Welcome to The Spinner Rack, your one-stop shop for the biggest comic book news on Place To Be Nation! Each week Russell rounds up the major stories from the comic book world and delivers it to you with context and analysis. You’ll get the latest from Marvel, DC, Image and others along with comic book movie and TV show updates and rumor breakdowns. Time to take the spin!
Jim Gordon makes his debut as the new Batman
In today’s Batman #41, long-time Batman ally and Gotham City Police Commissioner Jim Gordon takes over for the missing (presumed dead) Dark Knight. The controversial story from celebrated Batman creative team Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo has made lots of waves online this week. In this writer’s not-even-pretending-to-be-humble opinion, when a creative team has had the success rate this one has, they’ve earned more than a little trust to tell a good story.
We’ll also see the new Jim Gordon Batman being backed by the GCPD over in Detective Comics #41 this week, too. Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul are back and they’ve brought along Fernando Blanco to take over art duties. Manpul is continuing to co-plot the book, but he will no longer be on art. Blanco has a gritty style that fits the story, but time will tell if he can factor in some of the dynamic layouts that made this current run of ‘Tec so much fun to read. Of course, the big deal here is that it’s the current-continuity debut of Renee Montoya!
Biggest digital sale ever for DC Comics
Comixology and the DC Comics app are having something of a “clearance sale” on DC Comics for the month of June. Each week, a different set of comics goes on sale to prep readers for the new storylines and new comics DC is publishing throughout the month. All sale issues are marked down to just $.99 each. If you slept on the New 52 or skipped because you were mad but then heard about some of the really good stuff, now you don’t have to break the bank to catch up. Last week was the biggest week, but there’s plenty to love this week, too. Including some Batman and Robin and Green Lantern Corps!
‘All-New, All-Different Marvel’ makes big changes, isn’t a hard reboot
On July 1 we’re all finally getting a look at what the Marvel Universe will really be like post Secret Wars. Marvel will release a free 64-page color magazine in comic shops across the U.S. and digitally.
Marvel SVP Sales & Marketing David Gabriel said this is “a great way to reward fans who visit their local comic shops.” He added that this release will be the official reveal of the “All-New All-Different Marvel” titles. Some titles will be announced prior to this, though. Brian Michael Bendis (All-New X-Men, Ultimate Spider-Man) revealed his new project, a relaunched Invincible Iron Man with artist David Marquez, at Special Edition: NYC over the weekend. Expect more in the coming weeks as we close in on July 1.
Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso said we can look forward to 60 new #1’s this fall and all will take place eight months after the events of Secret Wars. It’s also been revealed that there will be two (maybe three?) Spider-Men, presumably Peter Parker and Miles Morales, and a new Hulk. Hulk will not be Bruce Banner and Logan is supposedly remaining dead, maybe. We’re also getting two Wolverines, X-23 and Old Man Logan.
“I’ll go ahead and tell you the Marvel Universe is about to see the arrival of an All-New Hulk — not a Hulk that you’ve seen before,” Alonso told Entertainment Weekly. “And this development is deeply rooted in story. I am personally excited about it and its ramifications and it’s a fascinating story that I think Bruce Banner fans will definitely want to read.”
And it looks like Alonso and company aren’t going to shy away from doing things that get strong fan reactions. Which is a good thing!
Alonso also made it clear to the NY Daily News that this will not be a reboot in the style of DC’s New 52.
“[We’re] not throwing away decades of history… There may be some new characters. There may be some changes to the relationships. But it’s the Marvel Universe. It’s just the next chapter,” he said. “This is not a reboot.”
Lots and lots of things happening with Marvel this week and it sounds like we’ll have plenty of surprises to go before fall gets here. I can’t tell you how excited I personally am that Old Man Logan will be back after Secret Wars. I’m also totally on board with X-23 being the new Wolverine. I mean, nobody else is more capable of filling those shoes.
Daredevil Season 2 adds The Punisher
Walking Dead alum Jon Bernthal will play Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, on Season 2 of Netflix’s popular Daredevil. I have to say…PERFECT CASTING!
Supergirl premier date set
October 26 will see the debut of the new CBS series, Supergirl. It will begin at 8:30 p.m. eastern after the season premiere of The Big Bang Theory in a special time slot for the occasion. Supergirl will move to its regular time slot of 8 p.m. eastern on Mondays the following week. The Big Bang Theory will move to Thursday at 8 p.m. eastern from then on. Obviously the success CBS had last season using BBT as a lead-in for new series Scorpion has them thinking they can replicate that success here.
Supergirl will be in competition with another DC Comics-based property, Gotham, on Fox. This really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, really. The Monday time slot is a coveted one and the most likely to gain some early success for the show. And besides, this is what they made DVR’s (and Hulu Plus!) for, folks. No need to see it as anything more.
Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles debuts
You can now watch the Bruce Timm-produced prelude series on Machinima.
Henry Simmons promoted to “Agents of SHIELD” regular in season 3
Looks like we’ll be seeing a bit more of Luke Mitchell this fall as actor Henry Simmons was been given a regular cast spot on Agents of SHIELD. His character arc was much more important toward the latter half of season 2, though it did have a few odd moments, too. In any case, we’ll be seeing him more regularly now.
Kirkman goes AMC exclusive
Robert Kirkman signed a deal last week to work exclusively with AMC on his continuing shows The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead as well as an adaptation of Thief of Thieves and any other of his original properties. Except Outcast which is still headed to Cinemax.
