Tagged: Jim Lee

MICHAEL DAVIS: Shock To My System

I’ve spent the last few months praising the DC New 52 in one form or another. Months before the books came out, I was debating those who thought the reboot was anything from a simply bad idea to the end of the world, as we know it.

I defended the idea then and in fact over the last three weeks right here on ComicMix. I’ve supported the idea and got into a heated battle with Marc Alan Fishman over the new 52.

Yesterday was Marc’s lovely wife Kathy’s birthday. Happy birthday Kathy and here’s your present…

Marc was right.

The DC New 52 sucks.

Everything about the New 52 is horrible.

I’m going to take a random decision made by DC, a totally arbitrary completely chance judgment they have made to make my point that the entire New 52 is the worst thing to happen to comics since Fredric Wertham and the Spirit movie.

Now. What completely indiscriminate, unplanned, hit or miss just off the top of my head move has DC made with the New 52 that has made me see the light of their atrocious affront to the entire comics, nay, the entire entertainment industry!

Let’s see, lets see, what needle can I grab in a haystack of bad moves?

What?

What?

What??

Got It!!!

DC comics cancelled Static Shock!!

Full disclosure: I co-created Static Shock and wrote the original Milestone bible and named all the characters after my family but that has nothing whatsoever to do with my deciding to use Static Shock as an example as to why I changed my mind about the DC 52. My history with the character is beside the point.

No, I did not like the new Static Shock book after John Rozum left and no, I did not say I didn’t like it before DC cancelled the book for fear that the opinion of one of the creators would affect the sales but that’s besides the point.

The point is DC cancelled Static Shock and that’s just one of the reasons I was wrong about the New 52.

My other reasons?

That’s beside the point.

The little support from the millions of Static Shock fans out there is no reason to cancel something I created! The reason it’s no reason is beside the point. Losing half the sales from issue one is no reason to cancel a book where my Mom was the inspiration for Static’s mom. The sheer audacity of DC comics to cancel a book where I have a vested interest in is why the DC New 52 is horrible. Why that matters is beside the point.

Why not cancel the Justice League? So what if the book is selling in the hundreds of thousands? I don’t like it anymore! The fact that I liked it (loved it) before they canceled Static Shock is beside the point.

There that is my unbiased and completely unprejudiced reasoning behind my change of heart regarding the DC New 52.

You were right, Marc. What was I thinking? Happy Birthday again Kathy, you are married to a very wise man.

WEDNESDAY: Now Mike Gold Takes On John Ostrander

DC Comics Remembers Jerry Robinson

DC Comics Remembers Jerry Robinson

English: Jerry Robinson at Comic Con Internati...“Jerry Robinson illustrated some of the defining images of pop culture’s greatest icons. As an artist myself, it’s impossible not to feel humbled by his body of work. Everyone who loves comics owes Jerry a debt of gratitude for the rich legacy that he leaves behind.”—Jim Lee, DC Entertainment Co-Publisher and artist of BATMAN: HUSH

“Jerry Robinson was one of the greats. He continued to be a vibrant, creative force, with ideas and thoughts that continue to inspire. Jerry was a great advocate for creators. It was my pleasure to meet and work with him. He will be missed.”—Dan DiDio, Co-Publisher, DC Entertainment

“It’s impossible to work at DC Entertainment without feeling the impact of Jerry Robinson’s contributions to the industry. His influence continues to resonate today.”—Bob Harras, DC Entertainment Editor-in-Chief

“Jerry Robinson was an innovator, a pioneer in storytelling. His artwork was always astonishing, but his contributions to the Dark Knight mythology go far beyond art. The streets of Gotham City are a little lonelier today…Jerry will truly be missed.”—Mike Marts, BATMAN editor

Review: “Justice League” #1

Review: “Justice League” #1

Finally, DC’s new 52 launches (or is that relaunches?) today in stores and online with Justice League #1, written by Geoff Johns and pencilled by Jim Lee, with inks by Scott Williams, colors by Alex Sinclair, and letters by Patrick Brosseau. I’m here with my tag-team partner in the caption box, Marc Alan Fishman, and we’re going to review this in real time. I’m writing the introductory information while Marc finishes up a different project and then reads–

OK. I couldn’t help myself. Read it.

Me too. Wasn’t that quick?

Yeah, and not in a good way. That was… terrible.

Wait, wait, wait. There’s a lot to like here, except the portion size.

I’m gonna take a hard stance on this. If I knew nothing of these characters? I didn’t find this appealing.

But seriously, how many people know nothing of Batman and Green Lantern?

That’s kind of my point. There was a lack of substance to the issue that reeks of everything I hate about comics from the 90s. The art is all flash, bangs, pops, pows, and gloriously meticulous fire / lasers / constructs … But seriously? If this were an animated episode? We just got the first 5 minutes.

10 minutes. But yes, it feels like too little, and that’s a problem.

And what exactly did we learn? Batman’s a cocky SOB, and GL is even cockier. And Superman? Even more? It was like the issue was on autopilot. It’s all establishing shots. Fine, I get that. But this issue is supposed to herald this huge coming together of heroes for the superlative team of all comicdom. If I am a new reader? I’m coming back, or more likely? I’m feeling short changed.

