Tag Archives: Robert Venditti

Next on the New 52 Chopping Block

DC Comics’ cancellation zone seems to be somewhere under 20,000 units sold. Of the titles not already cancelled, these are the titles that fell under that mark in the month of October: Ravagers, DC Universe Presents, Dial H, Batwing, Firestorm, Savage Hawkman, Legion of Super-Heroes, Demon Knights, Deathstroke. That doesn’t mean that these are the titles that will be cancelled next. Some of them most certainly will be cancelled, but others will probably be given extra time to regain lost readers with a change in focus or creative team. These are usually the signs of a book before cancellation. Sometimes you can even tell a book is going south before the sales figures can even be posted.

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Hatpalm

1. Phantom Stranger doesn’t sound like a title that will make it very long. It was kind of a surprise that it even existed in the first place. I figured the Stranger would be walking around somewhere, but definitely not in his own title. It’s kind of hard to see this book even making it through its first year. While the title has seen better sales than probably expected (people love Phantom Stranger), the book has already seen a 35 spot drop in its second month of publication. Many other New 52 books have been cut short after issue #8 and I wouldn’t be surprised if this was one of them.

The problem with the book stems from the Phantom Stranger character himself. He’s been traditionally depicted as a mystery. Where did he come from? Why is he doomed to wander the Earth alone forever? Was he a fallen angel? Was he the biblical Judas? No one ever knew and it was really fun to be able to guess about it. But in the New 52? No. He’s definitely Judas Iscariot, he was punished to wander the world looking like he’s a crime noir coachman and he wears a necklace made out of the thirty pieces of silver he sold Jesus for. Now he has a secret identity and he has a mission and a motive. This is not the Phantom Stranger. Elimination of all the mysteries surrounding him does not make him a more compelling character, it makes him feel hollow. Especially when he’s a religious figure. I can only imagine what actual religious people think about this.

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You Should Know About Valiant Comics

The brand new Valiant Entertainment is pushing on as their universe marches towards the end of its first year of publication. The company only publishes five monthly comics, six this month if you count the Harbinger #0 issue, but Valiant goes for quality not quantity. Here are their February solicitations.

Shadowman #2

If you don’t know Valiant Comics than you weren’t reading comics in the early 90’s. Founded by Jim Shooter, Valiant was a promising new company that published characters like X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Shadowman, Eternal Warrior, Rai, Ninjak, and Archer & Armstrong. The popular company was bought by Acclaim, the video game company, in 1994 and the line was revamped in 1996. By 1999 most of their Valiant comics were cancelled . Acclaim would file for bankruptcy in 2005, but the rights to their characters were bought and Valiant Entertainment began publication in May of 2012. The entire line was rebooted and re-presented for a new generation.

Harbinger is about people with the incredible powers to reshape the world, called Harbingers. The most powerful of them all, Toyo Harada, takes in Peter Stanchek, a boy that’s even more powerful than he is with the promise of helping to guide their people into a new tomorrow. If this sounds kind of like X-Men, don’t worry, it’s not. Toyo proves to be untrustworthy and manipulative so Peter breaks away and attempts to survive his ex-mentor’s wrath. The book is written by Joshua Dysart (Unknown SoldierB.P.R.D. 1946B.P.R.D. 1947) and drawn by Matthew Clark (Doom PatrolOutsiders). The 0 issue has art from Mico Suayan (Batman: Arkham UnhingedAll-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes).

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New Titles: Uncanny X-Men, Fearless Defenders, Alpha; Hellblazer Ends, Constantine Begins

Just when you thought there was a severe lack of X-Men books, Marvel has satiated your appetite for X-books. Joining Marvel Now!’s line-wide relaunch is the third volume of Uncanny X-Men with Brian Michael Bendis as writer and Chris Bachalo on art.

Bachalo is leaving Wolverine and the X-Men in order to launch the new book. He states that he’s redesigned everyone and the series will take on a darker tone than previously seen, especially compared to his work on Wolverine and the X-Men. With the appearance of Cyclops and Magneto it looks like this title will be following where the previous Uncanny X-Men left off. Following the events of Avengers vs. X-Men, Cyclops has been locked up and Magneto is on the run, so look for those story lines to converge in this new title. Perhaps the book will show the redemption of Cyclops after his steady fall from grace over the last few years hit rock bottom when he accidentally killed Charles Xavier. Thanks again PhoenixUncanny X-Men premiers in February with two issues and joins a slew of X-titles, like X-Men: Legacy, Wolverine and the X-Men, All-New X-Men, X-Men, Astonishing X-Men, Uncanny X-Force, Cable and X-Force, Uncanny Avengers, Gambit, and finally, Savage Wolverine.

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