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Injustice: Gods Among Us has its share of playable heroes, but what about the villains? Well, the folks at NetherRealm have not forgotten the fans of villainy. After all, we don’t want just superheroes smacking each other around all the time, right? Bring on the bad guys!
They have been filling up the game with as many characters as possible, and these two villains may be surprise entries to some.
Ares and Killer Frost are joining the roster, and here’s a trailer that has them at odds! Can the Queen of Ice take out the God of War? Read the rest of this entry »
firing up the generators…
broadcasting in 3..2..1..
It’s hard not to be at least a tiny bit interested in the relaunches that have happened over the last twelve months and are due to take place over the coming year. Read the rest of this entry »
Welcome back to the Chain, my monthly fix of stats and all things numbers. January might be the cold mid-winter for most of us, but in comic book land it is sizzling hot. Like I said in the header DC Comics are ruling the market, including breaking more records, and comic book gains from last year are jaw dropping. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows though, because for every winner there has to be a loser and in this case the losses are starting to pile up.
Before I get into that though, let’s start with DC Comics. I like a lot of older fans was dismayed when news came out that DC was going to reboot. I am on record saying that the gamble was huge and if it failed it had the potential to ruin the whole industry. I went so far as to say I thought it was a slap in the face to long time fans and collectors.I wrote about my worries that the glut of new books could affect the Indy books, and that if DC didn’t deliver it could cause fringe fans to abdicate comics for good.
Today I gladly eat crow on most of what I wrote. I still think it was a slap in the face to die hard fans, but the rest of my fears and opinions have been squashed like that bug that hit the windshield. The fact is DC has done something that no one else has been able to do since January of 2005, and that’s have all ten of the top selling books.
DC is also making headway in market shares. Marvel Comics still leads in retail market share, taking home 35.17% of the retail compared to DC’s 33.55%, but DC has taken over the unit market share with 39.86 % of the market compared to Marvel’s 37.51%.
Marvels higher price keeps them in the game when it comes to the retail market, but looking at comparisons even that won’t last long. It is too early to be panicking for Marvel but they do need to consider the possibility of lowering price to keep up with DC.
Also the unit market share is eye popping, that just over 2% difference is something to make note of considering it puts Marvel at its lowest share of the market in a long while. The bright spot for Marvel are the summer movies which help sales at least for single issue books, but have in the recent past pushed numbers for multiple lines especially in the case of the Avengers movie. This will only be a stop gap as far as market shares go but it will help. Finally Avengers vs. X-Men should increase initial numbers in April depending on the story and consumer interest, but DC had their own wild card with Watchmen.
The Indies continue to hold their own and have a couple of small gains. Once again the DC Comics reboot did have an impact on Indy sales, or put a better way there is only so much money to go around. After the shock of the reboot wore off though the Indies have regained their losses and in the case of Image Comics have managed to continue some gains although small. There have been rumblings that this would be the year of the creator owned comic, but it is too early to tell if this will become fact or fiction. It is also hard to do a comparison between December and January as December is always inflated by the holiday season and January is always slow because….you guessed it, folks spent so much during the holiday season.
The industry as a whole has a lot to celebrate. January 2011 to January 2012 show gains in comics and graphic novels with a total combined gain of 27.47%! Looking at the individual month to month sales though show a smaller increase and in the case of graphic novels a loss of 2.51%. I’m starting to sound like a broken record here, but with no less than 8 major movies coming out over the summer I believe we will see a stronger gain in both categories.
Finally the moment you have been waiting for….January Top 20! I’m not doing a comparison list this month, that will start with January vs. February and keep it all in the same calendar year. Like I said before DC took the top 10 but Marvel came back with 8 of the next ten.
2: Batman #5
3: Action Comics #5
5: Green Lantern #5
6: Batman the Dark Knight #5
7: Superman #5
8: Flash #5
9: Batman & Robin #5
10: Aquaman #5
11: Uncanny X-Men #5
12: Uncanny X-Men #4
14: Wolverine #300
16: Wonder Woman #5
18: Avengers #21
19: Teen Titans #5
20: Amazing Spider-Man #678
Looking over that list I believe that may have been the most 5′s I have ever typed, and it looks like next months list will be brought to us by the number 6 (you know the reference just admit it). Marvel is selling books but unless it has an X or a Spider in it they aren’t selling well are they? Will next month be more of the same? Can DC keep the pace it has set? Can Marvel find a way into the top twenty? All these questions and more will be answered next month, all you need to do is pull the Chain.
