The Top Five Announcements at New York Comic Con 2009

We meet a lot of people at conventions, both on the floor and at parties. Invariably, one of the first two or three questions we are asked is some variation of “Been to any good panels?” It’s the “What’s your major?” of comic cons. Our answer is always the same: we don’t really get to go to panels because shooting the show takes up our entire time at a convention. As a result, if we’re actually at the con, we usually don’t hear about any announcements until much later when we are able to check the internet. Or if someone tells us.

This year was slightly different as I was laid up in my apartment until Saturday night with one of the worst cases of the flu I’ve ever had and as a result whenever I talked to the guys I would update them on the latest goings on at the convention as reported by the comics news services. (I was like Oracle!) Hopefully the used that information to their interview advantage. I’ll find out when you do!

So out of all of the announcements made at New York Comic Con, which ones got my blood pumping?  Here’s my Top Five:

1) Greg Rucka on Detective Comics (starring Batwoman) for at least 12 issues.
Finally! When Batwoman debuted with much fanfare (Ohmygod she’s a lesbian!  It was on CNN!) in the pages of 52 big things were expected out of her. Or, at least, something… anything was expected out of her. Except for a few token appearances here and there she practically disappeared? Did the big media conglomerate get cold feet about a Batbook staring a lesbian (again, CNN)? The world may never know. But now she’s finally going to step into the forefront and get her own book for a while, and the big dog book at that. Not only that, but Greg Rucka, one of the architects of the last Batbook golden age is returning to Gotham with his trademark strong, tough female protagonist skills in toe, no doubt. Oh, and the art is going to be courtesy of J.H. Williams III (hopefully!). This announcement made me ooooOOOOooooh with delight.


2) David LaFuente replaces Stuart Immonen on Ultimate (Comics) Spider-Man, Vol. 2.
I’m as a big a fan of Stuart Immonen’s art on Ultimate Spider-Man as anyone. His work as totally revitalized that book and gave it a shot of energy that, while not sorely needed, was definitely appreciated. I can’t say a bad word about it (except for Peter’s silly big hair). But there’s just something about LaFuente’s art that hits me where I live. Perhaps it’s his breathtaking action sequences that we raved so much about in Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #3. Maybe it’s the European sensibility that makes his work stand out so much from his American contemporaries. Either way, this is exciting news. Plus, Stuart Immonen is moving over to one of my favorite books, The New Avengers, and honestly he can’t come fast enough.


3) Sleeper is being collected in Omnibus format.
One of the best things that Ed Brubaker has ever written has been somewhat buried by DC as of late but now that the film adaptation is being fast tracked by Tom Cruise they are bringing this one back to print in a big way. And yes, big is a pun. Yes, it’s one of those nights. The oversized Omnibus style format should serve Sean Phillips’ art quite nicely. So if you’ve been hearing about this great Wildstorm series — or if you’re a fan of Criminal or Incognito — and haven’t been able to find all these volumes (some of them went of print) you’ll get your chance soon. I have the original four trades, but I’m thinking that I’ll probably splurge for the single Omnibus volume. Sleeper is that good.


4) Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting on The Marvels Project.
Ever since he started peppering Captain America with Invaders flashbacks I have longed for a Brubaker-penned Invaders series. And now we’re getting it… sort of. The Marvels Project is an 8 issue mini-series that chronicles the beginnings of the Marvel Universe — from The Great Depression to Pearl Harbor and the formation of The Invaders, and it deals, primarily, with Captain America, Namor and The Human Torch. And if anyone heard a girlish squeal shortly after I first read this news, um, that totally wasn’t me. Honestly, it’s possible that Brubaker is writing this book just for Josh and I. And for that I thank him.


