. Five! Why the hell does a collection need five different covers? It's just absurd.
Ultimates 3 has three covers for its hardcover edition and two for its paperback edition while Invincible Iron Man has two covers for its hardcover edition and three for the paperback. There is only one cover for the bookstore markets and Amazon while all of the variants are only available in the Direct Market. This also doesn't factor in eventual new covers that will be used if/when these titles go back to print for second or third printings.
Is Thrice Monthly Amazing Spider-Man Slipping?
It seems to me that there might be cracks starting to form in Amazing Spider-Man's quality and shipping schedule. If you look at the past couple of months, there have been a lot of one and two issue story arcs, fill in artists and artist being unable to completely finish an issue or even dropping off an arc completely. For instance, Barry Kitson couldn't finish a recent two issue arc and Phil Jimenez dropped off the current American Son arc.
While some people thought that Brand New Day Amazing Spider-Man would eventually fail because of its One More Day origins/retcons, I always believed that it would fail because of the shipping three times a month schedule. I assumed it would be too expensive for most and people would start dropping it, but it seems that the art might be a problem as well. There also doesn't seem to be any three issue arcs anymore, or very rarely, and the only artist to do more than three issues in a row is John Romita Jr. It seems like the creators are getting bogged down and artists can't keep up. I wonder what is going to happen if this keeps up.
Ultimate Peter Parker - R.I.P.
In Ultimatum #4, the Ultimate Peter Parker apparently died and, despite the fact that Ultimate Spider-Man is one of my favorite comics, I find myself not caring one bit. Maybe it's because Jeph Loeb wrote it. Maybe it's because Brian Bendis didn't write it. Maybe it's because it looks like their might be a magical reset button on the way to undo the whole thing. Or maybe it's because I've become incredibly cynical towards Marvel and DC over their continued use of these kinds of stunts. I know why Marvel and DC use death and rebirths all the time - sales boosts - but, of all the numerous deaths and rebirths, things have slowly become meaningless because of the overuse of this cheap tactic, moreso than even when it really started being used a lot in the 90's.
How Long Can Marvel Keep Doing Two Movies Per Year?
Marvel's current plan for their movie studio is the put out two movies per year, but I wonder just how long they can do that. Trilogies are an obvious way to go or, in the case of Spider-Man, sets of trilogies. But, eventually you are going to have to start mining less than optimal material for your movies.
In fact, Marvel already has plans to do an Ant-Man movie. I don't find this very sustainable over the long run because, like most fads, which is what superhero movies are turning into, people will lose interest. Plus, if they do go the multiple trilogy route with some of their movies, how long before boredom with the franchise and increasingly larger sequel numbers on the movie title start to drive people away?
Top Creators on Non-Continuity books
Since books like Amazing Spider-Man and Batman are going to sell regardless of who writes them, I would like to see big name creators work on non-continuity books. It frees them from the shackles of continuity and shared universes and can allow them to do something unique rather than working within the confined spaces of in-continuity books.
X-Men Never Again
I'm going to go ahead and declare X-Men Forever the worst book put out by Marvel or DC this year. I know there is some stiff competition from books like Ultimatum and a couple of WTF? books from DC (like Dead Romeo), but still, I think Forever takes the cake.
Why, you ask? It's like a microcosm of everything Marvel and DC shouldn't be doing. Do we really need a series about what would have happened had Chris Claremont had his way with a book that he left over 15 years ago and that everyone has moved on from? No, we don't! The constant dredging up and "reliving" of past eras is never going to work. This is a similar problem, to me, that Amazing Spider-Man currently has and DC has with the Kingdom Come stuff they are working into their books.
Of course, people will point at Hal Jordan and Barry Allen over at DC as dredging up the past and being successful, but there is a difference. Johns isn't writing The Flash or Green Lantern as though Crisis on Infinite Earths or Emerald Twilight didn't happen. And even though DC is drawing a lot of inspiration from things like the Silver Age, it's just that, inspiration. They are not trying to copy them verbatim.
Now, I don't necessarily have a problem with Marvel and DC drawing on their past for inspiration because it's obvious they have no interest in developing their characters in a progressive manner. Their characters are more valuable to Marvel and DC as licensable properties, so they have an interest in keeping them in a form where they work "best" or are the most recognizable, but that doesn't mean they should try and copy previously successful versions or takes verbatim. Inspiration is okay but wholesale reproduction of specific comics is not.
My final problem with the series is that it's going to fail. Claremont's last series, New Exiles, lasted 18 issues before cancellation, and the whole series's selling point was Chris Claremont. Obviously, some Exile diehards stuck around but, still, Claremont was the main selling point and the book didn't even last two years. So, instead of trying out a new series that might succeed, Marvel puts out a series that is going to be canceled. I'd be surprised if the book lasts for even two years. An utter waste.
Cup O' Joe Returns
In cased you missed it, Cup O' Joe is back. This time at CBR. Ever since it moved to MySpace, I found it unreadable, literally, but I decided to give it one more try. Well, it's at least readable, but still the same double speak as before. To be fair, Quesada didn't actually answer any fan questions this time, so I'll check out the next installment to see if he sticks with the more condescending/PR speak non-answers when it comes to reader questions.
Make Use of the Multiverse
When Didio is often asked about Captain Marvel, he usually brings up the problem of making the character work within the DCU. Fair point. Captain Marvel doesn't really work well with the tone that DC has these days. There is a simple solution though - don't use him in the DCU! Make use of the Multiverse and give him his own Earth. Earth-5, which has been designated the Captain Marvel Earth, has been around since the end of 52, but DC has refused to make use of it.
I know Didio has talked about letting Grant Morrison set up the Multiverse, which led to the Multiversity concept, but, and I say this as a fan of Morrison, DC shouldn't have waited this long to make use of it. DC had a chance to provide books that there was some demand for in a way that would have gotten rid of many of the major problems with accessibility and continuity that people have, but they didn't. A huge mistake in my opinion.
Plus, the last time Morrison left them with a set of revamped characters and concepts, Seven Soldiers of Victory, DC completely ignored all the work Morrison did on them, which leaves me wondering just what kind of longterm goals they have for Multiversity.