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She Has No Head! – Ten Things

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X-DOFP

X-Men Days of Future Past teaser images

06. X-MEN DAYS OF FUTURE PAST

I’m bummed about Rogue’s absence in the forthcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past film. Really bummed actually, and in fact, kinda frustrated that she was in few enough scenes that it was even possible for her to be entirely cut from the movie just by cutting one scene, but that’s a whole other rant about why Bryan Singer is so in love with Eric/Xavier/Logan that nobody else can get a damn sliver of screen time. Ahem. ANYWAY. This movie releases at the end of May and I’m very excited. The trailer was intensely impressive, even with its flaws and the film is potentially packed to the gills with so much awesome content and incredible guest stars that players like Rogue/Paquin are getting left on the cutting room floor…so what didn’t get cut better be good!

Perhaps more importantly it has been MORE THAN TEN YEARS since I have been able to be excited about an X-Men movie…so I’m just going to enjoy it goddammit.

Seriously, I may have been waiting ten years to be excited about an X-Men movie but I’ve been waiting EIGHT for the nightmare that was X-Men: The Last Stand to be ERASED FROM THE UNIVERSE. Here’s hoping that if DOFP does anything, it at least does that.

Also worthy of mention since we’re talking Marvel-related movies, I am pretty damn excited for Captain America: Winter Soldier. I like Cap just fine, but you all know I’m really just aching for some more big screen Black Widow, right? Release date on that one is April 4, 2014 and it just can’t come soon enough.

Valerio Schiti

Artist Valerio Schiti for president of EVERYTHING!

07.MIGHTY AVENGERS

I’m hard pressed to think of a character in comics I’m more interested in reading than Monica Rambeau. So it was with incredible sadness that I realized that Greg Land (an artist I won’t plunk down money to read) was the artist on Mighty Avengers, the new team book where Monica Rambeau would be hanging her hat. When it was announced in November that Valerio Schiti would be the new artist on the title starting in February of 2014 the book became an insta-buy. Not just because Land was off the book and I could now embrace Monica Rambeau (and her pals)but because after reading Schiti’s stunningly beautiful Journey Into Mystery (with writer Kathryn Immonen) I would follow Schiti just about anywhere. Another win for 2014!

SHIELD

I doubt it will last, but these two are hot together. And romantic complications have helped me invest more in BOTH of them.

08. MARVEL AGENTS OF SHIELD

I know some people are really not vibing this show, but it’s still one of the best things I’m watching on network television. The issue for me is more of that “unreasonable expectations” stuff I mentioned earlier, and maybe the same is true for some of you. For me, you put Joss Whedon’s name on a show and I expect nothing but brilliance. And brilliance is a pretty high bar to shoot for, especially in the first half a season of a network television show – few reach that mark.

AoS has highs and lows and has so far been a relatively slow burn. The shows that feel decidedly “monster of the week” are not particularly interesting in that they just don’t stay with you long after watching and that’s a problem. Similarly, until recently the characters felt pretty cookie cutter, some of them stumbling into super annoying Mary Jane territory.

But the writers have a TON of hurdles — most notably characters that are supposed to be perfect brilliantly trained badasses (which leaves little room for error and failure and character development, etc.) as well as characters who are supposed to somehow be both our underdog heroes and who also basically work for “the man.”  Add to that too much leaning on the crunch of “invented technology” that can do anything and it’s a tough show to make work even before you add super high expectations.

Despite all this however, I can see this show developing into something very interesting and some of the characters have a ton of potential and are breaking free of their molds. Especially as it was left before the holiday break, this show is not far off from the sweet spot and if it can just get there, we’ll be golden.

Some of the recent plot developments as well as interviews I’ve read suggest that the people in charge get this and have us pointed in the right direction (again, proof is in that last episode). So here’s to a 2014 in which they do in fact get there…because really, take a step back and process the wonder that is us living in a time in which AGENTS OF SHIELD is a major network hour long show with a huge budget, and not just some special effects cheesy nightmare show relegated to the dregs of unknown cable networks, like so many comic-based/sci-fi/fantasy shows before it. It’s kinda huge.

Image Domination

From Left: Saga, Lazarus, Sex Criminals, and Umbral. Pretty Deadly, Revival, Fatale, and The Walking Dead. Velvet, Alex & Ada, East of West, and Rocket Girl. (There are of course many more, but these are my current favorites). Also, I realized after picking all these covers that they ALL feature women. That’s some kind of super Jedi mind shit bonus!