5) Jonathan Hickman and Dale Eaglesham on Fantastic Four.
For my money, the most intriguing news to come out of New York Comic Con 2009 was the new Fantastic Four creative team. This announcement actually stopped Josh and Ron in their tracks when I relayed it to them over the phone. These are two guys we’re huge fans of and the idea of Hickman’s crazy, detail oriented science-infused writing and his intricate charts and graphs as applied to Reed Richards is almost too much to fathom. All I know is that there better be a two page spread of all transcript-style dialogue at at least one point during his run or I will be disappointed. Eaglesham is someone whose art we’ve come to love during his time on Justice Society of America and pairing him with Hickman on Marvel’s first family is a stroke of genius. If you had asked me, I would have thought that finding a formidable follow-up team to Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch would have been way to difficult, but I think they’ve done it.

There were many more announcements at New York Comic Con 2009 this past weekend but those were  the five that set my mindgrapes a-fire!



  1. I was estaic for the Marvels project.  If they had givein it to anyone but those two I’d have been crushed.

  2. I’m glad for this recap – I think I missed at half of your favorites, and one of those is easily the best news I’ve heard yet: Sleeper is being recollected? Hot dog! I’ve held off buying Sleeper because of that hope (and plus I could find vol 1 and 3, but 4 was selling on Amazon for like $50). In the span of a few months I find I’ve morphed into a Brubaker fanboy, because I was also unexpectedly jazzed to hear of the new Marvels Project, too.

  3. #1, #3, and #5 are very exciting.

  4. I was just reading Hellcat last night and thinking about how quickly I have fallen in love with LaFuente’s pencils. That art transition will be great… but… man. The hints they are dropping about the direction the writing is taking on Ultimate Spider-Man just fills me with dread. Like when Alias became The Pulse, actually.

  5. Dude, I am stoked for all of these too. 

  6. Very excited about all of these.  And Pet Avengers, which sounds like a lot of fun.  

  7. Great stuff, Connor (especially #5), but I’m with Paul… Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers looks friggin’ fantastic!

  8. LaFuente draws faces TERRIBLY!  Seriously, his Peter and MJ look like crap.  Sure his Spider-Man and action look great.  But look at the people!  (Check Ron’s preview)  Horrible hair, fat faces.  The eyebrows, noses.  From king Bagley, to Immonen, to this?!?!  This is the best they could put on Ultimate Spider-Man?  Why not John Romita Jr?  Anyone else really!

     Also, the Marvles Project will be boring.  Remember my words.

    Though I’m excited for Fantastic Four.  Hope it’s as great as it is currently.

  9. I was so busy running around at the con that I missed pretty much all of the announcements when they happened (except the Bru/Epting Marvel Origins thing, which looks awesome).  And somehow I didn’t even register what the Detective preview in the program meant.  So when I was in a panel where Jann Jones mentioned that Rucka would be writing Kate Kane as the new protagonist of "Detective," I might have made a less-than-dignified noise of glee.  I have Batwoman & Question mini-mates on my desk at work.  Actually having a comic to go with them (well, I’m hoping for the Question part, anyway) will be a treat.  Definitely my top announcement as well, though I’m excited for all of these.

  10. looking forward to reading sleeper, I’ve been meaning to, and the Marvels project looks great

  11. "I was like Oracle!"

    Man, you are funny.  

  12. Sleeper is excellent news.  I was only able to track down the first two trades but I ate that shit up.  Can’t wait to finally be able to read the rest of that story.

    And I was all set to drop FF after Millar’s run but who should be named to take over but Mr. Hickman!  That should be fun.  I love how Reed looks so beefy in that picture 🙂

    Good stuff.  But what do you think about the Spider-Woman news with Bendis and Maleev?  I have no faith in motion comics, but of course Marvel is really trying to hype this.  Maybe it’ll be good??

  13. Thoughts on:

    #1: (Snores) Oh I’m sorry, I didnt realise Batwoman was suddenly the greatest character ever. Maybe if they focused on her more other then in 52 then I would’ve been excited with this annoucement. But A) I could give two craps about the character and B) I dropped Detective at my LCS immediately when I heard the news. Sorry, Rucka is a great writer but again I could care less about Batwoman.

    #2: Not a bad choice, hell the Annual #3 By LaFaunte was gorgeous. Too bad on my sabbatical on all things Bendis. Otherwise I would’ve cared more.