Happy New Year, Bleederz! And welcome to 2012 (seriously, where are the flying cars already?!) and PART 2 of The Bleedie Awards where I look back at the year 2011 and give out an entirely imaginary trophy to all the comic book related stuff that I personally enjoyed over the last 12 months! Last week I gave out awards for Best New Character, Best Team and WTF Moment of the Year, but this week it’s time for BIG MONEY awards!
I hope you are all wearing tuxedos and evening gowns while reading this. I’m in a gorgeous strapless Vera Wang number while writing it, y’know.
How’s THAT for a creepy mental picture to start another wacky year with the Bleeder?!
You’re welcome. Without further ado, let us continue!
I know I’m gonna take some heat for this one. X-Men: First Class was a favorite for a lot of people. And I agree that it is a fun movie, and I enjoyed Captain America and even Green Lantern as well (I know, I’m a forgiving man), but there is something about the Thor movie (besides my crushes on EVERY female in the movie…follow Jaimie Alexander a.k.a. Sif, on Twitter, she’s awesome, y’all!) that makes me want to get a big toy hammer and a winged helmet and run around the house with a towel tied around my neck like a cape (I suppose I should say only when I was six years old I’d want to do these things…but I’m not sure that’s true).
Thor had an amazing cast, had alot of action and introduced the general masses to the more mystical aspects of the Marvel Universe. And I think it achieved this difficult feat very nicely without jumping any sort of shark. It’s a real superHERO movie (with a plot that reminds me of Superman II quite a bit, actually). This was a hard choice, guys…so I went with my heart.
Without a doubt this is the biggest event in comics all year, if not decade, if not 3 decades, if not EVER. When I heard of this “relaunch/reboot”, I didn’t believe it…DC must’ve been simply beginning their books at #1 after Flashpoint! It never made sense to me why a comic book company would work so many decades to build a shared universe, just to throw it all out the window to start over. Especially when not too much seemed broken to me. Sure, they weren’t making the same sales as Marvel…but DC has millions of fans that love their characters and always will. Not to mention probably more critical acclaim than ANY comic book publisher. Now, after it all happened, DC is now beating Marvel in sales and a good chunk of these new stories are getting great reactions, I can’t argue with this being a good move for DC. Would I have done it? Hell no. I love continuity and knowing that my old comics I grew up reading actually mean something. Call me weird. But okay okay, I’ll say it. DC, you done good. …Just fix Superman’s costume, please? I can’t take that thing he’s wearing for very much longer.
I had this beautiful cover as my desktop wallpaper for a while and my mother passed it once and said, “Wow. That’s beautiful. I’d like a t-shirt of it.” There ya go. It’s so pretty a middle-aged woman would wear it on a t-shirt. If that doesn’t deserve Cover of the Year, I don’t know what does.
In context of the Spider-Island story, it foreshadows a large event for Spider-Man, while completely out of context, it depicts the most recognizable landmarks in N.Y. honoring its greatest hero. A great piece of art impacts the audience from any point of view they may have. And a comic book cover should do the same thing. This one achieves that goal in a big way.
This was another doozy. How do you pick this!? There’s Cap (2 of them!), Thor, Wolverine, Invincible, Flash, Iron Man, Daredevil…all are great candidates, but only one guy proved this year that it’s not his powers or his costume that makes him a hero. And while I’m awarding this to Spider-Man, that guy is actually Peter Parker. See, Spider-Island was special simply because of its uniqueness. There were many superhero stories over the years about a hero losing his powers. This one was a story about what would happen if EVERYONE– soccer moms to lowly muggers —EVERYONE got the same powers as him!
Pete found himself in a scenario where putting on a costume and swinging around Manhattan meant NOTHING anymore. But being seen as a heroic Peter Parker would show the good folks of New York a lesson he learned when he became a wall-crawler decades ago: “with great power comes great responsibility”, inspiring them to stand up against the bad seeds that were using their powers to cause trouble. It was really awesome. For once, it wasn’t a superhero that was my favorite Hero of the Year, it was the man UNDER the mask.
I’m going to use this double-page spread instead of one with Batwoman smashing through a window and kicking ass. For one simple reason. Mr. Williams can make a simple two pages featuring Commissioner Gordon and the Gotham PD investigating a crime scene look like a beautiful piece you’d find in an art gallery.
This is what sets this artist apart from everyone else right now for me, and it’s abilities like that that inspires myself as an artist. His layouts aren’t traditional in any sense of the word, and some may have a hard time following them, but the way he weaves his Batwoman pages makes you feel like you are floating through a dream rather than reading a comic book. I think if he was announced for drawing a new Bouncing Boy ongoing, I’d be the first in line to buy it. No, really.
