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Eggs, eggs, eggs
Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate, and Happy Sunday to everyone who doesn’t. I’m much more in the latter camp these days, although my wife is even now putting together Easter baskets for the family filled with lethal amounts of sugary confections, and she spent part of this afternoon dyeing eggs. I grew up in a Catholic household, although not a very observant one, so Easter typically meant visits from relatives or excursions to their homes for meals and socializing. My Dad had two brothers and a sister, whom we’d typically only see during holidays of this sort. But I can’t remember the last time I attended any sort of Easter get-together; my personal religion and morality was far more shaped by comic books than any Sunday school or service.
Got one thing that I wanted to share with everybody before we get down to cases here.
Over on Facebook, comics dealer and historian Bob Beerbohm shared the Dropbox link below, which I’m passing along to you. What it contains is a ninety-plus page document written by Jerry Siegel relating in great depth how he and Joe Shuster first devised SUPERMAN and all of the many false starts they went through in order to get the property published:
It’s a pretty thorough document, and while I’m told that Jerry does conflate a few details here or there, his overall timeline of events seems to track. If nothing else, it’s a firsthand account in Jerry’s own hand, so for anybody who’s interested in comic book history, it really is must reading (though it will take you a while—it’s very long.)
All right, let’s go to the phones!
Alright Tom, a year in, it’s well past time I thank you for the very first installment of the newsletter! I interned for Marvel in the summer of 2008, and when people asked me what it was like, I would always reference those Daredevil and Bullseye signs over the urinals. I told the story of interning a couple months ago and pulled up your newsletter to show them off. Made my whole day!
Are there any series you’ve worked on and loved that haven’t caught on that you still think about, or are you well-conditioned at this point to move on from them? As a reader, there are series I always find my mind wandering back to. I came to the first volume of Fraction and Kitson’s The Order after the series had concluded and found myself dearly wishing there were more. And I could’ve read Hickman and Ribic’s Ultimates forever; I remember being as excited each issue as I had been reading Civil War, which is the series that got me reading comics. And Thompson and Casagrande’s Black Widow! That’s one of those series I read the first issue of and felt certain it would be around for 100 issues--and I felt that way all the way through! I still sit up and say “How did that get canceled!?” on a regular basis.
Nice to hear from you, Nick. it would be pretty difficult to find a series that I worked on that I wouldn’t have wanted to have continued on longer, but that’s all par for the course, and so I accept those circumstances. There are times with books like, say, THE THING series that Dan Slott and Andrea Divito & Kieron Dwyer did where the very next storyline we’d been building to would have been amazing, but you learn to roll with those punches if you do this job for any length of time. Almost any series that has come to an end has ideas that might have become stories had there been more time, but I tend not to cling onto those.
I don't know if this is something you're comfortable discussing, but: will you discuss what got Avengers Arena greenlit? (If you know, I mean) The series seemed to me, both then and now, cruel and anti-fan. The fans of the individual characters (I really liked SENTINEL) were rewarded for their investment of emotion by seeing their characters killed in offhanded ways. Why not simply leave the characters be for another time?
Or is this a case of giving the readers what they really want vs what they think they want?
Well, AVENGERS ARENA wasn’t really my idea, nor was it a concept that I was especially enthusiastic about. But other people were—notably editor Bill Rosemann and EIC Axel Alonso. And it was created during a time when elimination series such as BATTLE ROYALE were extremely popular, and that wasn’t the sort of book we had anywhere in our line. And there’s always the need for more titles in the line. So sometimes you trust your people to follow their enthusiasms and to produce a great book that you never would. It would be a pretty dull line if everything we put out was entirely to my tastes after all. And for all that some fans were upset by some of the events of AVENGERS ARENA, it seemed like a lot of others really enjoyed it and the work that Dennis Hopeless and Kev Walker did on it.
Is there any chance of Paul Levitz doing more work for you? Three of my favorite series, Huntress, JSA, and Legion were segregated from the main continuity and with all things multiverse now that part could be duplicated. Imperial Guard Academy pops to mind half-seriously.
Some of that depends on Paul and his interest in doing so, Steve. But even if he does, I can’t see him wanting to recreate his past glories using Marvel stand-in characters. Much like with AVENGERS: WAR ACROSS TIME, I’m sure he’d like the opportunity to play with the Marvel heroes who have been closed off to him for so many years, without the need to cast them in the image of his earlier DC work.
So, I was wondering... being such a big name in the industry, you have a pretty big Wikipedia page. What do you think about it? Wikipedia is known for its lack of accuracy. Is there anything incorrect?