    #3: Meh, I’ll give it a shot

    #4: Yes! Yes! I love it! I’ve been saying it in my reviews for Cap two straight issues I would love to see Brubaker on the Invaders somehow. Although it’s technically not about the group itself, I want to see this flashback mini work in the worst way. Maybe afterwords Brubaker can do an Invaders ongoing title.

    #5: Before anyone keeps saying ‘omg this is amazing!’ Remember, this is a Dark Reign 5 issue mini that Hickman is doing. Not the actual FF series that Millar is working on right now. But hey this is great news, I’ll give it a shot when it comes out. But I still would prefer Abnett and Lanning do to the FF in some capacity in the future.

  14. @TNC — No, it’s not the Dark Reign mini. He’s taking over the actual title. That’s in addition to the Dark Reign Mini.

    Also: it’s not the Batwoman character that’s exciting, but the fact that she’s in the hands of Greg Rucka and JH fuggin’ Williams. That’s a top-notch creative team right there.

  15. I did not enjoy the Millar/Hitch run on the Fantastic Four, and I am very excited to know that things are going to be changing. I want to be able to read and really enjoy the Fantastic Four again.

  16. @daccampo: Oh okay you guys are right (Did I just type that?). All the sites, except for newsarama, stated it was just the Dark Reign minin Hickman was doing. If that is the case then…….I mean does anyone want to see AnL on FF? Cause I think that is a much better choice. But then again they are probably busier then ever now with War of Kings coming up….so I guess Hickman is a decent choice.

    I’m sorry it’s just the same vein with Nightwing/Flamebird replacing Sups on Action Comics (Ironically Rucka is taking over on that too). I just dont care about the characters, I just dont wanna spend money on something I am not interested in. I’m not saying Rucka isnt/going to make Detective Comics great with Batwoman. It’s just that overall I couldnt care less about Batwoman. If anything, I would love to see The Question take over Detective…..But that’s just my opinion.

  17. Great news about the Invaders project, sounds great, i love cap in WW2, the best part of the ultimates was the opening scene with Cap. Also, hopefully the Question will appear in the Rucka run. Plus, Abnett and Lanning should so do FF, that would be sweet.  

  18. @TNC – Here’s the flaw in your argument.  You say you don’t care about Batwoman because she hasn’t made much of an appearance outside of 52.  Then you criticize her inclusion in Detective Comics. If you wanted a chance to learn more about the character and possibly care about her, it’s right here.  Drop the book if you want, but the full argument doesn’t really add up.  

  19. You know who I didn’t care about before Greg Rucka took over?

    Renee Montoya, Crispus Allen, Tara Chace, Paul Crocker, Carrie Stetko, Sasha Bordeaux, or anyone involved with Checkmate, or any of dozens of other characters he made interesting, simply by writing them.  Sure if you’re not a Rucka fan, why would you care?  

    Me, to be honest, I’m not an FF fan.  Never have been.  I like Hickman and Eaglesham sure, but I could take it or leave it on Fantastic Four.  But you bet your ass I’m gonna give it a shot.

  20. @Paul and Josh: Touche.

    Well I still stand by I dont want to read this in the first place. If I hear good things about it when he starts on Dectective then I’ll pick it up again. But I still stand by I just dont care about the character. I should’ve been clearer in my first post; I didnt care about her when she was in 52 either. I mean didnt you guys complain she has been a non-factor since 52? Or during 52 she was only in it for like 5 issues? So yeah with little character development like that, why would I care about this annoucement?

    Plus I am willing to give Hickman a try….I just dont think he was the perfect choice.

  21. These are exciting announcements, indeed! Even though I don’t know Hickman’s work that well, it sounds like he’s got the chops for continuing the kind of high-concept work Millar has been doing on FF. Eaglesham on art sounds brilliant. These are some very interesting pairings. I’ll be sad to see Immonen leave USM, but glad to still see his work.

    BTW Conor, way to make an unspoken dig at Billy Tan. 

