Anxiety has been on my mind a lot lately, both in a philosophical and very literal sense.
Sorry for the lack of comic reviews lately. Given how delayed my access to comics has been, it's hard to have regular and timely reviews.
I've sunk more hours into this game than I care to admit. Also I always wait until a game has been out for at least six months before I buy it. It's not a conscious decision, I'm just not as attuned to new releases as I used to be.
As companies grow, it is only natural that they seek to expand their product line. Marvel and DC have long been extending tendrils into other markets, from animated TV shows to action figures. Now, as both publishers expand boldly into live-action, it would seem each is carving a particular niche.
Marvel is clearly poised to come out on top when it comes to the big screen. While the Dark Knight Trilogy and Man of Steel both had excellent box office numbers, Marvel's commitment to a continuous universe between films has made the film franchise into an unstoppable juggernaut. This doesn't even take into account the efforts of Fox and Sony's studios who are working on licensed Marvel properties with Fantastic-Four and The Amazing Spider-Man respectively. On the other hand, DC seems to be struggling to build a film franchise as powerful as Marvel. Given that we're getting a different actor for Batman in the upcoming Batman vs. Superman, it would seem the two flagship franchises will have trouble merging into a shared universe. However, as Justice League will continue the same cast, maybe there is hope after all. It just seems such a waste to toss the Dark Knight Trilogy aside, given the strength of the films.
As if movies weren't enough, we'll soon be seeing both publishers all over the small screen as well. We already have Marvel's Agents of SHIELD and Arrow, and now we can look forward to more shows that promise to integrate with existing shows to build on the idea of shared universes. The CW announced yesterday a new Flash series that will tie in with Arrow. Previously, Marvel announced Netflix exclusive shows and a mini-series. While the specific characters have yet to be fully revealed, popular speculation suggests it will revolve around the characters of the Defenders. Late last night, Marvel announced Agents of SHIELD will be renewed for a second season and we can look forward to an Agent Carter series focused on SHIELD founder Peggy Carter in the Fall. As Agents of SHIELD builds on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I fully expect Agent Carter to continue that trend. It's hard to say whether Arrow and Flash will join up with DC's Justice League universe, but DC fans can cross their fingers and hope.
Marvel and DC already dominate the print comics market and its clear they plan to dominate big and small screens as well. But what about smaller publishers? Image has a number of titles that would make fantastic series or films. They've already had success with The Walking Dead on AMC and personally I think Saga would make an epic movie.
What comics would you most like to see represented on screen?
My name is E. Ross Ura. I’ve been a comics fan since Avengers blew up the big screen. That summer I picked up my very first single issue (Hawkeye #1, 3rd printing) and now have a fairly robust pull list from Marvel, Image, Dark Horse, and Valiant. I started writing my own comics in the middle of last year, and began writing and “illustrating” 5 x 3 around that same time.
In the pages of comics we find heroes whose values we’re meant to aspire to and admire. There are characters who share our struggles and help us through them. Possibly most importantly, comics provide an escape when the concerns of the real world seem overwhelming. Why then would we deny those opportunities to anyone?
I have the great privilege of being able to open a comic and see someone who looks like me. I have the great privilege of being able to walk into a comic shop and have people be immediately helpful and courteous. I have the great privilege of never having my love of the medium questioned.
Not all comic fans have those privileges and many are treated with open hostility. As a community that embraces the ideals of heroes, how can we tolerate that kind of behavior? Most of my friends are women, people in the LGBTQ community, or both, and many are unlikely to be drawn into this world I love so much because our community is so toxic towards them. This is not right and I will not tolerate it.
I want to make my living in comics, but I refuse to do it in an environment that excludes people who don’t look like me. I Am Comics and I will not allow anyone to deny that opportunity to anyone else.
We Are Comics is a campaign that blew up over night in response to the vitriolic harassment of comics journalist Janelle Asselin and to the general ill treatment of women and other marginalized groups in the comic book industry. For members of these marginalized groups, it grants the opportunity for their voices to be heard and their faces to be seen. For white males 18-39, it gives us the opportunity to stand in solidarity and speak out against the misogyny, racism, and homophobia that plagues our industry.