I haven’t really looked at my Wikipedia page in years, Sunniyah. Taking a gander at it now, what’s over there all seems to be more-or-less accurate for the most part, though it leaves out a lot of stuff as well. But it’s not really something I devote much if any time worrying about, to be honest.
Is there something about giant robots that, paradoxically, doesn't work in comics? You mentioned Sentinel, I remember IT, THE LIVING COLOSSUS (not really a robot, but,well kinda) even Red Ronin back in the days of Marvel's Godzilla. Is there some reason the Really Big Guys can't catch a break?
I tend to think that the giant robot genre only works set in a universe where that is the default form of engagement. In other words, whether it’s Mazinger Z taking on Doctor Hell’s colossal Mechanical Beasts or Mobile Suit Gundam, in which mecha operate as effectively anthropomorphic fighter planes, every character involved is engaging in conflicts on the same scale. But in the Marvel Universe, most conflicts are set at a human scale, with human-sized characters. Sure, there are some giants, but they tend to be the exception rather than a rule. And while it makes sense to see a Macross Valkyrie battling a gigantic Zentraedi, it would be a bit ludicrous to see that same mecha skirmishing with, say, Graviton. The scale is all wrong, the rules of the universe are different. Plus, I tend to think giant robots work best in animation, where they can have movement and sound and a rousing score to help sell their particular fantasy. On paper, watching a mecha change from one form to another can’t help but be a bit dull.
Coincidentally, I’ve been rereading Dan Jurgens run on Thor recently. Such a great and interesting bunch of stories. Any good behind the scenes stories? Anything you remember from this?
There isn’t all that much that stands out about Dan’s time on THOR in terms of juicy stories or anything, Nick. He was always easy to get along with and willing to do whatever needed to be done and to roll with the punches when something happened to necessitate a story change. For example, when we killed off Odin in THOR #40, we hadn’t really intended that to be a permanent status quo. But just after we did that, new EIC Joe Quesada declared that, going forward, dead was going to mean dead again. And while that didn’t last indefinitely, it did mean that Dan and I had to rework our plans and steer into the idea of Thor as Lord of Asgard in a way we hadn’t truly intended. But it didn’t turn out to be a problem, and Dan did fine work all throughout his tenure. He was a writer that artists liked to work with, in part I’m sure because he was an artist himself, and so would visualize his scripts in the same manner that an artist would. I will say that both Dan and I needed to learn on the fly the rules for Thor’s faux-Shakespearian Stan Lee dialect. After our first issue or two, in which we’d mangled it pretty badly, a fan who was also a linguistics specialist sent me along a basic cheat sheet as to how it worked. I wound up keeping it pinned up on a bulletin board for years and referring to it whenever I had a question. And so now, it’s all ingrained enough for me to be able to correct other writers and editors’ misuse of it. I had to do a little bit of that in AVENGERS: WAR ACROSS TIME recently, as a matter of fact.
You probably can't or won't answer this, and I suppose it may be answered anyway in the next two issues of Punisher, but will Frank go back to his traditional look with the iconic skull and black duster?
Kinda seems like what you’re asking for here are spoilers, Tyler, and so I’m responding just to make the larger point to everybody reading: one of the things I’m not going to be doing at any point is giving away any future developments or story surprises. So to find out where Frank Castle ends up and in what condition, I’m afraid you’ll just have to keep reading PUNISHER—or at least checking out the responses to it online if it isn’t your thing.
I wanted to go back to what you said in your column on Secret Invasion. The marketing campaign seemed to imply that the Skrulls would inhabit Earth and mix with humans openly, perhaps giving rise to a new landscape.
However, the plot of the event went in a completely different direction. Was there a different plan that later changed? How did you come up with the idea that Dark Reign would come after Secret Invasion?
No, there wasn’t any change to the story along the way, Julian. As somebody, possibly Mortimer, spoke about in the comments, what you’re talking about was a marketing campaign built around the middle act of the series, when the Skrulls were meant to overtly be coming out and declaring their mastery of Earth and plans for it. But they were always going to get beaten, and it was Brian’s idea to have Norman Osborn be the one who scored the kill shot on Veranke and then to ride the notoriety of that moment to a position of power and authority within the Marvel Universe. Past a certain point, I think both the editorial staff and the creators became more excited about the DARK REIGN aftermath than SECRET INVASION itself.