Okay, I guess I gushed over Spider-Island and Amazing Spider-Man a lot already. But I don’t feel that anyone took the reins on a title this year like Slott when he jumped onto Amazing. While I didn’t hate the way Amazing Spider-Man had been written over the last few years, Dan came in and truly brought a sense of fun and excitement to the book that Spidey comics hadn’t seen in quite a while. Slott is balancing nostalgia and evolution in a fun way that makes longtime, new and returning readers alike anticipating every new issue that hits the shelves.
And you can easily see in his work (and on his Twitter account) that he is having the time of his life as the writer of this legendary series. Who can blame him? It’ll be interesting to see what he has in store for 2012 for the wall-crawler and his supporting cast!
So, I guess you can see how this is going and there can only be one…
I hate to be redundant. I really do. But I loved this comic book more than any other this year. And you want me to be honest, right? And it’s not like alot of cool stories hit the shelves this year! I smiled seeing Wolverine claw his way out of Hell, I was astonished at seeing a world where The Flash never existed, I cheered seeing Daredevil single handedly take down an gang of Nazi-mechs and finally earning an Avengers membership, a part of me even enjoyed seeing DC’s legends meet one another once again for the very first time…but Spider-Man took on a whole city of Spider-Men!
Not only that, Spidey also battled the all-new Hobgoblin, faced a new gang of Spider-Slayers and at the request of his late pal, Johnny Storm, ushered in a new era with the Future Foundation! The addictive and hilarious plots and dialogue by Dan Slott and fun artwork by Humberto Ramos and Stefano Caselli just made this book a joy to read this year. And I personally thank them for making one of the greatest characters in history relevant once again in the industry that birthed him.
Well, that’s it for The Bleedies this year! Hope you all had fun reading this 2-part look at comics in 2011 and thank you all for reading The Bleed in its first year of mayhem! I have a LOT of awesomeness in store for 2012…heck, I may even find myself amongst some super-heroes for real!! HUH? What? What did I just say!? Hmmmm…oh, Bleeder-King, you are SO cryptic!! So long, guys! If YA GONNA BLEED, BLEED COMICS ALREADY!
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Bleederz! Welcome! It’s Week 4 and the final week of The New 52!! Both rotten tomatoes and multi-colored confetti has been pelted. Before I wrap up my final thoughts on this history making month in comics let me throw my last two reviews out to you guys! It’s two big ones! There will be blood!
First off we got Batman: The Dark Knight (I think it should be just called “The Dark Knight” but WHATEVER) co-written by Paul Jenkins and art and co-written by David Finch.
I have to admit, even before the Relaunch, I have not been extremely impressed by this series as far as the writing is concerned. Previously in the series, Batman has been squaring off with some mystical villains like Etrigan and Ragman…and while Batman vs. supernatural characters CAN be done (like when he squared off with Swamp Thing in the old days), it is a delicate balance. It can very easily pull a Batman book away from feeling like a Batman book. This is just my opinion though…it’s the reason I was never a huge fan of The Outsiders. BUT seeing as this is a new day and a brand new comic (and Paul Jenkins is here to help Finch with the scripting), it seems at first DK has reverted back to Batman punching sickos in their sicko faces, it SEEMS that way. The cliffhanger ending may jeopardize that sort of thing.
One thing that I found odd in this issue is (exactly like in Batman #1 last week) we have ANOTHER Arkham jailbreak attempt and yet ANOTHER double page spread with Bat-Rogues looking nasty. (kind of redundant…but anyway), only this time, it’s a bunch of lesser known villains. When I say lesser, I mean that to very many people that haven’t followed Batman comics in a while, it looks like we got White Shark, Mr. Freeze & Clayface (who are the most famous baddies here and they also tried to escape last week), a guy with a bunch of keys hanging from him who, after a bit of research, I discovered is named The Key (I’m sure he gets blamed every time there is a scratch on the batmobile), a person in a creepy clown mask (I think it’s a character from the Morrison run), a guy in a hood and what seems like a Casey Jones hockey mask, a creepy dude in a top hat and glowing eyes and a blonde woman that is either Man-Bat’s wife or Lady Ga-Ga (I always KNEW those costumes would eventually land her in Arkham)…oh and some bald guy with tribal tats on his face. I may be biased (being a “Marvel guy”), but I very much enjoy when an ensemble of characters are introduced or re-introduced into a book we get told who they are. It makes us look up the character, find out what they are all about, and possibly even buy some more comics. Sounds like it would sell old trades and produce traffic on DC’s website, but oh well. I don’t want to lessen the threat of these villains, I’m sure The Key is plenty scary and a horrible guy, but I’m pretty sure Bat-Mite would have no problem taking care of this group.
