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DC BYTE: You probably heard about DC Comics decision to move from Manhattan to Burbank, Ca in April of 2104 to close ranks with parent company Warner Bros. We are now starting to see some of the fall-out from that decision. It was clearly known that not everyone would be willing to make the move. Two of their editors from the Vertigo imprint have decided just that. Will Dennis, Group Editor at DC Comics/Vertigo and Mark Doyle, Editor, have both decided to stay put. They were responsible for such popular titles as 100 Bullets, Scalped, DMZ, The Losers, American Vampire, Trillium, The Wake, The Joker, and Before Watchmen. Dennis was Axel Alonso’s assistant before he made the move to Marvel Comics years ago. Could they be reuniting? If not there are plenty of other opportunities in the comic industry in New York like comiXology, Dynamite Entertainment, Archie, and Valiant to name just a few. Speculation in the industry and media is that Dennis and Doyle are just the first few dominoes to fall and that others may announced soon. Some DC staffers may be waiting it out to see which jobs open up, in hopes that they will be considered for them, making the move more financially sound. Still others may still be job hunting.
SPIDER BYTE: (Pun intended) Marvel Comics solicitations for March may have a hidden surprise in them, or it could all just be another clever feint. In March, Superior Spider-Man#29 and #30 are listed as parts three and four of the five-part storyline Goblin Nation that will start in issue #26. In case you are one of the few not following the adventures of Doc Ock in Peter Parker’s body, serving as the Superior version of Spider-Man, the Goblin Nation story has been going on for quite a few months. We get random bits and pieces here and there, but it is obvious that this will come to a head soon. There has also been consistent speculation (since Issue #1) that Peter Parker would eventually return to control of his own body and mind. As much as I do enjoy the title, I am among the interested observers that is waiting patiently to see how Dan Slott (hopefully) accomplishes this feat of story telling. Could the rumor that Goblin Nation will end the Superior Spider-Man series, which will then re-launch as an All-New Marvel Now title, be true? The timing makes sense and many titles are being re-launched during this time frame. But, it doesn’t necessarily mean that Peter will return to the role, there are other options. It would be eerily satisfying if it was Pete’s old foe Green Goblin that was responsible for fixing his hijacked mind and body. We shall see!
GADOT BYTE: Frustrated fanboys are not enjoying much of the news coming from the camp of the still untitled Man of Steel sequel, due out July of 2015. First they lost their minds over the announcement of Ben Affleck as Batman. Now they are buzzing frantically about the choice of Gal Gadot, a rather petite Israeli actress best known for her appearances in three of the Fast and the Furious franchise movies, as Wonder Woman. Recently she spoke about some of the criticism on an Israeli entertainment show called Good Evening with Gai Pines. When asked about comments claiming that she is too small breasted and petite to play an Amazon princess she responded, “Breasts, anyone can buy for 9,000 shekels and everything is fine. Wonder Woman is Amazonian, and historically accurate Amazonian women actually had only one breast. So, if I’d really go ‘by the book’, it’d be problematic.” She did comment more seriously during the interview about her size and what she is doing even now to fit the part. “It’s the physical preparations that I’m starting now. A very serious training regimen – Kung Fu, kickboxing, swords, Jujutsu, Brazilian… 1,000 and one things. I’ll gain body mass,” she promised. Calm down fanboys everything will be fine, besides you were wrong about Heath Ledger, you could very well be wrong on this one too. Word of the Nerd’s own Samantha Cross had something to say about this subject in her article Character Complexity: Wonder Woman in Superman vs Batman click in and see for yourself.
CULTURE BYTE: DC Comics “We Can Be Heroes” has a new venue as some of their greatest heroes are now appearing in the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The exhibit that started on December 14th features superhero inspired Kia vehicles patterned after Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg. DC Comics’ We Can Be Heroes is a charity program dedicated to feeding starving children in the Horn of Africa. Also in the spirit of giving the Los Angeles Fire Department will have a fire engine at the museum to collect toys for its “Spark of Love” Holiday Toy Program, and children will have the opportunity to explore the fire engine. The Los Angeles Police Department will also be on site collecting toys for “Motor For Toys.” It’s an all-around awesome charity event and the beneficiaries will be hundreds of needy kids. Who can’t get behind that kind of charity. Check out The Petersen Automotive Museum for more details and see what you can do to help out!
STRAY BYTE: Fans of one of my all-time favorite crime comics may be in for a late Christmas present. If rumors are true, and in this business they quite often are, Stray Bullets, the brain child of David Lapham may be on its way to new life at Image Comics. This of course would be fantastic news, if only it were verified. We should know soon though, at least in time for retailers to actually order the book. Image took a page out of Marvel’s stealth operations and solicited three “Classified” projects.
JAN14 0528 CLASSIFIED 1 03/12/14 SRP: $3.50
JAN14 0529 CLASSIFIED 2 03/12/14 SRP: $3.50
JAN14 0530 CLASSIFIED 3 03/12/14 SRP: $59.99
Since the Stray Bullets compilation of the original series from El Capitan Books is already available the $59.99 solicitation is likely for something else. But here’s to hoping that one of the $3.50 titles is at least a limited series in Lapham’s crazy world of mayhem and murder.