09. IMAGE COMICS DOMINATION

One of the weird things I find myself most excited about? The announcements I expect to see coming out of Image Expo this week. By Image’s own Eric Stephenson they “want to be number one.” Their books are certainly showing that they can be. The publisher that has brought us Lazarus, Velvet, Sex Criminals, Pretty Deadly, East of West, Rocket Girl, Umbral, and Alex & Ada (among others) in the last year alone, and all in addition to their already impressive lineup that includes ongoings like The Walking Dead, Saga, Revival, Fatale, and Manhattan Projects…well…it’s a damn good time to be a comic book fan. How much better can they possibly get?!

What will they announce this weekend?!?!! I am literally on the edge of my seat.

Storykiller Cover small

Storykiller cover art by Stephanie Hans

10. FROM TOE-DIPPING TO FULL IMMERSION (aka shameless self promotion, but related shameless self promotion)

As a writer/creator I have previously only toe-dipped into the comics world. First in 2012 I published The Girl Who Would Be King, which, though a prose novel, was about superheroes and had comic book and cover artist Stephanie Hans doing both the cover and the interior illustrations. So not quite comics, but “comics adjacent” as we love to say in LA (where I no longer live. So sad). In 2012 I also published an essay in Chicks Dig Comics, talking about my experiences with comics. Again, close but not quite.

However in 2012, I also had a short story “Superless Hero” (illustrated by the exceptional Stephanie Hans) published in Renae De Liz’s Womanthology (we’re the first story in the whole book!)…so finally…OFFICIAL COMICS!

But still, only a short story.

2014 will bring my first graphic novel from Dark Horse and with artist Meredith McClaren illustrating. We’re still keeping hush hush on the details, and it’s possible given the time these things take that it will get pushed to 2015, but I’m still hoping really hard for a late 2014 publishing date.

Also of note is that on 1/20/14 (T-minus two weeks!) I will be launching the Kickstarter for my next novel, Storykiller. While this is prose, not comics, it again has a stunning Stephanie Hans cover and I cannot even begin to tell you how many amazing comic book illustrators I have on board contributing to the illustrated section of the book. It’s a who’s who of established and up and coming comic book artists and I am one damn lucky girl.

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So, with that shameless bit of self-promotion out of the way, those are the ten comics-related things I am most looking forward to in 2014. What about you? What makes your list?

 

 

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33 Comments

Everything on your list!!!

Mighty Avengers has been a blast so far, despite Greg Land trying to ruin everything. The art change is great news. You’re in for a treat, Kelly!

I’m just curious, but do you still watch Arrow? It’s been getting pretty great this season, and there’s a good amount of strong female characters (with one exception)

Of all the comics mentioned above I’m most exited for Elektra. So far, the only person(in my opinion) that was good at writing her was Miller. I hope they can pull her off.

As for Netflix, I’m super exited for Daredevil. I’m hoping they can have some glimpses of the Daredevil/Black Widow romances since she’s already in the MCU.

Although Agents of Shield has its flaws I still like it a lot. It’s not as good as Arrow but its still quite entertaining.

She’s probably too old by Disney’s standards, but Maura Tierney was always my first choice to play Jessica Jones. She’d be able to perfectly capture Jessica’s attitude, and she’d make a convincing private eye.

I still cannot emphasize enough the sheer lack of IDW output here. I’m doing my best to be a good advocate! You’ve got to try their output this year, there’s more than just their licensed material.

Congratulations on the upcoming graphic novel! That’s great news. I’m looking forward to hearing more.

Fingers crossed that the new Kickstarter goes great. You certainly deserve it to – “The Girl Who Would Be King” is a great story.

I didn’t know Greg Land was leaving “Mighty Avengers”. Like you, I was interested in the book until I heard he was the artist. I just can’t keep putting down money for things I half like (like the writer, not the artist; like the character, not the artist; etc.) and I really dislike how his character’s faces look and how stiff everything feels on panel. Valerio Schiti is excellent so I’m back on board for this title.

I’m really looking forward to there being a “She-Hulk” ongoing. Everything about that character appeals to me so I’d love to see her back in an ongoing. I loved Dan Slott and Peter David’s work with her.

Yay for 2014!

Did you not enjoy First Class or were you just not excited about it like you were the original two films? I was only cautiously optimistic but it ended up being one of my favorite movies ever. With the exception of the personalityless Emma Frost.

Land has been surprisingly tolerable on Mighty Avengers. He hasn’t traced Pamela Anderson so far and there’s nary a porn face in sight.

