I’m not sure if you’ve noticed this but San Diego Comic Con – also known as Comic Con International – has grown into something that has become just a little bit out of control. It’s the biggest con in America, and the amount of announcements that arrive are too much for just one person to keep track of (see: yesterday’s sneaky “Fight Club” sequel revelation from FRIDAY).
Thankfully, you have your trusty friends at Multiversity to reach through the muck and the mire to pick what the best and brightest were, and let’s face it: it’s SDCC, there’s a lot.
Our trusty assistant editors Brian Salvatore and David Harper dissect the list and break down everything you need to know about the most awesome things from SDCC 2013. Let us know your favorites in the comments, as we’re always excited to know what you’re excited about!
10. The Maxx Returns
Brian Salvatore: The often forgotten book among the early Image hits, “The Maxx” was the brainchild of the great Sam Kieth. It ran for 30 issues, had an MTV show developed from it, and then sort of disappeared. But, thanks to IDW, “The Maxx: Maxximized” will reprint the single issues with brand new painted covers by Kieth. In addition, there will be hardcover collections of the series and Artist Editions released as well. For a much loved, but somehow neglected, series, this is about as good as it can get. If you haven’t read these stories before, just wait.
David Harper: As awesome as it may be to have “Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland” coming from IDW and writer Eric Shanower (who is an awesome fit), holy crap you guys, Gabriel Rodriguez providing the spiritual and artistic sequel to Winsor McCay’s work is basically the best thing ever. Or at least the 9th best thing from SDCC 2013. If you’ve never seen McCay’s art, please god, go check it out. His art from a century ago would blow people’s minds if it was released today. The chance for Rodriguez to follow Locke & Key with this project, following an influence of his, is such perfect fit of creator and subject. I cannot wait.
Brian Salvatore: There are few things as wonderfully expressive as Mike Mignola’s artwork, especially when working with Hellboy. So, the just announced “Artist Edition: Hellboy in Hell and Other Stories” from IDW is a dream come true. Oversized (or, rather, actual sized [the size is the size of the artist’s boards used]), colored scans of black and white pages (so blue lines and other ephemera can be seen) from one of comics’ masters is something that I can’t imagine not being stoked about. This can’t come out soon enough.
David Harper: The weird thing about Ryan Sook is, even though he rarely does interiors, anyone who appreciates good comic art nods in approval when they hear his name. He’s not super well known, if only because he never works seemingly, but the fact he’s going to be working with Kelly Sue DeConnick and Christopher Sebela on “Ghost” makes that book a “buy for sure” shift to a legitimate contender for best creative team in comics. While I can’t imagine he’ll be on for long – he rarely stays on interiors for long, anywhere – any Sook is better than no Sook. Or at least that’s what Grandpappy Harper used to tell me.
Brian Salvatore: You won’t find a bigger James Robinson fanboy than me – anything with the guy’s name on it, I buy it, no questions asked. So, given that Robinson is launching a creator owned book, “Grand Passion,” described by him as “Elmore Leonard writing a harlequin romance,” makes me nearly giddy. Dynamite has been bringing in some top notch talent lately, and while no artist has been announced yet, Robinson usually has a fine eye for collaborators. Hopefully, unlike Robinson’s last SDCC announcement (the still unsolicited “The Saviors” with J. Bone), this one will be out sooner rather than later.
David Harper: Do I need to tell you that buying a Parker book from Darwyn Cooke is nothing short of a must buy? Do I really need to? Well, if that’s the case, his new book “Slayground” is coming in December, and it continues the story he’s set up in his previous Parker books – which have been instant classics of the comic art form. I could probably count the amount of creators I’d prefer to read something from on one hand – maybe just a few fingers – and more Parker means you get Cooke at his absolute finest. I for one cannot wait for this. But I will have to because IDW is selfish and won’t give it to me now.
Brian Salvatore: Gimmicks get a bad name. Sure, when style beats substance, bad things usually happen, but a good hook can be fun. “Harley Quinn,” written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, is debuting in November with an interesting gimmick for its first issue. Each page of the comic will be drawn by a different artist with “commentary” by Harley herself.
Now, I’m not a big Harley fan – to be totally honest, she sort of bugs me – but this sounds like a fun way to spend a few minutes. Of course, the cynic in me believes that DC honestly doesn’t have a regular penciller lined up, and this buys them a month to do so, but even if that’s true – when has something like this ever been done? Sure, it breaks the 4th wall – so what? And it probably won’t be the most engaging or inspirational piece of sequential art of the year, the month, or even the week. But you know what it will be? Fun. And I like fun. Plus, the only name announced so far is Adam Hughes – if some of the guys doing the “Dial E” story in “Justice League” in October (Jock, Lemire, Santolouco, Ponticelli), it’ll look beautiful, too. Kudos to DC for trying something new – even if it falls on its face. SDCC this year had far too few chances being taken.
David Harper: Sure, we’re getting Quest for the Spark stories on occasion, but I have to admit, I miss the adventures of the Bone family by Jeff Smith. Sounds like he does as well, as Smith himself said at SDCC that more will be coming from him – all him, writing and art – and that they would not be prose and they would likely involve characters we know and love. To which I say YAYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!
David Harper: Did I write about this at length yesterday? Yes. Do I care? No. This was – in terms of sheer social media power and buzz – the biggest announcement of the con. Is it our fave? No. But it was gigantic, in that this is the biggest film franchise taking an abrupt left turn and blowing people’s minds. And while much of the initial reaction was negative (I mean come on, what did they expect the Internet to do?), I have to admit, I’ve really come around on it. I love the idea. Ultron is a great villain, and the fact that they’ll pair his creation with Tony Stark – the center of the Marvel film universe – makes arguably their greatest hero even more fallible. Plus, it gives him a reason to develop a drinking problem. I can’t believe I am going to say this, but I can’t wait for “Age of Ultron!”
Brian Salvatore: There are plenty of reasons why this could be terrible; there are a ton of reasons that this could fall flat on its face; there are a ton of reasons that this could be a miserable excuse for a film that derails the entire DC film universe.
But fuck it, we’re getting Superman and Batman in the same movie.
This is something fans, myself included, have been dreaming about for decades. Not only that, but this is something only DC can do. Sure, a Justice League movie is going to always be compared to Avengers. But Marvel doesn’t have two properties as big, as diametrically opposed but intimately connected, as Batman and Superman. This is exactly what DC should do to differentiate itself from Marvel, cinematically.
Just cast Batman well, and someone please tell David Goyer that, despite how popular Injustice: Gods Among Us is, we want to see Superman and Batman fight together, not each other.