Comic Relief in Flint, Michigan
Nerd Byte: 5/4/13 was Free Comic Book day, as if you didn’t know. Eleven years to the day after the inaugural event in 2002, which was one day after the opening of the first Spider-Man movie. It was intended to be a day for retailers to draw in new customers, especially the kids who will drive the industry into the future. It’s also a chance to give a little something back to the customers who show loyalty throughout the year.
It was a fun and festive day at my local comic shop, Comic Relief in Flint, Michigan. Lou, Wayne and Dale showcased many talented artists and guests like Gabriel Cantu, Justin Faber, Jim Frankenstin, Brian Germain, Brian Hackney, Erik Hodson, Alexandra Keaton, William Messner-Loebs, Adam Lockwood Morgan, Geary Roe, and Nicole Stevens. Other guests included Ginger Kewl and Carey Torrice. Wayne Luck told me that the place was pretty packed all day. They thought they had ordered enough of everything, but by the time I got there (around 5:00pm) there were some holes in the racks to attest to the turnout. Wayne also said that he was impressed by the number of parents who brought their kids throughout the day. That is good news for their business and the comic industry in general. Many wonder if digital comics will eventually replace paper. I, for one, hope not. I am a comic nerd at heart, but a collector as well. I need something to put my hands on. I love the smell of the paper and the ink, as I’m reading. Hopefully, Free Comic Book Day went a long way toward building that future. Thanks Comic Relief, and every other retailer who participated in the festivities. See you guys on Wednesday!
Nerd Byte: It’s official X-Factor will come to an end with issue 262 in September. Peter David will write the group out with a six issue story arc entitled “The End Of X-Factor.” The book started 10 years ago with the cast of the Original X-Men stepping into the public and fighting crime out in the open. It ends with a quirky ensemble cast of seeming misfits solving mutant crimes and mysteries. David used characters that had fallen off the grid like Rictor, Monet, Longshot and Multiple Man. He made them interesting again. I’ll be sorry to see them go, but very interested in how it all ends.
Nerd Byte: Joss Whedon has been hinting that the Avengers showdown with Thanos might not happen in Avengers 2 as many believed. He recently intimated that the ultimate face-off with Thanos would be saved for the climactic finale. Whedon stated, “Thanos is more powerful. He’s not someone you just trot out and punch him. Like you did in the comics, you want him to be threading through the universe and to save the big finale for the big finale. He’s definitely a part of what I’ve got going on. The thing about The Avengers is, that they are very powerful, but they aren’t very stable. There’ll definitely be some people who are gonna shake them up in the next installment!”
Nerd Byte: Rumors continue to swirl around the Man of Steel. The latest has the Martian Manhunter showing up in the film. It’s unclear, as yet, if it’s true. If it is, there is plenty of speculation as to what J’onn J’onnz will be doing in the movie. Photos have emerged depicting Harry Lennix, who is listed as playing General Stanwick, in a CGI suit that bears an odd resemblance to the uniform of the Martian Manhunter. My guess is that the Manhunter is on a recon mission. He will likely remain in the background watching as things develop with Superman. His scenes will likely be in the General Stanwick persona, with a few glimpses at his powers, which obviously include shape-shifting. The character’s appearance would certainly make sense since the Man of Steel‘s success has been reported to be the lynch-pin of the future of the DC Universe in movies. Let’s hope Man of Steel lives up to the hype, otherwise we may never see the Justice League movie we are all waiting to see.
Nerd Byte: In a recent interview Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige commented on the possibility of a stand-alone superhero movie featuring one of Marvel’s many strong female characters. There has been talk at Marvel Studios regarding characters from the roster of female superheroes, but no names were mentioned. Feige said, “We have a number of candidates from the comics and from the movies we’ve already made. It’s just a matter of finding the right story line, the right filmmaker, the right time.” Odds would be good on Black Widow being the first, and with the Guardians of the Galaxy movie expanding the Marvel Universe into space, Captain Marvel could be on the horizon.
Nerd Byte: If you can get enough of zombies in film, then this news is for you. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a parody novel by Seth Grahame-Smith and a graphic novel by Tony Lee. It has been bouncing around Hollywood with names like David O Russel and Natalie Portman attached. Most recently according to a Variety report there’s still life in the project about the lifeless. New director Burr Steers (Igby Goes Down, Charlie St. Cloud) has come aboard. Lily Collins (Mortal Instruments) is reportedly in final talks to play the female lead.
Nerd Byte: The battle between the television providers and the streaming movie sites (like Netflix) has taken a brief cease fire in order for the streamers to take a few potshots at each other. Approximately 1800 titles were recently dropped from the Netflix streaming service. According to The Huffington Post, titles from Warner Bros., MGM, and United Artists were pulled from the instant stream Netflix line up. Warner’s launch of an exclusive streaming site is likely the reason behind this drastic action. Netflix assured it’s subscribers that they will be adding around 500 titles today and that the “ebb and flow” happens often. I’m not surprised at the move, I’m just surprised at the timing.
Anthony Mackie, The Falcon
Nerd Byte: Pictures are emerging from the set of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Anthony Mackie, playing Cap’s long-time partner, The Falcon, is putting his flight apparatus through it’s paces. I hope that’s not his actual uniform for scenes as The Falcon, but judging from Marvels propensity for black leather, I may be disappointed. The story is rumored to be based around Cap’s struggle to embrace his role in the modern America. Played again by Chris Evans, Cap teams up with Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Falcon (Mackie), and S.H.I.E.L.D. to battle a powerful yet shadowy enemy in present-day Washington, D.C. Sounds a lot like a certain Avengers Comic story called “Red Zone.” Geoff Johns penned the tale based on Red Skull’s infiltration of the U.S. Government as Dell Rusk and his attack and murder of thousands of people with a strange red mist. It was the best arc of Johns’ short time as The Avengers scribe. It’s certainly powerful enough for a movie translation and would explain the Falcon’s prominent role. He was instrumental in stopping Red Skull’s plot. It would not, however, explain the subtitle “Winter Soldier.” That’s a whole different can of worms.
Until next week, Stay Nerdy!