ABSTRACT BYTE: Terry Moore is one of the better writers in the comic industry. Best known for his 90 issue run on Strangers in Paradise, he also made a name with titles like Runaways for Marvel Comics and Birds of Prey for DC Comics, among other great titles. Currently he is working on another creator owned comic called Rachel Rising for his Abstract Studios brand. Amazon described the series with this blurb;
“Rachel wakes up at sunrise on a shallow grave in the woods and discovers the freshly murdered body in the dirt is her own. With events of the previous night a blur, Rachel seeks out her boyfriend Phillip. But Phillip has a new girl now and Rachel is beginning to suspect she rose from the grave for a reason… revenge! Don’t miss the Premier Issue of this haunting new series by Eisner and Harvey Award-winning creator Terry Moore!”
That was in 2011, now the series may be in jeopardy despite critical acclaim. Good comics don’t always last, and sometimes bad ones just wont go away. That theory, while true, is not good enough for some key creators who have started a grass-roots twitter campaign to #SaveRachelRising. Joe Hill @joe_hill (Locke & Key, Wraith) tweeted “Time to #SaveRachelRising. Guys, if you don’t read @TerryMoore, you aren’t reading one of the best writer-artists in comics.” Fábio Moon @fabiomoon (Casanova, Daytripper) tweeted, “If there’s ONE reason I read comics on the Ipad, it is so I’m able to follow @TerryMoore ‘s Rachel Rising. Go find out this amazing story.” Keep a good comic going #SaveRachelRising!
MOVIE ROUND-UP: Another cool casting for Arrow has been announced. Katrina Law (Spartacus) will be making an appearance as the daughter of Batman villain Ra’s al Ghul. Now don’t get excited, she won’t be playing Talia who you undoubtedly remember from The Dark Knight Rises as the brains behind Bane’s rampage. She will be playing Nyssa, another daughter of Ra’s, this time with a Russian woman. Marvel Studios and Disney have found their Hank Pym, for the upcoming Ant-Man film, and it is Paul Rudd. I hope this doesn’t mean that they are making him a comical character. Hank Pym has already been short-changed by the movie writers with Age of Ultron rewriting history to make Tony Stark the creator of Ultron instead of Pym. To now take a founding Avenger (in the comics) and a truly tragic character and make him a joke would be a mistake indeed. That said, Rudd certainly has the acting chops to play him straight, and let’s hope he does. Word of the Nerd writer Steve Sycuro wrote an update article on X-Men: Days of Future Past called Don’t Look For Anna Paquin In Days Of Future Past, check it out! Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) in which we finally found out how apes became intelligent, and later the dominant species on Earth. In trying to cure his father’s Alzheimer’s Will Rodman (James Franco) developed a drug ALZ-113 which he tested on apes. This particular variation had a startling effect on his “adopted son” an ape named Caesar making him hyper-intelligent and aggressive. The rest you know. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will chronicle the war waged on humans by Caesar and his followers. The movie will not release until July 11, 2014, but I have a sneak peek of the trailer for you right here and now, enjoy![youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zThr9uTq4G4]
NERDITORIAL: I am going to stray again from usual nerdy fare to say thank you to some real world heroes. Last Saturday mid-Michigan was hit with a pretty dangerous and devastating ice storm. I woke on Sunday morning to no power. While frustrating and rather annoying it wasn’t the end of the world. I went to the gym, did some shopping and had lunch with my daughters, then headed to a local watering hole to watch the Lions fritter away another season. The next day I still had no power. Temperatures were dropping in the house so the girls had to phone a friend for refuge. After work I again hit the gym (they have showers there, with HOT water) and had dinner. The temperature in the house was now 48 degrees so I made my son phone a friend. When I woke in the morning (Christmas Eve) it was 46 degrees in the house and still no power. A friend had gotten power the night before and offered me his generator (Thanks Mark!), so at least the pipes wouldn’t freeze and I’d be able to get the kids home for Christmas. On my way home from work I got the word that the power was back on. I was relieved and thankful. Some people didn’t get power for days later and most were understanding and positive and tried to help each other the best they could. Some though ranted and raged about the power company and their employees. My father was a highline foreman for a Gas and Electric company when I was growing up so I understood what these guys were going through. Crews from nearby states were here to help the local guys, some of which didn’t have power at their homes either. They were all working 16 hour shifts, sleeping a few hours and right back at it. They were working through Christmas Eve and Christmas, while their kids in New York or Ohio were opening presents without them. These men are heroes. They sacrificed their Christmas to give a lot of Michigan residents their Christmas back. I humbly thank all of you for your efforts and sincerely hope that you were able to get back home safely to spend time with your families. You critical and frustrated few who blamed the very men sacrificing to help you, CHILL (pun intended).