I got a question I've found about for a long time, it's the alien languages marvel comics have been using. I can't believe Knull's symbiotes and the island Krakoa are speaking the same language! Same one I also saw at least once in one 00s FF issue. After further reading I think the first time you used it was from Maximum Security. So the question is who created it and is it just something passed around for the editors to use when they need some alien language?
You’re speaking about the font used for alien languages that aren’t translated, correct, Galacaga? Well, there have been a few such fonts over the years, each one designed by the letterers in question. The one we’ve used the most recently would have been put together either by Chris Eliopoulos directly or one of the letterers working for his Virtual Calligraphy studio, as they letter almost all of our titles and have done so for a decade or more at this point. And while it’s maybe a stretch to seem like the symbiotes and other random aliens are speaking using the same symbols, the truth is that it takes long enough to generate a new font that it simply isn’t cost-effective to do a new one every time a different alien race is introduced. So just as we use the same alphabet for characters speaking in English and Spanish and Italian and whatever else, so too do we have that alien font do double duty as needed.
Mortimer Q. Forbush
I gotta say that I was really intrigued by Englehart's direction, yet thought that the execution of it was really not to my liking. But that touches on an editing-related question I had in my cache for Tom. At the risk of Monday-morning quarterbacking…
It seems like between using his pseudonym "John Harkness" to making sometimes not-so-veiled on-panel jabs at editorial mandates, Englehart was very unhappy with how his FF assignment was going. I have to assume the editors were as well, and I presume(?) the readership was flagging (I know I dropped the title during his run way back when). If you were equipped with all your experience you have today and had the opportunity to advise or take over the editing, how would you go about doing so?
(Or am I overexaggerating how SNAFUd the situation on that book was at the time?)
I don’t know that it’s fair for me to litigate the editorial performance of a past editorial team, Mortimer. But I will say that, to my eye and mind, it was genuinely troubling that Steve was allowed to continue working on the series for so long while using pseudonyms in that fashion. I can certainly understand a writer wanting to use a pseudonym under certain conditions, and I’d allow that depending on the circumstances. But not indefinitely, not for a long run. I don’t think I’d ever have permitted those S.F.X. Englehart and John Harkness credits for anywhere near that long—either Steve would be content to sign his actual name to the work, or he’d stop writing the series. To me, signing stories that way feels like cheating the readers, keeping one foot out of bed and indicating that the work that they’ve just purchased with their hard-earned money is not one’s best effort. But on the flipside, if the conditions under which the work was produced had changed and had become compromised and the editor was all right with the credits running that way, then that’s his right. There were a number of clever ideas in that run that I liked, but I can’t say that as a whole I thought it was a strong period for the title. For all that I loved Englehart’s output in the 1970s, his 1980s work was a bit more hit-and-miss for me. But I’d typically show up to at least check out any series that he took over.
Behind the Curtain
.Here are a pair of relics from the get-together where Al Ewing, Mark Waid and Jim Zub (two of whom have Newsletters of their own, here and here.) met up with my editorial team in the Marvel offices to break down the second AVENGERS weekly series, NO ROAD HOME.
What you see above is a planning chart that I had worked up blocking out the series’ ten issues each with a box that we needed to fill with events and key promotional moments. There’s a bunch of stuff scrawled on it as notes—at one point, we were going to title each issue after an obscure Marvel series of the past, hence why those names are written in a few of the boxes. And we knew that Conan would be introduced into the storyline in the second month, and then wind up in the present by the end of the series, but it was up to us to work out how and why. We were also looking to make sure that all of the characters that we’d be including in the story were there for a reason and had something meaningful to do across the whole of the adventure.
And this is a snapshot of a whole bunch of index cards onto which I wrote key ideas as we came up with them, so that they’d be visible to everybody at the table and fresh in all of our memories, both during the meeting and afterwards. Some of these beats wound up not happening in the story as we refined its events even further, so this is also a bit of a look at what might have been had things gone a different way. I’ve mentioned this in the past but it bears repeating here; this weekly experiment only worked because I lucked out in having just the exact right trio of writers, who were able to balance one another’s strengths and work harmoniously and efficiently together to produce the scripts. I’ve seen others attempt the same thing and have a much more difficult time in getting everyone involved to pull in the same direction. So i was very fortunate on both NO SURRENDER and NO ROAD HOME.
Pimp My Wednesday
Another round of impending releases to dazzle your senses and stimulate your imagination.
