2010 – New Events, New Resolutions, New Headaches

Ah, the new year–though, I understand technically we are not in a new decade, I get it, nerdball–a chance to look ahead, look behind, crack your knuckles, stretch a bit, and go, "Now what?"

I am sure most of us are figuring out ways to improve our lives, whether be getting through school, finding a job, getting a new job, really focusing on that relationship, really getting back into shape–whatever it is, it can all seem pretty daunting.  Thankfully, we have comics to keep us grounded, right?

Well, I hope so. But it certainly seems that this year is going to be all kinds of crazy with a variety of different series and events-that-are-not-events, returns of classic characters, re-imagingings of the same characters and yet more attempts to reconfigure the status quo, which, if we have learned anything, doesn't really mean anything, since the whole point is keeping the status quo in flux so we, the readers, feel compelled to buy more books.

I figured I'd kick off the year with some hopes (and fears) and share with you some comic book resolutions–we'll see at the end of the year what happens!

Returns and Reimaginings

I don't mean to be all lame and contrarian, but I was, frankly, horrified at our first look at Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #1.  I mean..maybe this was just Kubert adding artistic license, but if Bruce really felt the need to rebuild his bat costume ('cuz it ain't a uniform) to deal with a bunch of neandrathals, than the guy is seriously crazy.  I mean, he's wearing a giant bat head.  He killed, skinned, treated and fitted a bat so he could wear it.  I'll just say it–that's really stupid.  Yes, I know it's just comics and this is just fun, blah blah, why am I taking it so seriously…but really, honestly, truly: Bruce Wayne is one of those characters that I feel protective about. There are only a few of characters that I have any kind of personal interest in, but, like, I care about this character.  I care about him looking like an idiot. I think killing him off has worked out great and I have gone on record that I think they are bringing him back to early. And yeah, right–I don't have the buy the books if I am going to be Mr. Snarky Pants, but, like right–I'm not going to buy this book?  No way, of course I am going to buy it, but I wish this wasn't happening until 2011 and I wish it was less about Bruce returning to being the Batman and more about him taking the chance to try something new…especially with Dick wearing the cowl so well.  I don't know; I haven't read the books or anything like that but if I am leery of it, mostly because I just don't believe this cover. I don't believe that Bruce would be so weak as to recreate his Batman persona back during the dawn of man.  We'll see.

The are retellings and there re-imaginings and I have a feeling we're going to be discussing many of these kinds of tales this year. We all know that Geoff Johns has been kind of the go-to guy for DC when it comes to re-jiggering the origin tales for classic DC tales, and while at first I was pretty skeptical, I have come to relax a bit and not freak out about it. What do I mean? Well–it's really Superman: Secret Origin that I was nervous about. When I was a kid, I had a storybook record where Superman hung out with this kid and basically shared with him his story, which I always thought was pretty much set in stone. I was just nervous that these new issues would get rid of everything and reset story elements to make them more relatable to new readers. What Johns is doing, of course, is taking the architecture of the origin story and redecorating it, celebrating the core concepts while polishing up and modernizing key stories that in turn allow us to see different sides of the core characters. (One great example of this is having the Daily Planet being a run-down, struggling newspaper as opposed to the gleaming paragon of the free press it used to be–it's just more compelling because it puts the characters in a different, more challenging situation.)

Anyway, that was serious digression–what I meant to be discussing is my honest interest in what Brian Azzarello and Rags Morales is going to be doing with First Wave–which, now that I think about it, is just DC's response to Marvel's Noir series.  (Hmm…take out that paragraph about First Wave being game changing and original, I guess.) Is DC getting into the noir/pulp game a bit too late? We'll see how it goes–we saw Paul Pope kind of do this with Batman Year 100, where Batman was much more a bare knuckled crimefighter ala Daredevil rather than one who relied so heavily on technology.  Who knows–but I think it could be interesting and am, honestly, surprised that DC is showing only giving it 6 issues; I think it shows some restraint (and perhaps they are hedging their bets a bit)…but honestly, what's the hesitation with bring back the Elseworlds branding? 

Next Chapters

I guess there is no real way to follow up an event without another event. Or non event. Or, well, just some banner and loose references to other comics..who knows? I am zonked from it, I admit, and am willing to say that I may be completely out of the loop when it comes to Seige, Marvel's followup to just about everything that has happened over the past few years. An event that was apparently seven years in the making, Siege is…well…it's uhm, what–an event mashup? Civil War II?  Certainly feels that way…with Volstaff pulling a Stamford in a crowded stadium, which results in Ares leading an assualt on Asgard. I assume all this will end with Osborne either thrown in jail or killed or Loki doing something that irritates people…maybe Loki…Doom…Namor…

Jeez, honestly? I can't care. I physically can't do it.  Marvel's exhausted me with all of this. I never want to look at another panel with Norman Osborne in it again (it looks like Spidey feels the same way, click the image to the right!). I think Marvel has written themselves into a deep hole and the books…it's like a big shrug.  We'll see how it plays, but I can tell one thing: I am only going to be buying checking out the main Seige book and that's it, and that's only because I feel l need to to have any kind of credibility with th e iFanbase.