Still, I am more than delighted that Schitti is moving to the book, and I hope he’s a permanent addition. I have one caveat, Marvel please do not put Frank D’Armata anywhere near Schitti’s pencils. D’Armata’s colours completely neutered him on Avengers A.I. Please get Jordie Bellaire back, or someone like Lee Loughridge.

“Did you see those covers in the “lady-tastic” #1? Do you see how exactly NONE of them are horribly offensive or off-putting? Amazing how that works, isn’t it? This is not rocket science, kids. Not even close.”

I did see the homage (*cough* direct rip-off *cough*) of Supergirl #1 for Ms. Marvel #1. Oh, and the Del Mundo cover is strangely reminiscent of one of Jock’s efforts on the previous volume of Detective Comics…

As noted elsewhere, the Frank Miller cover is one of many and you need not buy that particular one. It was also only added likely because DC had already solicited a Frank Miller cover, which may have affected order numbers.

As sad as I am to have dropped so many DC books, I am really, really happy with the direction Marvel is going. So happy that the majority of my pull list is now Marvel instead of previously being DC.

I also really hope the diverse line-up of Marvel’s books do WELL, because that will prove to DC that treating female characters and readers like garbage doesn’t make bank. And I am super looking forward to Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, Black Widow and Loki ongoings.

And oh gosh, Image! Can I just give a shout-out to Rat Queens, because it wasn’t mentioned but stars four female characters and is pretty much the funniest and funnest new book being published by Image. Seriously, please check it out because it is AMAZING. I work in a comic book store and have been recommending it to everyone, and those who give it a chance have added it to their pull lists :D

“Like a boss”? What type of person says tripe like this? Most bosses are morons who make too much money and are way too incompetent. Unless we are talking game bosses, in which case the objective is to beat them and move on. “Like a boss…” Really?

Vizator, “Like a boss” is a comedy reference from a funny comedy video. You don’t get the joke, fine. Move on.

Sadly, Schitti is only on 3 issues of Mighty Avengers.

Shield? But no Arrow? OK. Everything else though. Yeah!

One person’s opinion. Everyone has one. Hopefully the sheep follow their own.

Buffy and Angel’s love scenes in Season 8 were the best part of that season. You must be a Spike fan.

Vizator: Yeah, way to overreact.

Here you go, and welcome to the Internet: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/like-a-boss

Looking forward to your Kickstarter (as I missed the other).

@Danny: I tried to watch Arrow (like twice?) and couldn’t get through it. I have heard good things though lately, maybe I’ll try again.

@Acer: I’m sorry to say but i HAVE tried some IDW stuff in the last year and most of it wasn’t for me. :( I am planning to start reading Ross Campbell’s TMNT though…so maybe that will get some IDW on the list?

@Ian A.: Yesssss! Maura Tierney. She would have been a great Jessica Jones. Indeed, I think she’s about 10 or maybe even 15 years past that being viable though. Aging sucks, man.

@Derek: Thanks! :)

@Dalarsco: Well, my feelings on First Class are pretty complicated and probably too long for the comments, but in summary, despite some very good things (Michael Fassbender should be in everything!) I had huge problems with the portrayal of both female characters and characters of color. I also thought the ending of the movie was kind of a nightmare. All that said and in fairness, I was not excited for it the way I was for X-Men and X2.

@George: I’m not sure what you’re complaining about. The Ms. Marvel is clearly an homage to Gary Frank’s Supergirl #1 cover, as has been much discussed throughout the web – nobody is trying to hide it. http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2013/11/pichellis-ms-marvel-cover-gives-nod-to-franks-supergirl-1/

As for Del Mundo biting Jock’s style on Detective. That’s an extreme stretch and if you’re familiar at all with Del Mundo’s work than you’d know that creativity is not an issue.

@georgethecat: Yes! Rat Queens is a miss in my reading. I’ve heard great things and plan to dig into it this year.

Most of those Marvel ladies, i.e. all of them, will be gone in less than 2 years.

Enjoy.

@Dewey: That is terrible news. :( Do we know what Schiti is moving to?

I love lists like these, but most are lacking to say the least….stellar work on this one here, I thoroughly enjoyed it and totally agree about all of your points….I would add She-Hulk & Moon Knight to my All-New Marvel Now pulls though, really excited to have Ellis back and paired w/ Shalvey & Bellaire. I read an interview w/ Shalvey talking about how closely he & Bellaire will be working on the art, and it sounds very promising. Bellaire is such a talented person, on a roll and getting some much deserved credit, she & Shalvey should make a great team on this book and seem to be intent on pushing the boundaries of what modern comic book art can accomplish. Oh, and also, I’m a Southern Bastard, so I can’t wait for that series to begin, lotta promise for that one as well.

