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SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Elektra #9 - Man, i was all ready to check out on this series; just kinda ride it out for the final few issues without really caring. But i really liked this. First of all: dragon! Second, it's nice to see Jennifer Kale again. She actually seems to be getting a lot of play in more recent books. But a footnote (if applicable?) for her face scarring would really have been appreciated. But the main appeal was Del Mundo's art. He got pretty experiment-y this issue. Loved the heart-shaped scene, and even after that the fight scenes with the Hand were pretty innovative. Very cool.

Ms. Marvel #10 - In many ways this was like a 1970s "relevant" comic, except of course with a Cockatiel-clone Thomas Edison as the bad guy.

By fnord12 | December 22, 2014, 2:06 PM | Comics | Link

Mark Gruenwald interview

Found at The Beat. Interesting both for what Gruenwald has to say (about both the New Universe and his Captain America run) and just to see the man talk. He's got a very reserved, almost shy, demeanor that i didn't expect.

There are some other interesting things in that Beat post as well (it's an odds & sods post). I recommend clicking through to the Johanna Draper Carlson post which shows how a really cute looking Wonder Woman comic has been buried due to some generically awful covers, and also to the "Marvel and the Dangers of Synergy" article on CBR talking about how Marvel's changes due to the movies is hurting their shared universe concept.

By fnord12 | December 17, 2014, 10:53 AM | Comics | Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Thanos vs. Hulk #1 - This is about my speed. I guess i am relegated to being one of those comic collectors that only buys books by former greats from the 70s and 80s. The art is actually sometimes kind of wonky - the opening splash with the grinning Tony Stark and Maria Hill made me cringe - but storywise it's what i would expect from Jim Starlin. I do like that Starlin is playing in the current status quo (e.g. Kid Annihilus, acknowledging Pip the Troll's time with X-Factor) while also using "his" cast of characters (Pip and even Heater Delight). I liked the bit with Hulk and Banner talking together in their subconsciousness too. And, you know, it's called Thanos vs. Hulk so we've definitely got something to look forward to.

New Warriors #12 - I enjoyed this series. As a wrap-up, it did the needful, but it would have been nice to have some more focus on the newer characters, who i fear will go back into obscurity when the next iteration of New Warriors comes along. It's also clear we're not getting the whole story. There's obviously something up with Zuras, and we never did get to see what was up with Maelstrom's Minions. Also, since i know Min won't read the goodbye essay at the end, i'll note that Yost says that cats have nine lives, so Mr. Whiskers may not really be dead.

Superior Foes of Spider-Man #17 - Oh thank god. When i was under the mistaken impression (has it really been almost two months?) that the previous issue was the last, i was definitely confused, but this issue spells everything out for me and ends with a few interesting twists. It also seems to suggest that the entire series may have been a fabrication by Boomerang, or at least he put his own self-serving spin on it, which opens up a lot of leeway regarding continuity concerns.

Just an observation that this week's books are comprised of one 4-issue mini-series and two final issues. Mark Waid is leaving Daredevil and She-Hulk and Elektra are cancelled. I think when the dust settles the only ongoing that we'll be reading is Ms. Marvel.

By fnord12 | December 16, 2014, 10:19 AM | Comics | Link

Variant covers are weird

I was over at friend Bob's place the other day and i was looking through his video game collection and started wondering if they still make video games NOT based on Legos versions of licensed characters. But there's no doubt that the Lego guys are popular and appealing, and Mike Sterling's latest post is another proof point of that. It also proves that a good cover can still be a way to get people to consider picking up a book they weren't otherwise interested in (or didn't know about), contra what you sometimes hear regarding the reasoning behind the switch to generic pin-up covers.

But mainly it just emphasizes the weird nature of variant covers. I sort of understand when comic companies just have artists draw alternate covers that are in some way related to the story or at least series in question. But when you have Lego variants or Deadpool Month variants or even the really cute Skottie Young Baby variants, it's just... weird. It's misleading to the average comic buyer, and i have to wonder what the collectors of these variants think of the 22 pages of extraneous story that is attached to the pin-up that they bought.

Now, let me just say that if variant covers are your thing, that's fine with me and thank you very much for subsidizing my hobby, because without you i think the comic industry as we know it would be out of business already. I just find the whole thing... odd.

By fnord12 | December 11, 2014, 10:07 AM | Comics & Video Games | Link

Event fatigue

Just recording some data and notes for posterity. In The Beat's October sales analysis, Jason Enright nicely lays out the sales number for recent Marvel mega-event first issues:

05/06 Civil War #1 - 260,706 (-43.6%)
04/08 Secret Invasion #1 - 250,213 (-41.2%)
01/10 Siege #1 - 108,484 ( 36.0%)
04/11 Fear Itself #1 - 128,595 ( 14.3%)
03/12 Av vs. X-Men #1 - 203,181 (-27.6%)
03/13 Age of Ultron #1 - 174,952 (-16.0%)
08/13 Infinity #1 - 205,819 (-28.6%)
05/14 Original Sin #1 - 147,045 ( -5.5%)
10/14 AXIS #1 - 138,966

Somewhat related, Tom Brevoort talks about the "Darwinism" behind the events and the question of event fatigue. I agree with Brevoort where he takes issue with the questioner in the sense that just because *i* don't like something doesn't mean it's not doing well. But i wonder how closely sales really reflect their customer's appetite for the next crossover (if that's the idea; in other words, if Age of Ultron getting good buzz meant that more people picked up Infinity whereas AvX NOT being well received meant less people were willing to try Age of Ultron), given the general collector mentality and especially now that books come out so quickly. For example, by issue #4 i knew that i didn't want to read any more Axis, but the way things worked out i've bought at least up to issue #6 ("at least" due to dependencies relating to how our comic dealer's pull list operates). A lot of people who don't like the series will nonetheless buy it all the way through, because that's what comic collectors do. But those people probably won't buy the next event (assuming everything else is equal; we're just talking about "event fatigue" here. I think the new Secret Wars series will definitely sell better than Axis based on the nature of the event.).

Despite that, another thing i'll want to look at at some point by digging through the Beat's Sales Chart archives is the drop-off rates for each crossover. That's probably a somewhat better indication of how well the series was received, whereas first issue sales are really an indication of how well the concept of the event was received and/or how well Marvel's marketing department hyped it.

Personally i skipped the past few events so i wasn't suffering from event fatigue. I also look at the creative teams behind the events (i.e., this was really a Remender Uncanny Avengers story, and Secret Wars is really a continuation of Hickman's Avengers).

It's also worth looking at the dates of the starting points of those events and noticing that they become more and more frequent, and what's also evident from the sales charts is how much more important they are to Marvel's overall numbers. When Axis doesn't sell as well as Infinity, it also means that the tie-in books aren't selling as well.

Again, no major revelations from me on this. Just capturing some notes for myself.

By fnord12 | December 8, 2014, 1:42 PM | Comics | Link

I always wanted them to make a Secret Wars movie...

...but a "Movie In Your Mind" is not what i had in, er, mind.

Image courtesy of (i.e., shamelessly stolen from) Mike Sterling's latest End of Civilization post.

Also, that must be the first time Wolverine has been edited out of an image.

By fnord12 | December 8, 2014, 1:23 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link

Marvel Sales


I'm a little behind on this. Missed it when it came out.

By fnord12 | December 5, 2014, 1:14 PM | Comics | Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

It's been a while and these are a couple weeks old at least. But there are SPOILERS below and Min hasn't read these yet, so i'm putting everything below the fold.

Click to continue.

By fnord12 | December 2, 2014, 2:27 PM | Comics | Comments (4)| Link

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