That’s a pretty huge deal and if it leads to more quality shows based on hit Image Comics properties, all the better. Any chance we get an Invincible adaptation? No? Please?
Stephen Amell vs. Stardust at SummerSlam?
It’s been the talk of the town since Arrow star (and long-time WWE fan) Stephen Amell made a surprise appearance on Monday Night Raw a couple of weeks ago. He was ringside for much of the evening and wound up having a brief confrontation with the highly-enigmatic Cody…er Stardust. Amell has denied the rumor, but a recent Vine video tweeted by WWE would suggest the option may still be on the table.
The main issue standing in Amell’s way of taking part in the match is his Arrow contract. Filming for Season 4 may be hitting a stride around the time of Summer Slam and he is contractually obligated not to take on high-risk projects where he could easily be injured. While WWE is highly scripted, injuries still happen and some have even cut careers short recently. Daniel Bryan might be a guy to talk to about that.
Jessica Jones drops the AKA
The upcoming Marvel/Netflix series AKA Jessica Jones will now just be called Jessica Jones. Probably a smart move on their part to drop the whole AKA thing. It was a bit too much.
James Wan signs on to direct Aquaman
The news came down last Wednesday that James Wan had officially signed on to develop and direct Aquaman as part of the budding DC Cinematic Universe. He’s a hot property these days after the runaway success of Fast and Furious 7. WB has expressed deep interest in expanding his offerings since The Conjuring was a big hit for New Line.
I’d also like to point out, I had him on a short list of strong potential directors in my DCCU Breakdown series. See, I do occasionally know what I’m talking about. Wan is also directing the live-action adaptation of popular 80’s anime Robotech for Sony Pictures. The timing is supposedly all worked out, but Wan’s got a full plate considering he’s also got The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist coming up next. Kurt Johnstad is already hard at work on the Aquaman story/script with Charles Roven and Zack and Deborah Snyder on board as producers.
Sam Jackson wants back in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Looks like Nick Fury won’t be in Captain America: Civil War, according to the man himself. Samuel L. Jackson told Collider he won’t be in the movie, but he’s looking for a contract extension.
“It’s really great to be the connective tissue between so many different characters in so many different films, that brings those guys together,” Jackson told Collider. “But I’m not in ‘Captain America 3.’ I can’t figure that out, but I’m not. I guess I’m still out there, trying to figure out what happened to S.H.I.E.L.D. and who these other people are.”
“Of course [I’m interested in returning]! I’m looking for a contract extension right now, yeah,” Jackson said. “I’m looking to re-up.”
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 First Draft finished
Director James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) revealed on Twitter last week that he’s finished the first draft of Guardians of the Galaxy: (insert subtitle here). While he didn’t reveal what the film’s full title is (that’s probably not finalized yet), Chris Pratt (you know, Star-Lord) said the pitch brought tears to his eyes.
Looks like the sequel to 2014’s breakout hit will continue on its cosmic way as nobody has talked about a crossover with The Avengers with Pratt. At least, that’s what they want us to think. C’mon, we all know this is going down eventually. No need to be coy.
Warner Bros. Film exec talks difference between Marvel, DC movies
Head of film production at Warner Bros., Greg Silverman, talked to the Hollywood Reporter about WB’s approach to making DC Comics-based movies in a post-Avengers world and how their approach is different from Disney’s.
“We have a great strategy for the DC films, which is to take these beloved characters and put them in the hands of master filmmakers and make sure they all coordinate with each other. You’ll see the difference when you see Batman v. Superman, Suicide Squad, Justice League and all the things that we are working on,” Silverman said.
When asked about the criticism that the first trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was “too dark,” he said:
“There is intensity and a seriousness of purpose to some of these characters. The filmmakers who are tackling these properties are making great movies about superheroes; they aren’t making superhero movies. And when you are trying to make a good movie, you tackle interesting philosophies and character development. There’s also humor, which is an important part.”
Can we please stop with the whole “WB/DC mandated no humor in their movies” crap now? And the idea of directors and producers working together to forge a shared universe is a great thing! They might all be making different movies with different tones, but that they all talk to each other and work out plans is a positive sign. It shows they get the basic concept of a shared universe and rule #1 is: Make sure you know what the other folks are doing.
Marvel Studios skipping San Diego Comic Con
It’s been rumored for some time now, but this week we learned that Marvel Studios will indeed skip San Diego Comic Con this July. That leaves Hall H completely to DC Entertainment, who reportedly have all sorts of big plans including rumored new footage from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad. There’s also talk of something involving the upcoming Wonder Woman and Justice League films, but nothing on those is confirmed yet.
Marvel Studios is likely skipping out to take part in D23, Disney’s own convention that’s been making moves to become a major player in the pop culture landscape alongside Comic Con-sponsored events. That event will take place in August.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice official synopsis revealed
Just as the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas kicked off, Warner Bros. released the first official synopsis to next year’s big superhero epic:
Fearing the actions of a god-like super hero left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’s most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known before.
That jives pretty well with the first teaser trailer and hints at a major supervillain (other than Lex Luthor) who will ultimately bring the two heroes and Wonder Woman together. The first trailer didn’t show Gal Gadot’s take on the Amazonian Warrior Princess at all, but with the media campaign for the film about to ramp up, that will likely change soon. If I were to hazard a guess, I bet we see a second trailer featuring our first look at Wonder Woman around the time of San Diego Comic Con.
In the meantime, there were some pretty awesome pics posted from the Expo of the Trinity costumes and the new Batmobile!