On the flip side; I have to hand it to DC.  Whereas Brightest Day could have just been a seven issue series covering the aftermath of Blackest Night, they are definitely trying something new–though I wonder why Blackest Night gets the recovery series; there were a lot of other events (*cough* Amazons Attack!) that could have used some kind of followup. I think it is very cool that DC is using this followup as a story telling platform, with the 26 bi-weekly issues–it's at least different, you know?  If I would like it even more if the issues were priced at $1.99–that would brighten my day plenty–but I have been pleased with Blackest Night enough that I trust DC to followthrough with this. 

Lofty Resolutions

In addition to really thinking about where the meat I eat comes from and ordering a garden salad instead of fries at least 75% of the time, I have been thinking a bit about what I want to do in terms of comics this year. It basically boils down to a few things:

1 – If it's a limited series, unless it's super awesome and cool, I am going to wait fo the trade. It's just better. Given the delays that seem to always be a factor in limited series and the fact that most of the time they read better in trade anyway, I am going to make a concerted effort to get the trade. I might be missing out on a few things, but I really don't mind that much.

2 – Actually read some of those Absolute editions I've purchased. I admit it, I've ordered a few Absolute Editions, paged through them, stuck them on my trades shelf, and never really opened them again. A lot of energy and work went into making these editions something special and I need to enjoy them. I am also basically going to stop buying Absolutes until I am Absolutely sure I need them. Like, right now…well, that's another article, but right now, I just don't know what I am going to do with them in 30-50 years, you know? (Okay, that sentence was ridiculous, but, I mean..eh, forget it, we'll discuss this later.)

3 – Treat all tie-ins with intense skepticism.  Seriously, many of the tie-ins for these books have of middling interest at best, and have not really resonated with me. Dunno. What do you guys think about them?  I think the Blackest Night ones were pretty good–I liked Deadman helping out Batman and Robin, that was cool, but otherwise…

4 – I really need to give the animated movies their due. I need to at least Netflix them and see how they are. I just hate the choppy animation and, well…just sort of "flat" feeling that the animated movies have.

There are other things–I want to do a manga article, and dive deep into some European and other kinds of books–but those are the ones that stick in my craw.  How about you? Anything you are absolutely resolved to do? Are you ready for your Final Resolution Crisis?

So that's it for this week! Oh you might have noticed that I am publishing this on Thursday now, which will be my new day for the time being, now that Sonia's no longer on staff…I may move back to Wednesday eventually but right now, this is my day!

Have a great weekend!

Mike Romo is an actor in Los Angeles and really means it this time. You can send him email, and he keeps his twitter spicy.


  1. I have to agree with you on all accounts. I’m trade waiting minis from now on. I’m sick of Marvel/Dark Reign/Siege. I just cut my pull list down to the bare essentials. I’ll pick up anything else in trade down the line if I hear it’s good.

    I’m also really excited for First Wave. I don’t think DC is doing a good job of hyping it up, considering they’ve revealed next to nothing ever since that Batman/Doc Savage Special back in November. It is only a mini, yes, but it’s launching two new ongoings set in the same universe. While similar in some regards to Marvel’s noir line, it looks poised to be much longer lasting and farther reaching. I hope it does really well, and I’m waiting in anticipation.

  2. I need to read more european books as well i really do

  3. Couldn’t agree with you more re: Siege/Marvel crossovers. I dropped out of it with Secret Invasion and haven’t looked back. I’m also of the same mindset when it comes to limited series.

    My resolution is to apply more of my monthly single issue budget to trying out new creator-owned and/or indie books, and to decrease my intake of books from DC/Marvel. Of course, I’ll still be getting a few books from each company, but I’m going to try to resist the temptation to "stay current" with each universe. It’s just too expensive for me. That being said, I’m on the fence with Brightest Day…my decision to read it or not will largely depend on how much they’re going to charge per issue.

  4. I’m finding myself in the minority from all the Norman Osbourne hate.  I would love for him to remain in charge for another year or two so his presence wouldn’t have to be so forced onto other titles.  It would be much more affective if it was just the status quo and not an interesting aspect of the Marvel U that needs to be focused on. 

