Confessions of a Comic Book Guy is a weekly column by Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio. This week, Bennett looks at DC's upcoming Flashpoint and some inventive comic promotions
I'll just go and head and confess I'm not exactly excited about DC's upcoming Flashpoint event. Of course I'm not what you'd consider 'event crazy' to begin with so I'm not exactly looking forward to Marvel's Fear Itself or Age of X events either, but since I know almost nothing about either of those projects this week I'll focus on Flashpoint. People smarter than myself say it's going to take fifteen miniseries, that's 50 comics total over a three month period, to tell this story; I'd feel a lot more confident writing this if I knew who exactly would be doing all these comics but it sure seems like a lot of extra comics for our customers to absorb (on top of their regular pulls as). If nothing else though it will briefly give Lois Lane her own comic again, Lois Lane and The Resistance (I'm hoping 'The Resistance' is a rock band and together with Lois they travel the world playing gigs and solving mysteries, but what are the odds, really?) and not being made out of stone how could I not want a comic titled Frankenstein & The Creatures of the Unknown (though of course I'm hoping it will star the recent Grant Morrison version of the monster).
But then it's kind of hard to get excited about your next meal when there's plenty still already on your plate; DC's Brightest Day. I graduated college, have been reading since age five and reading comic books for forty-five years; sadly if there is one thing I am fully capable of doing is give expert testimony on superhero comics. But I swear I have absolutely no idea where Brightest Day is going and I can't imagine what the ending could possibly be. Now usually I consider that to be a good thing (after all, I'm the one that's always going on about 'good, unexpected' comics), but this makes me a little uneasy because so many recent DC events haven't so much ended as sputtered to a stop. And no matter how big the universe altering changes they theoretically contain, afterwards there always seems to be a tacit agreement in the DC Universe to never speak of them again (i.e., President Luthor, New Krypton, etc.).
I went to the DC Comics website to do some fact checking, and maybe I'm just the last one to get the memo (as I so often am), but I discovered (a) it's had a really nice redesign and (b) they're selling some of their comics there via comiXology from 99 cents to $1.99. And there's some free comics as well, though not enough enough of them for my tastes. I've said it before but when you've got all those issues of Rex the Wonder Dog and Sugar & Spike comics just sitting around on a shelf somewhere that are effectively worthless (in the direct sales market anyway), would it kill them to post a couple of them free online?
Captain America: The First Avenger is running during this Sunday's Super Bowl (I'll have to take their word; I swear, I went around all last weekend absolutely convinced the Super Bowl was on January 30th). So they're making Captain America: First Vengeance, the first of an eight issue digital comics series written by Fred Van Lente and drawn by Luke Ross and Neil Edwards that ties in with the movie, available for free. I know it's a promotion for the movie and doesn't put a penny into our pockets but it's hard not to admire the marketing savvy and I'm all for anything that gets comic content in front of the general public.
And, finally, speaking of promotional comics. Taco Bell has teamed with Marvel to provide four different 11-page comics for its kids meals (X-Men, Fantastic Four, Avengers and Invincible Iron Man). The covers come from already existing Marvel titles but the contents are all original and even include a one-page backup story by Colleen Coover. These sort of things can be terribly dismal and kidified but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I actually liked the first two, the X-Men one, written by Alex Zalben and drawn by the always dependable Tom Grummett, especially. It does a nice job of being not just a kid appropriate superhero story but a kid oriented one as well, focusing on Kitty Pryde during her early days as an X-Man. It even manages to squeeze in a 'eat healthy' message (Kitty is 'guided' towards drinking juice instead of soda and the X-Men are seen eating fresh fruit) that doesn't hit the reader over the head.
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.
Column by Steve Bennett
Posted by ICv2 on February 1, 2011 @ 11:53 pm CT
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