Convention Announcements That Are Going To Keep Me Running

Enthusiasm is a fickle mistress. When she is rolling with you it seems like the sun shines brighter, food tastes better, and comics look cooler. She can turn on you though. You can get stuck at the airport for a long time and she takes off on you. She says she is going to go grab some ice cream but she never comes back. Then it is just you, in the same clothes as yesterday, being told your luggage got to your destination before you. In these moments I am grateful for convention season. Convention season provides comic book news that allows me to muster up enthusiasm again. Even if my luggage has disappeared, at least Grant Morrison is going to keep writing Batman. Here is the news that has got me excited.

Grant Morrison continuing to work in the Batman universe.

It was announced that Morrison will be working on a new title called Batman, Inc. It will feature Batman working with a surprising and perhaps rotating supporting cast. Morrison’s continued involvement in the Batman universe guarantees that I will be buying more Batman. Characters like Batman and Spider-Man have an ongoing conundrum in their comic book realms. Their popularity means that there are plenty of different books about these characters. Fandom’s attraction to continuity means that even though there are always multiple Batman books, they all HAVE to be the same Batman…more or less. We have out of continuity books but they are the oddballs. They are the ones that DON’T COUNT. Homogeneous Batman reigns supreme.

I like the Batman who has strange adventures. Bat-mite is pretty cool to me. Batman shooting Darkseid was one of the best Batman moments I have ever read.  I have the tendency to embrace the wide scope of shared universes. I know others dig the street level, detective Batman. Comics are better when we can get both of them. Morrison’s Batman work has had it’s ups and downs, but he has taken it places I wouldn’t have expected. For a character as well tread as Batman, that is a treat.

Ivan Reis working on a Sinestro: Secret Origins

Sinestro is a fantastic villain. The best villains are the flip side of the hero’s coin. Sinestro is not all that different from Hal Jordan, but the differences are perfect fuel for driving stories. Hal is a man without fear. This gets him into trouble just as often as it saves the day. He is like your friend who is so confident that it carries him through any situation. On the rare occasion that they fail they really fail. There are no safety rails for someone who thinks that way. It is a stupid way to approach life. Everyone should fear something. Thankfully we are talking about a world of superheros so it works out for him most of the time…and is fun to read.

Sinestro is complicated. He doesn’t trust the Guardians. The Guardians certainly haven’t done much to prove Sinestro wrong. Sinestro started down his path by believing that only through his own power can peace be guaranteed. His afraid to have faith in anything besides himself. Sinestro is evil, but the choices he has made aren’t hard to understand. He strikes me as Hal Jordan put through the ringers of reality. Someone who can’t just shut out the fear of what might happen if he isn’t in control. Hal’s fearlessness mean he will throw himself in the way of harm to help people. Sinestro thinks that causing harm is the only way to save the universe.

Having a series that is going to explore the origins of Sinestro should be tremendous fun. Having an artist who is able to capture Sinestro’s power and ego with their line is a must. Ivan Reis has proven over time that he can definitely handle the acting that is needed in a Green Lantern story. If I gush any more than this I am going to get a ring from whatever corps handles excitement.

Jeff Parker and Gabriel Hardman taking over The Hulk.

The Hulk is a visual treat. Artists can go bonkers. He smashes. He jumps. He throws things. A dynamo of wreckage and action. Now make that the Red Hulk and everything goes up to eleven. A well drawn Hulk story is a thing of beauty. Now an artist who is a personal favorite of mine is going to get a crack at him. I loved Hardman’s work on Heathentown and ATLAS. He can create atmosphere with the best of them, and he has a looseness that will fit the Hulk, regardless of color.

Paired with Hardman will be Jeff Parker. Parker is quickly becoming my favorite Marvel universe writer. He has a way of giving each character a unique voice and a unique set of motivations. He puts enough of the Marvel Universe into the mix that just about anything you can think of might just pop up. He regularly writes a dragon with nefarious plans, and it doesn’t seem all that weird.