By the end of the book we see a character called the White Rabbit…is this the same White Rabbit from the 90’s Superman comics that was involved with the origin of Steel? I’m not sure. But I would assume so. Well, not the SAME one, but this universe’s version of the same character…or something. Why she is in Gotham, we are not told yet, but she definitely seems more fitting for Batman’s Rogues than Superman’s. She could totally team up with The Mad Hatter and/or Tweedle Dee & Dum!
In the art department, Finch can draw a pretty badass Batman, no question. And David has been around long enough to know his way around drawing a story. I just sort of wished the story gave him something new to draw. It just all seems sort of “done before”. I felt this way with the entire book. But, as with the rest of the 52 books that have some story problems, there is always space for “plot repair” and development. We shall see. I will personally continue reading this series in hopes of improvement and because I really like David Finch’s art, but I’d love one day to see a creative team take over the book and perhaps bring us a Batman comic that gives us the feel of a Nolan Batman film! A down to earth crime-based Batman comic would be great! BDK has been just the opposite. But not at all is this a horrible comic book. It’s just more of the same, for the moment.
Now while writing this column, I have caught wind that a fellow writer, Rich Johnston from Bleeding Cool today has pointed out that Two-Face called Batman “Batty-Boy” at the end of the issue. Now this can be confused with a Jamaican homophobic slur. Mr. Johnston goes on to say “I’ve seen records banned, performances banned over use of this phrase. What this means for a T graded comic from DC… I have no idea”. I think it’s absurd to make such a big deal out of what is an honest misunderstanding, and I can only guess that this is an attempt to bring outside media attention and traffic to Bleeding Cool. Maybe using a derogatory term that is not used in North American culture very much in a Batman comic book isn’t the way to go. Oh, and Rich? It’s not even spelt the same way in the comic as the slur you are referring to.
My fellow eXpertColumnist Steve Damm (Damm Lucky) contacted Paul Jenkins today via e-mail on this subject and he responded, “I have never heard of that slur, and it takes a bit of digging to even find reference on it. It is obvious that the Character is just acting in a fashion typical for one of Batman’s villains – the Joker will call him “Bats,” for example. Does that mean we are having a dig at people with mental illness? Of course not”
I think that’s case closed, folks. No need for all the drama! Thanks for the statement, Paul.
Onto Flash #1 written by Francis Manapul and art by Brian Buccellatto.
I’ve been a lukewarm fan of Flash my whole life. I enjoy the character and his abilities and his general concept. I just have never gravitated to his comics like I have X-Men related titles or Spider-Man comics. But I have to say, of all the books I’ve read and reviewed from the 52, Flash is the most fun and adaptable. Readers with a vague knowledge of The Flash can pick up this book and follow the action and I dare ANYone to not call this a fun read. It opens and ends like a #1 should. It is not an origin book, but we are introduced into a fast-paced humorous and all around fun comic book series. I wish more of the 52 flowed like Flash #1. It is similar to Invincible or Amazing Spider-Man.
Manapul’s artwork is excellent. His action sequences and layout are very well crafted and fun to look at. And I really enjoy the new concept of how the Flash ring works and we see the Speed Force lightning surging through the seams of the costume. The creative team has crafted themselves a great superhero comic here. The CSI-esque aspect of the book is an original plus also. I think this particular DC series is going to take off and be a smash hit! Go pick it up, guys!
So, there we go!! New 52 month is over and done with from the Bleeder perspective and I had fun talking about some great comics and a few okay ones with my fellow eX-Force columnist. I wasn’t sure when DC announced they were rebooting their entire line of comics what my feelings were. I didn’t read enough DC Comics to be extremely outraged. That sort of came when I saw Superman’s new costume. Which I am slowly warming up to now anyway. There is no doubt that this was a big event and I congratulate DC for their success and bringing attention to comics, at least for a month. Even though, the observant artist that I am, it took me until last week to notice the hidden hooded woman who has been inserted all throughout the 52 #1’s! I know! Don’t take my geek membership away! It’s been a busy month, okay! Who is she?!!? A female Desaad? Granny Goodness? Raven?! Lady Ga-Ga? Only DC knooows. Well, Batman probably knows too.
Stay tuned VERY soon for my blockbuster Montreal Comic Con coverage! There is LOTS of fun ahead! Til then, stay bloody! (can I go back to talking about Marvel now!?)
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