    I don’t think it’s a bad thing that Marvel goes The Event route every year but it would help if they stopped calling them Events.  Structurally comics have a lot to gain as a medium if they organize themselves more into "seasons" like TV does. 

  5. 100 percent on the tie-ins. I’m liking the BN ones for thrill factor, but they were nothing like the great projects during Final Crisis. I’m really looking forward to War of the Supermen, but I’m only going to go for the core chapters.

  6. Bruce Wayne might be returning this year, but if you look at the schedule of things…he’s not going to be even in a position to get back under the cowl until 2011. Morrison has another year’s worth of stories with Dick under the cowl. He’s been on record saying this. And the mini-series of Bruce journeying through time–that’s six issues, which means it won’t end until like November 2010. In other words, Bruce won’t be back in current continuity until the END of the year.

    You’re protective about Bruce Wayne looking stupid? Uh, the Batman costume in modern times–that looks way stupider than wearing fur looked in ancient times. Jeez Louise, man. Cavemen killed animals and wore them. That was what they did for, uh, clothes. Because it was cold? And that’s what Bruce apparently did–only, appropriately, he killed a giant bat. How that’s "weakness" is lost on me. I don’t understand how Bruce Wayne being Batman is "weakness".

    All of this is mostly just ignorance on the part of the reader. People who THINK they’re huge fans of Batman (but only started liking the character in the ’80s), they call foul whenever a ’60s concept like Bat-Mite is used. They don’t realize the character actually has a lot of different sides to him. There have already been things like Space Batman, Pirate Batman, etc. Morrison is just doing another take on that stuff, but people who don’t know their history get up in arms and think it’s something totally inappropriate and out of left field.

    Heck, I don’t even LIKE the idea of Caveman Batman, but I actually know the history of the character enough to realize that it isn’t a violation of Bruce Wayne’s character to show him like that.

  7. My most important resolution is to read more Indy comics. Not just Vertigo, Image, or the big indy guys. I mean Indy ‘Indy’. Like recently with Eric Powell’s Chimichanga, which was a great read and I’m gald to have found it.

    Agreed on the Batman stuff Mike; it is a bit insane to realize Bruce actually took the time to make himself fit it with the timeframe. He got crazy real quick.

  8. Thank you for voicing an opinion that I was afraid to utter about the Batman series. I’m sure it’ll be a rollicking fun time, but I’ll be staying away.

    Superman Secret Origins was my favorite surprise of last year and one of the few DC titles I’m still picking up.

    For some reason I don’t have event fatigue over the Seige. Seeing Soldier Field blown up was cathartic for a suffering Bears fan this season.

    My resolution this year (I just decided) is to read more books, and maybe a few less comics. 

  9. A weekly aftermath series is something new? 52, aka the best superhero comics of the OOs, anyone?

  10. hey guys!


    Great comments–as far as 52…totally, you are totally right–it was the weekly aftermath to Infinite Crisis. 52 was so strong on its own that I actually forgot it was a followup! So I sit corrected.  

    flapjaxx opens up an interesting question–what does it mean to be a fan? Like, I KNOW I am a huge fan of Batman,  but I readily admit that I haven’t read through all the old stuff. I don’t think that makes me any less of a fan, just maybe one that loves the character and has yet to gather a more complete knowledge of the character. 

    Maybe the idea of being "weak" was too strong–maybe Bruce needs the costume to maintain a sense of continuity in his life, something to keep him going; we’ll have to see.  But just on the face of it, the cover just rubbed me the wrong way.

  11. I thought the Batman cover looked great!  Bring it on!  But I grew up with Batman reprints from the 50’s so I don’t have the aversion to Batman being lighter… in fact I think I welcome it.

  12. I was laughing as I read about essentials cuz I do the same! My reading time is so tight and essentials are such a time commitment that they are also falling further down my list!

  13. My resolution would be to only buy really good books and drop those that Im not enjoying that much, because lets face it, most of us at some point kept buying a book that we werent enjoying just so that we could know what happened next.

  14. I’m going to try really hard this year to not buy new trades/HC until I finish the ones in my stacks (that’s right, you read it correctly…stacks).  I just have too much stuff piling up, and I need to knock it off.  Or, at least that’s what my wife says.

  15. @mike: I want to believe that Bruce killed and skinned a giant bat creature to actually have clothing and stay warm. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.  I think I’m with you about going to trades for miniseries.  I try to do that already but it’s hard when everyone is talking about great comics.  I can’t wait for you to do a manga article.  What kind of manga do you read? Great article, keep it up.

  16. I pledge to not spend over $100 a month or $1200 total for the year on comics.

    I pledge to read more European and Asian books.

    I pledge to get through my enormous backlog.

    I pledge to complete the trade sets that I’ve already started.