To see the true power of these two creators simply look at their work on the M-11 robot from the Agents of Atlas. A killer robot who doesn’t speak, yet I feel like he does have some sort of character. He throw himself into the line of fire for friends. He seems to have his own motives. All done with plot and art. The magic of comics.

DC releasing Flash: Speed Force.

I couldn’t let this go by without comment. Another Flash book is always welcome. It has been a rough couple years for Flash fans. There was the Bart Allen as Flash disaster. Then Wally’s less then stellar return. Then nothing. Now we have a solid Flash book. Seems like the right time to start giving the whole Flashverse its chance to shine. A new Flash series entitled Flash: Speed Force will be hitting  the stands in 2011. It will feature Wally, Jay, Jesse Quick, Bart, XS, Impulse and probably just about any speedster you can think of.

My attraction to the DC universe comes from its legacy aspect. As a kid, I was intrigued and not confused when I found out there were three Flashes. I wanted to know about all of them. It was a subtle shift in my mind of what I thought of superheroes. I always intertwined the costume and the character wearing the costume. There was no difference. Knowing that the Flash was a job that had been passed down through the years completely blew my young mind. It suddenly seemed like a family business. That made it seem real to my young mind.

Any chance to play out that legacy aspect excites me. I hope this book is as successful and interesting as Green Lantern Corps has been. This is a chance to give the Flash the Green Lantern treatment. Build up his friends and foes. Let readers know how important the Flash is.

Rocket Raccoon and Groot get a miniseries.

This announcement shows that occasionally the big companies still throw caution to the wind. You could be cynical and say that Marvel is just protecting it’s intellectual property. Or if you want to drop the cynicism; maybe the powers at be just like the characters.

It is a talking raccoon who is an explosives expert and a sentient tree of royal lineage. It sounds like the mad results of Tolkien after spending the day reading OHOTMU. The fact that these two are going to get their own miniseries warms the heart of this comic book fan. It is easy to forget that even the big guys can love the insanity of comic books.

That is the fun of convention season. In the mess of movie stars and options, some real comic stuff gets done. As a fan it gets me excited. That in and of itself is amazing when I have been wearing the same underwear for two days.


Tom Katers has fresh clothes on. Literally. They don't smell like airport.


  1. Have to say I’m still psyched about the Rocket Raccoon & Groot mini. And a little about Kieron Gillen on Generation Hope, too.

    Aside from that, though, nothing from Marvel’s SDCC announcement pleased me. I’m not really interested in the original 3 Avengers, or in Red Hulk. Not Jeff parker’s biggest fan either. I never thought Atlas was any good in any of its forms, and yet I truied to like them. Bought most of them…

    It was a bit of a let down to see my publisher of choice so monofocussed towards characters for their movie franchises while almost all of their periphery titles have either been cancelled over the past year and a half,  or are teetering pretty close to the brink right now.

  2. I’m excited about all the same stuff.  I’m also with you on Parker being my near favorite Marvel writer right now, with the exception being Abnett & Lanning who are writing the Rocket Racoon and Groot mini.  Of course, now that I’ve said that I’m thinking of a couple other guys but they’re ending up on projects I’m not as interested in.

  3. Sinestro Origins, Flash Speed Force, and Spider-man Big Time are the big comic announcements for me. Sinestro is my favorite character in the GL titles and Ive been dying for Johns to launch a companion flash book since Rebirth. Johns greatest strength is building a character’s universe and showing how each character is important and special to that Universe. Each GL and each Flash has value as a character and now Johns will be able to delve into the rest of the flash family. Spider-man Big Time has me excited because I can’t wait to see the new suits and gadgets Slott promised to introduce into the series. 

  4. Awesome stuff!  I’ve never bought a Hulk book, but Parker and Hardman make it hard to resist. 

  5. I’m incredibly excited for both Sinestro: Secret Origin and The Flash: Speed Force.

  6. that raccoon pic is freaking me out