FANTASTIC FOUR #6 concludes the series’ first two-part adventure, though it was a bit of a stealth two-parter. I can understand readers getting to the end of issue #5 and feeling like the story was over, especially after the four previous issues. But it wasn’t! And now, Ryan North and Ivan Fiorelli are going to show you the aftermath, as our familial foursome has to grapple with a dangerous situation that can’t be solved by punching. And #700 is only a month away, so you can be sure we’re setting up some dominos for that, too.
MOON KNIGHT #22, meanwhile, switches the focus squarely over to Tigra, as she begins a manhunt for the Midnight Man, an old Moon Knight foe whose return has been teased in passing in recent issues. The resolution to this one is not what you think, but Jed MacKay and Alessandro Cappuccio will tell you all about it.
And over in the pages of BLOODLINE #3, edited by Annalise Bissa, Brielle’s famous father has made his first physical appearance into the narrative, but if you think that’s going to solve all of this girl’s problems, then you seriously underestimate creators Danny Lore and Karen Darboe.
And also under Annalise Bissa’s direction, the latest AVENGERS UNLIMITED storyline reaches its waterlogged penultimate installment, as the Wasp and Namor the Sub-Mariner probe the depths for some missing science folks. It’s the work of Eve L. Ewing and Luciano Vecchio, but I’ll bet they’ll get somebody else to take the fall for the deed in-story.
A Comic Book On Sale 60 Years Ago Today, April 9, 1963
Well, there’s really only one book that I could talk about today. And its significance is hidden behind this Jack Kirby cover:
Because while STRANGE TALES #110 cover-featured the Human Torch in a desperate solo battle against two of his previous foes, the Wizard and Paste-Pot Pete (well before he’d changed his moniker to the Trapster), the really special thing in the issue was happening in its back pages. Because this issue features the first appearance of Doctor Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts, which makes him sixty years old today. Reportedly, artist Steve Ditko had worked up the first two Doctor Strange stories and brought them in to editor Stan Lee in an attempt to sell him on the concept; had Lee passed, it’s likely that the stories would have been given over to Charlton, Ditko’s other mainstay account. But Marvel paid better and was more invested in developing new super heroes, though Doctor Strange was a bit of a departure from what they’d done so far. Ditko intended for the character to be called Mister Strange, but Stan felt that was too close to Mister Fantastic, and so it was changed for Doctor Strange—Lee had forgotten that a villain by that name had just battled Iron Man a few months earlier. Either way, Lee agreed to use the two stories and then to determine whether to continue with the feature—and in fact, Doctor Strange would no appear in STRANGE TALES #112 or #113. But the reaction to the new character from readers must have been positive, as the series did continue, and began to grow is size. This initial Doctor Strange story was only 5 pages in length, as were the next couple. There’s also some evidence, visually if nothing else, that Ditko intended for Strange to be Asian, and possibly the son of the Ancient One (who was simply called The Master in these first two stories.) But that changed once the series came back as an ongoing concern, and Lee decided that an origin needed to be given for the character. At that point, Stephen Strange became fully American (though Ditko did draw his features as skewing more Asian for another couple of outings.) As a series, Doctor Strange was a bit more esoteric and introspective than the standard Marvel hero strip. Strange hadn’t come by his abilities through an accident or exposure to radiation or by being born to unusual circumstances, his mastery of the mystic arts was a learned skill, one that he had to practice at constantly. He was also a less physical character—while he’d occasionally throw a punch when the need arose, more typically he incanted in order to vanquish his foes. It was very much in keeping with the growing spirit of the times. But the real draw here was Ditko’s psychedelic and moody artwork. While his Spider-man work was solidly grounded in the real world, Doctor Strange’s adventures took him to otherworldly realms on the regular, dimensions that were unlike anything ever before depicted in comics. There had been plenty of magician super characters before this, but Ditko made Strange’s sorcery seem real, legitimate, earned. This was backed up by Lee’s ability to turn a phrase, as he wrote alliterative and evocative incantations for the character. At first, the whole series was really just an extension of the one-off weird stories that Lee and Ditko had been doing together, but over time, the mythology of Doctor Strange’s world grew to become as rich and multi-faceted as any elsewhere in the Marvel canon. Strange also fit Ditko’s philosophies about what constituted a hero. He was a self-made man who strove to better himself, and who used his abilities rationally and appropriately. In other words, he didn’t truly have the feet of clay that so many other Marvel heroes evidenced, at least outside of his origin story, which I suspect Stan had more to do with. Ditko once remarked that it was all right for Spider-Man to make mistakes because he was just a kid in high school, and not yet a mature individual. Doctor Strange was the opposite, a full-grown adult who too responsibility for himself and his actions and who always did the right thing regardless of the personal cost.