  22. We showed this off at NYCC and I have to admit I thin it’s pretty darn cool:


  23. The three that really excite me:

    Sleeper Omnibus. Sleeper is fantastic, and it is actually more relevant to Incognito than Criminal is. The crappy copies of Sleeper in the college library at the University where I work are really not sufficient to the quality of the work.

    The Marvels Project. As good as Sean Phillips is, Brubaker’s chemistry with Epting may even be better. The subject matter just sounds so good, and it has been under-exploited in the Marvel U.

    FF. I must admit that I am not the greatest FF fan in the world. That said, I think that Millar’s FF has reinvigorated my love for that team. Hickman, and especially Eaglesham, could really make an FF maxi take off. One thing that I would like to see happen is a re-integration of the FF with the Marvel cosmic universe, which has really been taking off with books like Guardians of the Galaxy and Nova.

  24. Sounds like I"m definitely in the minority in being just a little wary of Hickman’s FF. See, I LOVE Hickman’s design work, and I really like his high concepts. But I’m not loving his stories. I’ve really had to force myself to finish the last couple things he’s done. He’s not buy-on-sight for me at this point.

    Now, Secret Warriors, in its first issue, didn’t appear to fall into that trap. it had some decent character work and dialogue. So I’m hoping that he’s kinda working out some of this as he starts doing more mainstream stuff. That one’s definitely wait-and-see for me.

  25. Does anyone know what date the sleeper omnibus will be coming out?

  26. @Josh   Hear, hear!  Personally, I think the fact that Kate is a character Greg essentially created, and has written most of the canon for, is a huge advantage.  He’s going to be able to build her from the ground up.  And while some writers are better at working with pre-established characters, Rucka has shown again and again that he can take new characters, or background ones who barely existed before, and make them his own.

    Also, on a shallow note, awesomest heroine costume *ever*.  (On Batwoman.  Not Rucka).

  27. Usually, Con announcements don’t get me all excited, but these are definitely awesome things to look foward to.  Can’t wait.

  28. Super stoked about the FF. Eaglesham’s drawing of Reed makes him look like a pulply two-fisted man of science action! I think his dynamic art may bring some vital energy to Hickman’s stories, which while I love, can be somewhat dry and cerebral. 

  29. Here’s something that bugs me about this Detective annoucement is…..Why isnt Dini on this?

    I mean dont get me wrong when I think of comic book writers who write excellent protrayal of women….it’s Greg Rucka. But the second best choice for that is Dini. Oh my god he can write great voices for women and I would totally stay on Detective if it was him writing it. Maybe it’s just the uber-fan in me of Dini that is a little upset that he isnt on anymore. But did we really need another writer when the writer already in place for the series is more then capable as the new one?

    @daccampo: I am with you on the little wary boat of Hickman. He is a great writer, but when I think of FF I dont think of Hickman as my first choice.

  30. @TNC  I think it’s pretty obvious that Rucka & Williams have been working on a Batwoman book for ages.  The decision to publish it in the "Detective" title might have been a later one, but with all the books reshuffling, it seems like a good marketing move instead of starting a new "Batwoman" book.  And as far as I know, the other lineups haven’t been announced — I imagine Paul Dini has work in the Batverse if he wants it.

  31. Honorable mention, by the way, to the offhanded mention that Gaydos and Bendis are doing an Alias miniseries next year. I read that and a rainbow burst out of my face.

  32. I really don’t think Hickman fits that well at Marvel, his stories are almost too smart and cerebral like Morrison’s. His "Secret Warriors" based on the first issue is looking half of what Hickman is possible of.


  33. @Jimski   Oh, yes!  More ‘Alias’!  Any word on whether this means Jess is going back to the PI life, or whether it’s a flashback series?  (I’d be happy either way).

  34. Why do I have the feeling the only person excited for the Chris Claremont news was ron?

  35. Because you’re making rash generalizations about Ron?

    As far as I know, he could give about as much of a shit as the rest of us.

