Home > Uncategorized > 2009, LOOKING FORWARD: The Comics

2009, LOOKING FORWARD: The Comics

Previous Installments
Part 1 – The Movies
Part 2 – The Music

It’s time for the second leg of my series of posts outlining things I’m looking forward to in 2009. Unlike the previous two entries, however, this and the subsequent one will probably lose a lot of folks. Which is fine – I’m a big dork, and I’ve never hidden it. What I will do, as I’ve done with the previous two posts, is hide the majority of it behind a cut so as to prevent those of you who get highly irritated when I write about Comics and MMA from being subjected to my dork-outs.

So, with that out of the way, we turn to comics. 2008 was all about the big event books. Marvel’s “Secret Invasion” wasn’t awful, but didn’t really deliver. The DCU event penned by Grant Morrisson, “Final Crisis,” experienced several delays and quickly became a confusing mess due to DC Editorial being asleep at the wheel and Morrisson’s complete lack of a filter for all the ideas floating up in his crazy-ass brain. The good news is that while these events may have fallen short of the high expectations readers had for them, they at least set up some very interesting storylines and new books for 2009. Well, on the Marvel end anyway.

Don’t worry – we got some exciting stuff not coming from the Big Two as well. Hell, if anything, I think I’m more excited for the indy stuff!

So what’s on tap for 2009? Let’s take a look…


“Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?”

If the title of Gaiman’s two-issue run on Batman looks familiar, that’s because it’s a direct reference to the famous Superman story written by Alan Moore that closed the door on the legacy of the pre-Crisis Superman. The story, which will appear in two parts in both “Batman” and “Detective Comics,” is being portrayed as a bookend for Batman on the heels of Grant Morrisson’s “Batman: RIP” storyline that (allegedly) killed off the Bruce Wayne character. Who knows how long that’ll last? My guess is no more than eighteen months. But if the only thing in the long run to come out of “Batman: R.I.P.” is Neil freaking Gaiman writing freaking Batman, then crazy freaking Grant Morrisson writing that freaking dreck was freaking worth it. Freaking.

Meet your new Director…The Green Goblin.

It was bound to happen since the end of “civil War” – not only has the Registration Act backfired on Tony Stark, the man who championed the initiative, but it’s also put some shady characters in high positions. The end result: Stark is blamed for much of the Skrull invasion and replaced with none other than Norman Osborn, who used the events to position himself as a national hero. Named the new head of the metahuman community, Osborn has already started placing nefarious villains in key government- sponsored hero positions and formed a new supervillain Illuminati that includes Doctor Doom, Namor, The White Queen, and The Hood. The various projects coming forth, including Andy Diggle on “Thunderbolts” and Brian Michael Bendis’ “Dark Avengers,” have myself and other fans buzzing. Even the minor shifts have me through the roof in anticipation; for example, with Bendis picking up two new titles meant he had to drop “Mighty Avengers,” which went to one of my personal favorite writers of comics (nobody makes them more fun than he does), Dan Slott. 2008 was hit and miss in terms of big events like “Secret Invasion,” but if this is any indication, 2009 could be another banner year for the House of Ideas.

New ongoing series from Mark Millar

Mark Millar returns to the Ultimate Universe and the franchise that sparked what were, in my opinion, two of the best mini-series of all time. It’s been mentioned that this book’s going to be a little different than its predecessors, although to what extent hasn’t really been made clear or perhaps even finalized. Even with what little we know it’s hard not to be excited about this project. Other than a couple hiccups, such as his dismal run with “Ultimates” and “Ultimates 2” artist Bryan Hitch on “Fantastic Four” ongoing, 2008 was a good year creatively for Millar with “Marvel 1985,” “Old Man Logan,” and “Kick-Ass” all surpassing expectations. Let’s just hope he doesn’t burn himself out.

Warren Ellis has been doing some interesting stuff over at Avatar, and 2009 will see another title added to his creator-owned resume. “Ignition” is described as possessing the tone and gruffness of “Deadwood” with sci-fi fantasy-adventure, which is a concept that I can imagine very few writers being able to pull off. Luckily, Ellis is one of them.

Alan Moore reunites with artist Kevin O’Neill to bring the third volume of the wonderfully imaginative, deliciously dark, and ridiculously fun concept series that brings together various characters from Victorian literature and places them in outlandish situations as part of a team of adventurers akin to The Avengers or The Justice League. In this volume Moore will expand the concept to cover events spanning (you guessed it) a hundred years. In addition to the returning Allen Quatermain, Mina, and Captain Nemo, we’re also introduced to William Hope Hodgson’s supernatural detective Carnacki and…Mack the Knife. No foolin’. And please, in the comments section? Let’s just skip the part where we mention how awful the film adaptation was. We all know what a mess it was and why. There’s no need to tarnish discussion of the franchise in its proper form with that broken record.

The next big DCU event will be a continuation of sorts of the amazing “Sinestro Corps War” and subsequent chapters currently running their course in both the “Green Lantern” and “Green Lantern Corps” titles. With various spectrums of light building their own Corps in preparation for a prophesized war and The Guardians going further over the line than they ever have before, a new Corps is forming at the far reaches of the Universe – The Black Lanterns. The twist? The Corps will consist of…the dead. I’m sure the way I pitched it, it came across as hokey. But trust me, it’s going to be awesome, and Geoff Johns is going to kick some major ass with it. In fact, he already is with the build-up stories like the current “Rage of the Red Lanterns” storyline.

Sadly, writer Ed Brubaker and artist Sean Phillips are putting “Criminal” on another hiatus after what seemed like a very quick six issues. Its replacement, however, looks to be in keeping with the tone and centers around a super-villain fresh out of prison who’s just itching to re-live his glory days. The preview pages I’ve seen for this have me excited: Phillips pencils are noir-ish and cool as usual, and the tone of “Criminal” seems to be present. SOLD!

Got any comics/graphic novels you’re looking forward to in 2009? Share ’em by clicking on “React!”.

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  1. January 2, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    Neil Gaiman, who is the end-all-be-all to me of writerdom, is going to be the highlight of my comic book experience. Although Morrison’s RIP was convoluted and completely rushed (two things that should never go together), it was entertaining to actually see someone TRY and kill Bruce Wayne, and see who could fill his role. Neil Gaiman coming in to end the story is a dream.

    To be honest, I haven’t really been keeping tabs on Secret Invasion, but now that it seems to be going down WANTED’s road (supervillains are in control) I might have to put on my Marvel drinking shoes.

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