A Comic Book On Sale 55 Years Ago Today, April 9, 1968
Jim Warren was the first publisher to get around the Comics Code by deciding to publish his comics material in black and white magazine editions CREEPY, EERIE and VAMPIRELLA. But he wasn’t the only one who attempted to enter that market once it had been established. A bunch of publishers attempted to follow his lead, and Marvel was one of them. In 1968, after they’d made a deal with a new distributor and were no longer under the thumb of Independent News, which was owned by the same people who owned and operated DC/National Comics, and who had restricted just how many titles Marvel could put out, the floodgates opened, and new Marvel books began to appear all over the place. All of the split titles were turned into pairs of solo series, new books were launched in new formats (The SILVER SURFER title as a 25 cent giant series) and new books were added. But editor Stan Lee had been riding high on his efforts to improve the reputation of the comics industry, and he saw this as an opportunity to expand the line into the black and white magazine space, and to use the additional freedom that format allowed to produce stories that were about more relevant subjects than he might be able to get away with in the monthly color AMAZING SPIDER-MAN comic book. The choice to make this a new Spider-Man title was a no-brainer: even in 1968, he was the company’s most popular character by far. Marvel’s publisher Martin Goodman was skeptical, even though he maintained an entire separate division dedicated to producing a variety of puzzle magazines and celebrity magazines and “men’s sweat” magazines. But he reluctantly signed off on the creation of a new quarterly SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN black and white magazine. This first issue showcased a very nice package, with a painted cover by Harry Rosenbaum based on a John Romita sketch, and a full suite of graytone washes used across the black and white artwork. The story attempted to be somewhat more grounded than the typical Spider-Man adventure, although it did include a super-powerful man-monster to give Spidey somebody to trade punches with. But the main antagonist was Richard Raleigh, a would-be authoritarian who was attempting to get swept into office by pretending to be a bleeding heart liberal whose campaign was being targeted by evil forces out to destroy him. It wasn’t really subtle stuff, though Stan gave it his best effort, and John Romita and Jim Mooney provided some very nice artwork. Unfortunately, it was really all for nothing. According to reports, Retailers didn’t really know where to rack SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN, with some jamming it in with the regular comic books where no outside audience was going to pay attention to it, and others displaying it elsewhere where Marvel readers had a difficult time locating it. Martin Goodman began back-peddling almost immediately. He declared that the second issue was going to have to be in full color like the comics, which it was. But it too sank like a stone, and so a proposed third issue was spiked before much work had been done on it—John Romita recycled the design for the villain of that never-completed issue, the TV Terror, and used it instead for another upcoming character, the Prowler. Stan would try a few more times to establish a beachhead in the black and white magazine field, which he felt was more respectable than comic books, and he’d eventually succeed for a portion of the 1970s. But that entire field contracted and vanished not long afterwards.
A Comic I Worked On That Came Out On This Date
Twenty years ago, on April 9, 2003, the first issue of HUMAN TORCH saw print. It was launched as part of Marvel’s flawed Tsunami line of titles, even though it was retroactively forced to fit within the confines of that line. The Tsunami line had started out prompted by a need to increase Marvel’s title count. Publisher Bill Jemas had been cancelling series that he just didn’t like all that much and not replacing them with an equivalent number of new books, so Marvel as getting to the point where the line couldn’t cover the expenses of the shop’s overhead. Of course, this being the Marvel of the period, the goal posts for Tsunami shifted a couple of times before reaching the stands. At first, it was simply going to be a collection of new series, most but not all of which were going to have youthful lead characters—RUNAWAYS, SENTINEL, etc. But other upcoming books, such as Chrisopher Priest’s THE CREW, were lumped in with it as well, as there was a need to have enough books to achieve a critical mass and hopefully create a rising tide that would lift all boats. Along the way, something changed. At a certain point, having noticed his kids becoming super-interested in manga, Bill decided that Tsunami would become a manga-oriented launch—this is when the Tsunami name was originated. And this despite the fact that most of the books didn’t really have much of anything to do with manga in the first place. Which brings us back around to HUMAN TORCH. When the call had gone out for new series to launch, I had suggested doing a spin-off series featuring Johnny Storm, the youthful member of the Fantastic Four. And I knew who I wanted to get to write it: Karl Kesel, who was then inking Mike Wieringo’s work on FANTASTIC FOUR and who was both a huge fan of the characters and a top-flight writer. For the art, I was inspired by the push towards a more manga aesthetic to go in a unique direction. Some time before, talent scout