  36. @josh:…..someone got a splinter in their foot today.

  37. Pax Romana and Transhuman make me think that Hickman is great for FF, if those characters are as steeped in science as I think they are.  I’ve never read FF before, but I’m definitely giving them a shot now, and possibly the DR mini too.

  38. @TNC – Why do you have to push, man?  Add to the conversation, don’t persecute everyone else.  I don’t like having to make posts like this, but please try and be a little less argumentative and refrain from making judgements about what other people might think about something.  Ron said nothing about that news and there’s no reason to bring him into the conversation like that.  Don’t put words in someone else’s mouth.  Thanks.  

  39. I heard about most of these but I had no idea about the Sleeper Omnibus.  Even though I have the trades I don’t think I am man enough to resist oversized Sean Phillips art.

  40. Luckily I only have that first Sleeper trade.  So that omnibus is mine!  

  41. Anyone else excited for:

    -Deadpool might make an appearence in Spider-Man?

    -Hulk will return in Incredible Hercules?

    -A Marvel Knights Luke Cage mini?

    -Mark Millar’s Ultimate Avengers?

    -Doom Patrol returning?

    -That ‘Ultimate Comics’ sounds really stupid?

    -Am I the only one loving the idea of Punisher: Noir?

    -Free Comic Day’s comic will be ‘Blackest Night #0’?

    Of course if I’m making any rash generalizations let me know…especially you josh 🙂

  42. I didn’t hear about Punisher: Noir.  Seems intriguing.  I’m trade-waiting all the Marvel Noir stuff, waiting to see how the iFanbase feels about them.

  43. @TNC – "someone got a splinter in their foot today..." 

    I don’t get it.  Are you telling Josh that you got a splinter on your foot?  I don’t want to assume to know Josh or anything, but I doubt he cares about any of our feet or the shards of wood that might penetrate them.

  44. @Sunnyvale: I’m the same wait, waiting for trade on the Noir stuff.

    But I heard more good things on Spider-Man and X-Men: Noir then bad….so hopefully Punisher is just as good. It cant be too hard to make a Noir version of the Punisher.

  45. @TNC – Agreed.   I think Ennis sort of did that for 60 issues.

  46. @Sunny: Well it was really pulpy or noirish for 60 issues. But even for a Punisher fan like me; it just doesnt seem that special to have a Noir setting.

    But Tieri is the exact type of writer for Punisher, even if he isnt the best writer ever. Plus Azaceta is just the perfect artist for a Noir setting. So at least the creative team sounds impressive for this mini.

  47. I meant *wasnt really pulpy*

  48. Rucka back on anything Bat-related = A happy Eyun!

  49. I read the Bawoman preview and I’m sorry to have to say it but, I’m boycotting the gratuitous areolae.

  50. 1.  I don’t know much about Batwoman so I can’t say I’m too excited, I’ll be glad to have Detective back in one for or another though!  Where do I find the current origin of this Batwoman? I didn’t read very much 52.  Actually, I didn’t read any of it.  Where is Paul Dini gonna go?! I absolutely loved his Detective run!!

    2.  I was actually content with dropping Ultimate Spiderman after all this Ultimatum business wraps up.  The economy is bad and I need to drop some books.  Plus Amazing Spiderman pretty much does it for me. I’ll have to see before I judge though.

    3  I might have to check out Sleeper. I’m practically in love with the first two issues of Incognito right now.  An Omnibus can be really expensive though!

    4.  This Marvel Projects sounds mightly interesting to me for some reason, weird because I’m mostly a DC kinda guy.  I’d love to check it out if it is ever released.  I can’t say I’ll still be as interested a year from now if it takes that long!

    5.  I never was a big Fantastic Four fanatic but it could be cool with the right people.  I just might check out an arc if there is a lot of praise around it. That’s not always so though, I still don’t read Avengers, just ain’t my thang..!

