San Diego Comic Con is without a doubt the biggest event on the industry's calendar, and people will be flying from around the world to attend panels, watch trailers, meet creators, and make friends. This year's event is bigger than ever, with so much going on every single day that it can be difficult to sift through all that information and decide how to spend your time.
With the event only days away, we've looked through the schedules and hand-selected some of the best events happening on Thursday and Friday for fans of comics, collectibles, TV and film, so you can be sure you don't miss that must-see panel or signing.
Marvel's next big line launch was formally unveiled this week via a special edition of Marvel Previews, including new #1s for Avengers, Venom, Captain Marvel, and Star-Lord, new launches for Champions, Jessica Jones, Kingpin, Bullseye, Slapstick, and Solo, and new concepts in Occupy Avengers, Iron Fists, Mosaic, Infamous Iron Man, and Unstoppable Wasp.
Following our roundtable discussion of DC Rebirth, the ComicsAlliance team got together to break down the highs and lows of the new Marvel NOW. Join Elle Collins, James Leask, Katie Schenkel, Kieran Shiach, and Andrew Wheeler as they pick out the books they're most excited about and the books they're concerned about, and discuss Marvel's approach to legacy heroes and the state of diversity at Marvel today.
Yesterday we reported on the leaking of Marvel Comics' Marvel Previews free magazine, unveiling their entire post-Civil War II line-up including comics such as The Unstoppable Wasp, Solo, Foolkiller and Prowler. Today, the magazine has officially been released via comic stores and online, confirming even more titles and creative teams, including a Kate Bishop Hawkeye book and the much awaited Gamora solo title from Guardians of the Galaxy screenwriter Nicole Perlman.
Marvel Comics' wave of announcements for its post-Civil War II line-up keeps on trucking with news of four more ongoing series with high-profile creative teams that give us a peek at the new Marvel NOW. As part of the new status quo, Carol Danvers is more popular than ever, there's a new Iron Man who isn't Riri Williams, Thanos is getting his shot at a title, and we finally get that new Jessica Jones series we've been waiting a year for.
Recently, Marvel has been releasing teaser images with the tagline "Divided We..." featuring two characters separated by shattered imagery, and all we knew was that it pointed to the publisher's fall slate of comics set to be unveiled later this month under the Marvel NOW banner. Today, Marvel released a complete teaser titled "Divided We Stand," featuring two distinct groups of heroes and villains separated by a literal divide.
DC Comics announced via its August solicitations the cancellation of six of its lowest-selling New 52 titles: All-Star Western, Batwing, Birds of Prey, Superboy, Trinity of Sin: Pandora, and Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger. The books' final issues ship in August, one month shy of the third anniversary of the New 52 initiative which rebooted the entire DC superhero line with fifty-two new or relaunched series.
The total number of New 52 titles cancelled or discontinued in that three year period now stands at 47, which means just five more cancellations will tip the company over into a new New 52; fifty-two books that didn't work out. Is that level of turnover unusual, and if so, what does it tell us about DC's strategy?
Besides the obvious one, it’s hard to think of a writer more connected to an X-book than Peter Davidand X-Factor. (Chris Claremont and Uncanny X-Men being the obvious one, obviously.) After a two-year stint in the early nineties that remains a fan favorite, David relaunched X-Factor in 2005 and made it the most consistent X-book on the racks for his entire run. For eight years, X-Factor was routinely funny, inventive, filled with convincingly human characters, well-delivered messages, and twists that could knock you flat on your ass. The title wrapped in September of last year, shortly after David suffered a well-publicized stroke, and just a few weeks later, it was announced that the title would relaunch again as All-New X-Factor, which dropped this week. With Carmine Di Giandomenico on art, Peter David is again writing one of his most popular titles, but even with David at the controls, the new book has a lot to live up to. Does it?
Relaunches. They're the worst. A sign of desperation from an industry obsessed with gimmicks and stunts. A transparent attempt to drive up sales with no respect for the audience, no regard for the author, no consideration for the history of the title.
Or, they're the opposite of that. New #1s might actually be the smartest way to tell ongoing stories, and the best way forward for the genre comic industry. More relaunches and more #1s could be exactly what comics needs.
I was pleasantly surprised by just how much pure comics news came out of New York Comic Con this year. It really felt like a show that seemed to revolve around comics (I say as an online observer who didn't attend). Even the panels about non-comics stuff, for example, the Batman: Arkham Origins panel, included moments like readings from The Killing Joke.
As for the comics news itself, well, it was more of a mixed bag. On the one hand, a ton of new series with tons of potential got announced. On the other, we had announcements like the one about Captain Marvel, a book that's only been coming out for about 15 months, restarting with a new number one issue. I'm more than pleased that Captain Marvel will continue. But that odd announcement--and the fact that nearly every other announcement was about a new first issue of a series--got me thinking about what a number-one issue of a comic even means anymore.
This morning via USA Today, Marvel unveiled its next wave of new titles. Following last year's successful Marvel NOW initiative, this second wave is titled "All-New Marvel NOW" and will feature the previously announcedInhuman by Matt Fraction and Joe Madureira, and the newly revealed All-New Invaders by James Robinson and Steve Pugh.
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