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MARTHA THOMASES: Must The World Have A (Mrs.) Superman?

The staff at my regular comic shop wants to know what I think about the DC re-launch. I’ve been shopping there for decades, and I buy DC comics every time I go in there. I don’t only buy DC, but I buy almost everything they publish.

That’s the way it’s been for me for more than 50 years. I’ve liked Superman and Batman and Wonder Woman and the Legion of Super-Heroes for that long. As I’ve grown up, I’ve liked other characters, and I’ve learned to follow not just the heroes I like, but also the writers and artists.

So here’s what I tell them when they ask me what I think: “It doesn’t make any difference to me.”

Superman has relaunched once in my lifetime. I can’t count how often Wonder Woman has been rebooted. The Legion is so complicated that I have trouble keeping it straight and I’ve been reading it for 50 years!

I predict that, within five years, everything that’s important will be the same in the DC Universe as it is now, or as it was at some time in the past.

In the meantime, DC’s publicist, David Hyde, is kicking ass with his publicity efforts. I hope that enough people sample the new comics to see if they like them. It’s been a very long time since new readers have been courted so aggressively.

Unfortunately, there is one aspect of this I don’t like. Dan Didio and Jim Lee have described their characters as “brands.” This is the way the MBAs who run Warner Bros. talk about their properties, and I understand how, when one wants to appear savvy to one’s boss, one appropriates the bosses’ jargon.

“Brand” is a marketing term. Tide is a brand. Nike is a brand. It’s a corporate identity that promises consumers something they want, whether that something is reliably clean clothes or athletic shoes that let the wearer perform like a superstar.

Superman is not a brand. He’s a character. He’s a character that changes according to the whims of the creative teams making his stories. He may implicitly promise consumers something they want (truth, justice and the American way), but he keeps them as readers because of his human qualities, the details of his life that fascinate us, amuse us and excite us.

As his publicist, I observed these phenomena in the 1990s. When Clark Kent and Lois Lane got engaged, the world went crazy. They didn’t do this because of branding, but because it was a sweet, human story. It’s always been my opinion that the reason the “Death of Superman” story was such a big deal was not because Superman died (he’s died plenty), but because the public had been following his relationship with Lois, and felt the loss along with her.

I’ve enjoyed Superman’s marriage. I enjoy stories of happy couples, whether they are detectives or ghosts or super-heroes. Millions of people watched Smallville to see Clark and Lois get married.

So I’m disappointed that the marriage will no longer be. That said, I trust Grant Morrison to write great stories.

And I’d bet we see another marriage in my lifetime.

Martha Thomases, Dominoed Daredoll, would also like to see The Dibnys’ back.

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman

MICHAEL DAVIS: Back To The Future

“Just when I thought I was out, they drag me back in.”
Michael Corleone

“This is a moment of history.”
Jim Lee

“ I told you so.”
Michael Davis

“Bitch better have my money.”
Fly Guy

Michael Corleone was talking about not being able to escape the Mafia.

Jim Lee was talking about the DC Comics Reboot.

I’m taking about my return to ComicMix.

Fly guy was talking about a bitch having his money.

Don’t waste anytime trying to figure out why I used the Fly Guy quote. I’ll just tell you, I simply like saying, “Bitch better have my money.”

I’m told there are a lot more ComicMix users now then when I was writing here. Because of that I’m going to write a brief bio of myself in case you never heard of me.

My name is Michael Davis and I’m Master Of The Universe. I’m also a writer, TV producer artist and dealmaker. I work in mainstream publishing, comics, television and the music industry, yada, yada, blah, blah. When ComicMix started I wrote a wildly popular column called “Straight No Chaser”.  I was fired from ComicMix because I was black.

OK, the black thing is just what I told girls at comic conventions when I wanted them to feel bad for me. Now I’ll tell them ComicMix brought me back because of pressure from the NAACP and President Obama.

My column WAS wildly popular. If you hear differently remember that’s the white man trying to keep me down.

As I mentioned my column was called Straight No Chaser. I can’t call my return to ComicMix that because I continue my weekly rants under that title at my WILDLY popular website, www.michaeldavisworld.com.

If anyone tells you it’s not wildly popular, remember,

White man.

Down.

Me.

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The First Batch Of DC New First Issues

DC Comics has released information on the first ten titles of their September reboot, with creative teams and cover art.

Here we go, kids.

