Time to check the status of the comics industry.
ITEM! Marvel will dig into the nightmare world of Stephen King further, by taking on the comics adaptation of one of King’s most ambitious books, The Stand. Considering the novel is over 1000 pages, this won’t be handled in one simple miniseries. The series will take six five-issue story arcs to complete, and each will focus on specific sections of the novel.
The first series is Captain Tripps (the name of the virus that starts the whole mess), adapted by writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa with artwork by Captain America artist Mike Perkins. This is one of King’s best works, but taking 30 issues to tell the story might get a little long for some. I loved the novel and will give the first series a BUY, but the first 200 plus pages are the world getting sick and humans dying of the disease, which could grow tedious quickly. Not to mention that it will be very yucky to illustrate.
ITEM! In a further attempt to push all Iron Man, all the time, Marvel is bringing War Machine helmer Jim Rhodes back into the fold with a three issue run of Iron Man: Director of SHIELD. Written by Christos Gage, who writes half of the comics published these days, it will be drawn by Sean Chen.
Personally, I’m reaching burnout on Iron Man these days, so I may give this one a PASS, despite the decent artwork by Chen. He does “gleaming metal" well.
ITEM! Writer Chuck Dixon is no longer working for DC Comics. Dixon posted on his Dixonverse board this week that he was “no longer employed by DC Comics in any capacity." Later Dixon announced "did not quit. I do not believe it had anything to do with politics." I’m disappointed. Dixon was doing some great work on Robin, and while his Batman and the Outsiders was less successful, it seemed to be moving in the right direction. C’mon, guys. Can’t we all just get along?
ITEM! William Katt, star of the late, lamented Greatest American Hero TV series, has developed a comics company, Catastrophic Comics, which is releasing its first six-issue miniseries, Sparks, next week, with plots by Katt. Sparks is about a masked vigilante trying to locate his own killer. I’m not sure what the situation is with all of these unemployed actors doing comics these days, but I’m inclined to PASS on this one. The title of their comics company seems rather appropriate to me, I must say.
ITEM! Announced on Spawn.com
the other day (Excuse me? You don’t visit Spawn.com
?), the new creative team for the Image series Spawn was revealed: Todd McFarlane will plot and provide page layouts, Brian Holguin will write the book and Whilce Portacio will be the artist. The trio takes over with #185 in October.
Does anyone read Spawn anymore? I’ll be giving it a BIG PASS. It’s time to end the run of this title before it spawns any future creative team changes.
ITEM! Gooooood evening! The man known for creating the Abominable Doctor Phibes is being resurrected to host a comic series by Bluewater Productions. The likeness of Vincent Price
will bring his famous cinematic roles to comics in Bluewater’s new line of Vincent Price Presents titles. This might fall into the Pit and the Pendulum, but it also could be a Thriller! Pass. Sorry, Vince.
Decent Read of the week:
Secret Invasion #3 I can’t decide if I love this series or hate it, because the whole thing is just another excuse for Marvel to completely reshape its universe. Many of the characters you’ve come to love or hate in the books are being revealed as Skrulls in this series, and others, long dead or missing seem to be reappearing. A character of some note reappears at the end of this issue, after a long absence from the Marvel U.
It features some nifty artwork by Lenil Francis Yu, and Brian Bendis does a surprisingly deft job of holding all of this together. After months of suffering through his split-into-two-comics version of The Avengers, this series might be the thing that finally brings that team back to a reasonable team. Best of all (or is that worst?), Secret Invasion seems to undo half of the major shocks in the Marvel Universe of the past two years. Like I said, I think I love it, but maybe I’m just enjoying torturing myself further.
Total Turkey(s) of the week: Secret Invasion tie-in titles I mean, how many Skrull stories can one man read? Lo, there MUST be an ending to this insanity. While I was reading an Invasion tie-in comic this morning, it occurred to me that my cereal bowl might actually be a Skrull.
For all we know, Joe Quesada will be revealed to be a Skrull, and the last seven years of Marvel will be wiped away from continuity. Let it end. PLEASE.
That’s it for this week. See you next time in THE COMICS SCREED!