C.B. Cebulski had shown us all samples of a new guy, an artist named Skottie Young. Among the drawings in his set of samples was an image of the Human Torch done in a sort of graffiti style. I had liked it enough that I kept a copy, pinning it up on a bulletin board for the time when I’d have a use for it. And that time was here. Skottie was young and raw, but he was enthusiastic, and he came on board to illustrate the series. As was Bill’s decree, the Tsunami books all were required to launch with six-part stories, the better for them to be collected as trade paperback editions down the line—Bill was thinking that the line would all be released in a format akin to the size of manga, so even the number of panels to a page and the size of the lettering had to be taken into account. Accordingly, Karl worked out an initial six-parter that involved Johnny Storm going undercover with a local firefighting company to flush out an arsonist and murderer, an assignment that brings him into the orbit of Mike Snow, a new character introduced by Karl who had been a bully to the Torch when he was growing up and who had been badly burned himself in a blaze. It was all good story fodder. There was another change of direction when Bill one day decided that all of the Tsunami books would have the same logo treatment—the one you see above on that first cover. I still hate that logo, I think it looks amateurish and difficult to read, and most of the Tsunami titles were spared having to use it. But I wound up having to use my ammunition to fight to keep THE CREW from carrying that logo and dress, since its covers had been designed a certain way, and so I had no recourse on HUMAN TORCH. Years later, though, I was able to get the logo we had commissioned for the series to go on a later collected edition. So with time, I won out there. HUMAN TORCH ran for a dozen issues, but the best story that Karl came up with for the series never saw print, though the first half of it was written and had started to be drawn. It was a two-parter that involved Johnny being outed as gay by a sleezy tabloid, even though he wasn’t, and how that exposure impacted on him. It was really good and really sensitively done. Unfortunately, this was right around the time that the first FANTASTIC FOUR movie was entering production, and there was a concern that the press form a story such as this one would impact negatively (or uncontrollably) on that production, and so the story wound up being spiked late in the game. This happened post-Bill, so he wasn’t responsible. And I can understand the concerns, given that there’d been blowback to some other projects whose subjects had potential film deals in the work, such as NICK FURY. But a shame nonetheless. And I don’t seem to have a copy of that unused script still in my files.
Somehow, in my usual bungle-footed way, I wound up with two copies of DANGER AND OTHER UNKNOWN RISKS, the new original graphic novel from Ryan North and Erica Henderson. And as you’d expect, it was delightful. Set in a future world in which magic is real but technology has ceased to function, DANGER follows main character Marguerite and her talking dog Daisy as they travel the globe in an attempt to gather together the three relics necessary to restore the world to the way it used to be. It’s very clever, reasonably good at keeping its story turns under wraps, and evidences the kind of delightful positive spirit that infused Ryan and Erica’s previous UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL work. I enjoyed it a great deal.
Along similar lines, while I’ve only been checking in on it haphazardly, the fact that Brian Michael Bendis is serializing a sequel to his excellent graphic novel memoir FORTUNE AND GLORY on his Substack here is cause for celebration. This new work focuses primarily on Brian’s work on the SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK Broadway musical, which few people know about, but it also goes back to his early years and his development as a creator. It’s being illustrated by Bill Walko, but otherwise is very much a piece with the first volume. And it’s very funny and very honest about the creative process. It’ll eventually be collected in print by Dark Horse, but I wouldn’t wait if I were you.
Meanwhile, today also marks the start of season two of MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM: THE WITCH FROM MERCURY, which turned out to be a real delight for its first cour. I know that I’ve pimped it before in this space, but the last episode saw the series take a dark turn from being a typical high school series (albeit one set in space with robots) into a genuine Gundam examination of war and its effects. I’ve been especially interested in seeing how the show follows up on its final post-credits sequence of its last episode, which got really dark and really disturbing really fast. For those who haven’t seen it, the episode’s been posted in its entirety, subtitled, on the official Gundam YouTube channel here. I’m ready to see what happens next with Suletta Mercury and company.
Posted at TomBrevoort.com
Yesterday, I posted this examination of the last of comedian Jerry Lewis’ team-ups with the assorted DC heroes in his self-titled series, as he met Wonder Woman.
And five years ago, I must have skipped writing for the week due to the Easter holiday. But eight years ago, I wrote about the British science fiction series BLAKE'S 7
That’s it for now, so keep your head up, and we’ll be back for more in a week’s time. Hey, an egg!
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