  • We already knew about JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 by our superstar creators Geoff Johns and Jim Lee. The cover to issue #1 is by Jim Lee and Scott Williams.
  • New York Times bestselling writer Brian Azzarello, author of The Joker and 100 Bullets, teams up with artist Cliff Chiang (Neil Young’s Greendale) for WONDER WOMAN #1. The cover to issue #1 is by Cliff Chiang.
  • Geoff Johns reunites with GREEN LANTERN and BRIGHTEST DAY collaborator Ivan Reis to bring you AQUAMAN #1. The cover to issue #1 is by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado.
  • Rising superstar Francis Manapul, fresh off his acclaimed run on THE FLASH with Geoff Johns, makes his comics writing debut in THE FLASH #1, sharing both scripting and art duties with Brian Buccellato. The Flash knows he can’t be everywhere at once, but what happens when he faces an all-new villain who can? The cover to issue #1 is by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato.
  • Writers Ethan Van Sciver and Gail Simone team up with artist Yildiray Cinar to deliver THE FURY OF FIRESTORM #1. Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond are two high school students, worlds apart – and now they’re drawn into a conspiracy of super science that bonds them forever in a way they can’t explain or control. The cover to issue #1 is by Ethan Van Sciver.
  • (more…)

Some Thoughts on DC’s New World Order

In 1986, as the Crisis on Infinite Earths was winding down, Marv Wolfman made the radical suggestion that DC indicate the universe had truly changed by altering the numbering on all the titles and restart everything with a #1. For a number of reasons, it was a great idea but the timing couldn’t allow the move. Years later, Dick Giordano indicated it as one of his greatest editorial regrets. However, he can’t be blamed since the Crisis was wrapping up while DC was still negotiating to relaunch its flagship heroes. At that time, only Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli had been lined up for Batman: Year One while John Byrne was still being wooed for Superman, and very late in the process, Greg Potter and George Perez were circling Wonder Woman.

Had the stars aligned, it could have avoided two decades of constant revisions to the reality.

It now seems DC’s executive team has spent the last year moving the stars around. Today’s bombshell announcement indicates the rebooted line will kick off in September, with Justice League #1 previewing the new order on August 31.

I can only hope that DC has its house in order and can avoid embarrassing fill-ins and radical creative team changes early in a title’s run – problems which have plagued the core titles for the last few years.  The worst example may well be Batman: The Dark Knight, written and drawn by David Finch. After debuting in November, the fifth issue of this monthly series is not coming out until August and only then with a fill-in artist.

That aforementioned new Justice League book is coming from DC’s two busiest executives: Geoff Johns and Jim Lee. Sure, it’ll read well and look great, but will it be a monthly and for how long will the talent remain intact? At minimum, these new titles, all 50 of them, need consistent talent on board for at least the first six issues and fill-ins need to be carefully integrated. (more…)

DC Goes Day-and-Date Digital Release Post-Flashpoint, Restarts Entire Line At #1 With 52 Titles

DC Goes Day-and-Date Digital Release Post-Flashpoint, Restarts Entire Line At #1 With 52 Titles

In a major consolidation and streamlining, DC Comics is changing the way they do business and rebooting the entire line of DC Universe titles:

On Wednesday, August 31st, DC Comics will launch a historic renumbering of the entire DC Universe line of comic books with 52 first issues, including the release of JUSTICE LEAGUE by NEW YORK TIMES bestselling writer and DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns and bestselling artist and DC Comics Co-Publisher Jim Lee. The publication of JUSTICE LEAGUE issue 1 will launch day-and-date digital publishing for all these ongoing titles, making DC Comics the first of the two major American publishers to release all of its superhero comic book titles digitally the same day as in print.

DC Comics will only publish two comic books on August 31st: the final issue of this summer’s comic book mini-series FLASHPOINT and the first issue of JUSTICE LEAGUE by Johns and Lee, two of the most distinguished and popular contemporary comic book creators, who will be collaborating for the first time. Together they will offer a contemporary take on the origin of the comic book industry’s premier superhero team.

A separate letter went out to retailers, hinting at “a more modern, diverse DC Universe, with some character variations in appearance, origin and age. All stories will be grounded in each character’s legend – but will relate to real world situations, interactions, tragedy and triumph.”

There’s a lot of head-shaking going on at this move– Tom Spurgeon displays this POV quite well– but to me, this screams hard core brand consolidation, combined with simplification to make it easy for the new comic reader– who is absolutely expected to be a digital reader. It wouldn’t surprise me if DC started doing special digital subscriptions. For example: all 52 series digitally for $50 a month.

The real concern, however, has to be on the retailer side, who will suddenly find competition on all of their titles on books that have been ordered months in advance and may be non-returnable. Hopefully, DC will keep books returnable for the first few months while the impact on stores is figured out.

If nothing else, it could explain why DC wasn’t at BookExpo this year, as they were waiting to relaunch big.

DC Revamps Again! And Again! And Again!

Hey, kids! Guess what? DC is revamping their line again, for what seems like the 1,000th time since Crisis On Infinite Earths. What a shock! How original!

O.K. Here’s the poop. DC honchos Geoff Johns and Jim Lee, both exceptionally talented comics creators, are going to make “bombshell announcements about the future of Superman and the entire DC Universe” on Saturday, June 11th at the Hero Complex Film Festival. Maybe this time they’ll stick to it: if Geoff and Jim are behind it, there’s some cause for hope. If they stick to it.

Even though control of DC Comics has passed through several hands since the first Crisis, perhaps the concept of leaving well enough alone will grab somebody this time. The DC Universe has gone through so many needlessly confusing transformations a roadmap to the place would give M.C.. Escher vertigo. With a small “v.”

Good grief, I’m getting tired of writing this story. I’m going to link to the Los Angeles Times so you can get what’s passing for news here.