Brian from Canada

January 7, 2014 at 4:30 pm

Marvel’s female books would excite me were they not relaunching the same old, same old with little focus on picking an idea and staying with it — or, for that matter, making a new character based on demographic needs. (The new Ms. Marvel smacks of that as much as the latest Green Lantern: a chance to reach a group needing more representation.)

@Georgethecat: DC has had more confidence in its female-lead books than Marvel over the last decade, and while I disagree with some of the paths (Supergirl as Red Lantern is a baaaaad idea), I still think they are the company who’s done better at keeping defined female characters at the forefront. NOT every book is for everyone — but DC is about to surprise.

Personally, I think Lois Lane may get a little more focus in 2014. With luck, the one shot may lead to an ongoing. We haven’t seen ANYthing of their post-”Forever Evil” plans other than the two weeklies, so there’s lots to surprise with.

“an expanded Batman universe”? Geez, sometimes it already seems as if the entire DC line is one big Batman related crossover.

therealdeadshot

January 8, 2014 at 12:26 am

BATMAN

With the exception of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman comic, The Bat-universe has been tough for me to love over the last couple years for a variety of reasons and it’s been a bummer since Batman remains my favorite comic character.

<<< I only liked Batman Inc.
I found Batman – Court of Owls atrocious and cancelled it after issue 10. Hope it will improve next year.

Also, Captain ( Miss Marvel is tainted, yet they will never stop relaunching it. But no matter how good a debut arc could be, it will be relaunched and very likely relaunched all-different so why should I invest my time and money in such a book?

Anyway, snark aside, I’m looking forward to the Storykiller Kickstarter and the upcoming DH comic (obviously, this will be the thing Dark Horse needs to fill in the gap when they lose that Star Wars thing).

That Frank Miller Catwoman cover is offensive? Wha?! ;)

Count me in as someone who hopes the new movie erases X3 as well.

Kelly-But Hawkeye is named after Katie-Kate Bishop! As we all know by not, Clint Barton is the Hawkguy, not Hawkeye :P

“Land has been surprisingly tolerable on Mighty Avengers. He hasn’t traced Pamela Anderson so far and there’s nary a porn face in sight”

I was thinking about this before and then it dawned on me that the reason for this might just be that the stories in the first handful of issues have been dominated by male characters. She-Hulk hasn’t even shown up yet, Monica Rambeau has been an afterthought, and White Tiger has had a glorified cameo. Still, even the occasions he has had to draw women, they’ve been much better than his previous work. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it feels like he’s finally out of the Uncanny Valley.

What about Wonder Woman? Aren’t you excited DC/WB finally decided to not make her an afterthought.

I am getting more and more bummed about the sidelining of the X-Women in the movies. You are taking storylines that truly centered women – God Loves, Man Kills; The Dark Phoenix Saga, and now Days of Future Past and shove the awesome women aside to make it the Wolverine show.

I’m glad I was so late posting this week because now I can say the thing I’m looking forward to most this year is: Monthly doses of Dexedrine! Also Captain Marvel and KSD getting a more proper launch

You are not helping clear my queue. At all. I’ve already got a thousand and seven things to catch up on, and that number just went northerly. With no knowledge of storylines and from covers alone, I’m curious to know what’s going on with: Alex + Ada, Umbral, Velvet and Revival. And maybe Fatale. And possibly Sex Criminals.

You just had to rub it in that Buffy gets Isaacs, didn’t you? Must be nice for Buffy, being the Golden Child. Faith borrows her body once and makes a little time with Buffy’s temporary boy-toy, and suddenly she’s not allowed to have nice things anymore.

I’m not sure why people keep saying it is, but Agents of SHIELD is most definitely not a Joss Whedon show. He’s an EP and probably too busy with the movies, either prepping Avengers II or script-doctoring everything else, to be overly involved in the TV show. For better or worse, this is Jed and Mo’s baby. Plus, while I have nothing solid here, a lot of the problems I have with the show feel very Loeb-ian in nature. As for being on network TV . . . well, so is Hannibal, the first season of which was as good as, if not better than, any Season 1 I’ve seen in a while, network, cable or whatever you call Showtime and the like. Chuck was network, and while it didn’t have the expectations of a pre-existing universe on its shoulders, it was fun. And witty. And charming. And not at all a bad show for AoS to maybe take some notes from. Or possibly cast Adam Baldwin from.

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