  51. I’d get all bent out of shape about having to cancel my trip down there because of a bad spill I took, but the truth is I could have spent the whole weekend at the con, and I still would have read about these here first. Some cool stuff going on for the new year; much better than another Zombies, or Apes announcement. Still time for someone to come through with an announcement about the Marvel Amoebas books planned for 2009 though.

  52. When it was announced that Rucka was taking over Detective I had never had so many mixed emotions. Because I love Rucka and am looking forward to what he can do, he’s not being railed to a mini, he’s being put in the book house book with a great artist which is awesome.

    But I also went "What about Dini!?" Becuase his run on Detective is the most fun I’ve had reading Batman. Morrison is doing interesting things, Dini is giving me pure fun Batman. So for a while there I was pretty bummed. Until it was asked at the Batman panel that Dini might actaully be working on two Bat projects…sigh or relief.

    So all around this is awesome.

    And it looks like I’ll be picking up FF again…probably wait for trades though, but still exciting stuff

  53. Worst announcment: Immonen leaving Ultimate Spider-Man.  Best announcment: Immonen coming to New Avengers.

  54. Can’t wait until the Marvels project. The Invaders was one of the first series I collected (in back issues) when I started seriously reading comics in the early 80’s.  Avenger/Invaders has been ok, but not quite what I would have liked.  I prefer to see the Invaders in action in WWII.  This could really be excellent.

     Also, I too look forward to Pet Avengers. Lockjaw!

  55. I wonder if the whole storyline in Captain America is a prelude to the Marvels Project?

    Maybe not directly but it’s a weird coinsidence that Brubaker is dealing with the Invaders in Cap and now it’s annouced he’s doing a pseudo-Invaders mini with Epting.

  56. #1 is pretty awesome. Even though I’m not a huge fan of Batwoman (hard to be when she’s been in like 3 comics ever) it’s Rucka back in Gotham. I’m happy with that.

  57. @cormano – I haven’t bought an Avengers title period, but I’ll probably pick up at least Immonen’s 1st.

  58. definately my top 5 also!!

  59. If anyone is wondering about which of the big 2 is winning the invisible war, look at the above listed 5 and count how many are Marvel projects!!! 

  60. i don’t know if it was annouced at the con or just in the newsarama interview, but joe casey writing that super young team mini is my favorite recent annoucement.  rucka and williams on dectective is gonna be teh awesome.

  61. i honestly can’t believe Six Gun hasn’t commented on this Brubaker/Epting/Invaders project!

  62. Uhm, i think CBR jumped to a conclusion on the Sleeper rerelease.  What they said at the panel (via the DC podcast) was that instead of having 2 trades for each season of Sleeper, there will be 1 "omnibus" per season, with a third trade for Point Blank.  They didn’t really say trade or hardcover for Sleeper.  Really looking forward to reading it for the first time, though.

    Really looking forward to everything else on Conor’s list, too.  Especially Immonen on New Avengers and new J.H. Williams work.

  63. That’s definitely the order I’d put those news items in.

    LaFuente on Ultimate Spider-Man makes me all gooey inside. That Annual was the best Annual I’ve read of any book in awhile and a large part of it is because of this guy.

    JH Williams back on a regular monthly book is something I’ve wanted ever since I noticed him in Desolation Jones and his other Batman run. His panelling is so just awe-inspiring.

    The others seem kinda boring. But that’s just me.

  64. Won’t be on the Marvel’s Project.  I like Brubaker enough in interviews but his writing leaves me cold.  Rucka’s hit or miss but more in a sense of whether or not I will like it rather than if he’s good.  But (much like Dick Grayson) I have a thing for redheads so I’ll give it a try.  LaFuente was lovely on the annual so I thinking it will be good.  I haven’t read Hickman’s stuff yet (I do have though) but I’m still interested in him on the FF (that book was my "first" so I always have a fondness for it).  

  65. ignored…sniff.

    is it cause i’m young? is it cause im ridiculously good looking? is it cause im a liar? is it cause nobody knows?

    the latter im sure.

  66. @s30: It’s because no one knows the answer. It hasn’t been announced.

  67. ye i was kidding. thanks for humouring me.