New York Comic Con Reactions!
New York Comic Con has come and gone for another season, and in its wake are the announcements from the big two. From Marvel announcing SEVEN more Avengers titles, to DC’s reveal that Stephanie Brown will finally make her first appearance in the “New 52”, there were a lot of announcements that were made designed to drive fan boys into a frenzy. So what announcements am I most excited about?
The Spirit of Vengeance is back, and I’m pretty excited, but not as much as I should be. The reason for the decline in my excitement is mainly due to the fact that this is another new person in possession of the spirit of vengeance. Yes, once again Johnny Blaze gets pushed out of the limelight so a newbie can step in (however, Blaze will be joining the Thunderbolts, more on that later). This new character is a high school senior who now drives a demonically possessed muscle car instead of the classic motorcycle that Ghost Rider is known for. If this sounds like the recent Nova series but with a supernatural bent, you’re right on target.
While I may not be all that enthused that the original (and still best) Ghost Rider isn’t starring in his own book, he has had plenty of chances to lead his own book, and they haven’t panned out sales wise. I know I’m guilty of his last cancellation, mainly because I hate the way Blaze has been turned into a good ol’ boy with an overly pronounced southern drawl. The whole “high school senior with a muscle car” is extremely weird, but Jason Aaron’s awesome Ghost Rider run did establish that there are multiple different versions of the Ghost Rider from different cultures, so it’s not a complete stretch.
I’m giving this one a shot for one reason: Tradd Moore. The Luther Strode artist is perfect for the type of insanity that a Ghost Rider book demands, and I’m beyond excited to hear that he’s finally made the jump to the big two. Here’s hoping that Blaze makes an appearance as a mentor though, because I’d kill to see Moore’s depiction of him.
Seeing as how I just lamented that fact that Johnny Blaze isn’t starring in the new Ghost Rider ongoing, I’ll shift gears to the series that WILL be featuring him, Thunderbolts. I’ve only read the first issue of the Marvel NOW series, and it didn’t really grab me. However, with recent writer Charles Soule bringing Ghost Rider to the team, my interest is definitely piqued, as he was a character that I felt should’ve been on the team from the get go. It’ll be interesting to see if Soule acknowledges any of the events that occur in the Blaze-less Ghost Rider book, or if this will be it’s own separate entity from that series. Regardless, it looks like Thunderbolts will be the place for me to get my fix of Johnny Blaze.
Much like past events 52 and Countdown, the upcoming Batman: Eternal will be a weekly series. Unlike those two events, Eternal will focus primarily on; you guessed it, the Batman. Under the watchful eye of Batman scribe Scott Snyder; the series will focus on the other characters that live in Gotham City. Writers James Tynion IV, Tim Seeley, Charles Soule, and John Layman will all be handling different arcs throughout the run, with Detective Comics artist Jason Fabok handling the art. Fabok’s art is absolutely fantastic, and hopefully this pushes him into the upper ranks of comic book artists.
The big news from this release is the announcement of the official return of Stephanie Brown to the DC universe. I’ve never read any of the Batgirl series starring Brown, but she’s got a ridiculously strong following, so I’m glad her fans will finally get to see her again, even if she is appearing in her original costumed garb as Spoiler and not Batgirl.
I’ve always loved the Silver Surfer, but have never been able to read his monthly adventures for very long. However, with the announcement of Dan Slott and Mike Allred taking the Surfer back to the skies, I’m in. From the interviews with Slott, Silver Surfer sounds like a Marvel version of Doctor Who, with the Surfer acquiring a female sidekick who will follow along with him as he soars throughout the skies. Slott’s run on Superior Spider-Man has been phenomenal, and I can’t wait to see what he can do with Norrin Radd. I may be in the minority when it comes to Allred, but I love his old school style, and think it’ll be a great fit for the tone of this series.
Without a doubt, Marvel’s announcement of the Alan Moore/Neil Gaiman reprints of Miracleman was the biggest news of the con for me. Since I’ve started reading comics I’ve heard about the greatness that is Miracleman, but since the books have long been out of print, I never got the chance to read them. Thankfully, Marvel is doing what they should’ve done 4 years ago when they acquired the rights to the character and reprinting these stories. Granted, there was probably a ton of legal tape that Marvel had to clear up to get to this point, but the fact that a new generation of fans (including myself) will get the chance to read this run is very, very exciting.
Also exciting is the fact that the great Neil Gaiman will get the chance to finish his run on the title, which ended abruptly when publisher Eclipse comics went out of business. For Gaiman to finish a title he was working on close to thirty years ago is incredible, and the fact that I can finally read this title is extremely exciting. Here’s hoping that it lives up to the massive hype I’ve built up in my head.
Frank Castle is getting another chance to dish out some good old fashion judgment on scumbags, except this time in a new location. Writer Nathan Edmondson is moving Castle from his familiar stomping grounds of New York City to Los Angeles, a place that Castle believes is hiding the head of all major crime in the Marvel universe. While I haven’t read Who Is Jake Ellis or Dancer, I’ve heard awesome things about Edmondson’s work, and I’m generally intrigued by this take on the Punisher. I completely missed the boat for Greg Rucka’s run, so I’ll be sure to try and get on board this time.
So there you have it, the news that excites me from New York Comic Con. Surprisingly, the few DC announcements that the publisher made left me cold. In fact, I was pretty surprised that DC didn’t have more announcements at the show. Other than the already mentioned Batman: Eternal, the only thing that sticks out in my memory is the announcement that Superboy is going to die, which I think was accidentally spoiled at the Superman panel. Perhaps DC just didn’t have as big of a platform to announce new titles as Marvel did, or they weren’t as bombastic as Marvel was about their announcements. Regardless, there are some pretty cool things coming down the pipeline in the world of comics, and I can’t wait to read these upcoming books.