Monday, July 16, 2012
SDCC: Home-Con 2012 or "I want my Marvel NOW! now"
San Diego Comic-Con 2012 has come and gone with not a single Marvel NOW! announcement to be found. Disappointing. But it... makes... sense in a way? I guess? SDCC has become so much less about comics and more about movies (and video games and things people actually still spend money on). The only big DC Comics announcments were Neil Gaiman's return to Sandman (major crossover appeal) and Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained comic (movie dude does comic of his movie). Oh... and the confirmation that Stephanie Brown is in fact being replaced by Barbara Gordon in the Smallville comic. Because she's "more iconic." (STILL GONNA CALL HER NIGHTWING, THOUGH) Also they hate us.
The only company that seemed to have anything to say about comics was Image (and, I guess Legendary... which is a comic publisher founded by a movie studio). Being on their home turf in southern California, it makes sense for Image to want to make some waves (not a surfing reference, sorry). They definitely turned my head by announcing a lot of high-profile creators creating new books for the company... and strangely, most of them are folks you'd normally associate with Marvel, these days. Greg Rucka and Michael Lark reteaming on Lazarus (billed as Godfather meets Children of Men), Matt Fraction and Howard Chaykin teaming up to tackle some controversial topics, and my personal favorite, a spaghetti western from Kelly Sue Deconnick and Emma Rios. All this plus two new books from Joe Casey, a new series by James Robinson and J. Bone, and new stuff from Chris Roberson and Derick Robertson. That's a good chunk of comics from some great creators AND they're all brand new concepts/characters to boot.
The best Marvel had to offer, comic-wise, were a handful of AvX follow-ups, details on "Minimum Carnage," the breaking of my heart with Punisher: War Zone being Rucka's last run with the character, and a Marvel NOW! Point One, which appears to do much what the last Point One one-shot did, setting up new creative teams and status quos (it was a big part of kicking off AvX). The most light shed on Marvel NOW!'s behalf was the creators behind the Point One book,which could give an idea of who to look for on books in the line: Bendis, Fraction, Loeb, Spencer, Gillen, Hopeless, McNiven, Allred, McGuinness, McKelvie, and Larroca. There seemed to be heavy hinting that, much like the last Point One book, this one would include another Nova story by Loeb and McGuinness. (I'd be terribly happy if this lead to a series/mini by the team)
Now, to be fair, I'll be buying all of these books they announced (minus the Minimum Carnage event and probably Red She-Hulk). I'm all about Kieron Gillen doing an AvX: Consequences book. I'm all over Jeph Loeb and Dan Slott doing A Plus X Avengers/X-Men hugfest/makeout session. Then there's AvX Babies by Skottie Young and Gurihiru which appears to be a book created only for me. What I was really, really hoping we'd see, though, were more announcements/clues regarding Marvel NOW!. Aside from the Point One book and the list of creators contributing to that, we really don't have anything new to go on. Now, I suppose being only halfway through AvX, Marvel should want to keep the focus on that and these new follow-ups but... the timing of the initial Marvel NOW! announcement seemed like it was to prime the pump for further reveals and excitement at SDCC. But then... SDCC isn't really a con about comics anymore, is it? Not primarily. Not in the way it used to be. It's still a great event for comic fans, certainly, but it's not the same the for publishers. All the biggest announcements of the year used to come out of SDCC. Now I'm hearing that the Marvel NOW! news might be held back for New York Comic-Con in October. It makes sense, considering it's still a new-ish con that holds a bigger spotlight on publishers, taking place on the home turf for DC and Marvel, and hasn't been around long enough to become completely taken over by TV and Movies. NYCC and C2E2 appear to be where the real comics news happens anymore. It used to be SDCC and Wizard World Chicago. (the latter is now but a ghost of its former self) This is... This is fine, I guess, right? It's just the changing landscape of things. I think the timing of things and the history of SDCC easily led to a lot of anticipation and expectations for things, particularly from Marvel pubishing, that it just really wasn't the time or place for. They got some huge attention for Marvel Films (again, a home-turf announcement for that branch) and nice things from Image and the like. I guess the Fangirl in me was hoping for just a little bit more but I can choke it down and be patient for a couple more months to see just what else will come out of this mishmashy world that Marvel NOW! is teasing us with.