From their website:
"We are comics: creators, publishers, retailers, readers; professionals and fans. And we are a lot more diverse than you might think.
We Are Comics is a campaign to show—and celebrate—the faces of our community, our industry, and our culture; to promote the visibility of marginalized members of our population; and to stand in solidarity against harassment and abuse."
Hey all. Here's where I finally get around to talking about last week's comics. Just in time for not getting this week's. It's going to be a bumpy summer. Last week's pulls were: ALL NEW X-MEN #26, AVENGERS #28, AVENGERS WORLD #5, SILVER SURFER, #2, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1, SERENITY: LEAVES ON THE WIND #4, BLACK SCIENCE #3, and a bonus copy of the 2nd printing of SEX CRIMINALS #5. I can't help but buy every printing of that book. Have you seen those covers?
Anyway, some thoughts. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN was good. Just about what I expected for the relaunch of the title. There's a lot packed in the issue and, as Kieron Gillen often does, Dan Slott has tossed several balls in the air. Catching all of them may be a challenge, but if he does we're looking at a fantastic book. I'm looking forward to reading more, especially the 1.X issues headed our way. I know many are skeptical about seeing a new take on the classic origin story, but I trust Slott to know what he's doing.
I found AVENGERS and AVENGERS WORLD to be a little lackluster this week. Hickman's writing has been hit or miss for me since he took over. Some of the stuff I've really enjoyed, but I feel as though everything since Infinity ended has been favoring cloak and dagger and obscurity over honest story telling. Both books this week seemed to skirt around really taking the stories anywhere. As AVENGERS and NEW AVENGERS begin to close in on each other, I expect we'll see some big flashy things, and I hope that I'll finally be able to make some sense of what's going on.
Of all the books I read over this last weekend, ALL NEW X-MEN had the most modern superhero comic vibe to me. There wasn't a lot of action, but there was plenty of drama. The characters all felt very real and their reactions towards each other seemed genuine and personal. Furthermore, it left me on a cliff hanger, needing to know what happens next. If there's anything that represents comic form, it's that. My one criticism is the one I always have of Bendis's writing. The man abuses the two-page spread. Seriously, next time you pick up a Bendis book count how many two page spreads there are throughout. It's astonishing.
SILVER SURFER was an impulse buy. Or rather, the folks at Vault of Midnight convinced me that I really needed to grab it. I will say that I love the art. The Allreds really have it going on. It's a modern comic, to be certain, but there is a certain cartoon quality to it that gives it a distinct retro feel. It was a lot of fun to read. I don't know a lot about the Silver Surfer, so it's hard to judge how Dan Slott is treating the character with respect to his previous incarnations. So far though, he seems like a guy I'd be interested in following. The twist in the story in this issue definitely has drawn me in and I expect Silver Surfer will end up on my pull list before long.
I remain as excited as ever about SERENITY: LEAVES ON THE WIND. Like most Firefly fans, I felt slighted with just the one season and a movie. I was thrilled to find there were comics to continue building on Joss Whedon's universe. LEAVES ON THE WIND feels right at home with the other SERENITY series, and I'm especially glad to have some content following the events of the film. I will say, however, that this book is definitely a little inside. In my opinion, you have to have pretty good knowledge of both the series and the movie to really fully understand what's going on. I've watched the series several times and the movie is one of my favorites yet I still feel a little lost at times.
BLACK SCIENCE #3... I probably won't write much. I'm trying to get caught up on it one issue at a time, so a review now is a bit late. I will say, it's a fascinating concept and by #3 I'm starting to get a really good feeling of depth to at least the main character. Looking forward to reading more.
SEX CRIMINALS... If you're not reading Sex Criminals already, another review is not going to help you. Go read Sex Criminals. Do it right now.
So I never got around to posting about the new comics I picked up from last week, but I did read them and I did have thoughts. Maybe another day. Anyway, here's today's 5 x 3. I'm pretty sure this was one of the last of Season 2 that I had uploaded because I was getting tired of futzing with my scanner. Hence slanted images.
E. Ross Ura is a writer, letterer, artist, composer, and blogger active in the Metro Detroit Area.