Alright, bear with this twisty-turny echo chamber for a bit.
The story starts last year in September, when Rich Johnston reports that Andrew Hope is returning to comics. The artist of a book called “Shadowmen” written by Mark Millar in the 90’s, Hope’s history in the comic book world is very short and not too known. And yet, almost a full year ago, Hope began teasing that he was working on a book for Marvel Comics, a company he refers to on his Twitter page as the greatest comic company on Earth.
And, according to some nifty coverage by The Beat which was similarly followed by some stuff once again from Rich, the implication seems to be that Andrew Hope joined up at Marvel to write the return of “Marvelman,” a long awaited project that Marvel has been expected to do something with since gaining the rights back a few years.
The quote from Hope that seems to tease this is as follows:
First interview request for my top secret, miraculous Marvel project, from Comicbookresources, even. Not sure how much I want to actually say … but I suppose I can reveal here and now that my series features a character with a cult following, made famous by an extremely famous and successful British writer a number of years ago. How vague is that?
Of course, the idea that Hope writing a new book starring Marvelman is a bit strange. After all, with no disrespect to Hope, are we really to believe that Marvel Comics will take their biggest property and give it to a guy who drew a comic book twenty years ago and is friends with Mark Millar? Especially when they can ostensibly get a guy like, oh, I don’t know, Neil Gaiman?
Certainly I’m not alone in thinking this, as Rich connects the dots between Marvel filing for trademark of Fantomex and all of this teasing by Hope to presumably mean that Hope is going to be writing the potential “Fantomex” ongoing with an announcement at SDCC forthcoming. It adds up; Fantomex is a cult character made famous by a successful British (well, Scottish) writer some odd years ago. Fantomex has certainly never been more popular thanks to Remender’s run on “Uncanny X-Force,” so why not give the guy (and guy and gal) an ongoing?
But… again, this doesn’t make sense, does it? Fantomex is a key selling point to “Uncanny X-Force,” alongside the talents of the creative team. His (and his and her) story is pretty much contained to that book, as Fantomex isn’t exactly making a lot of appearances elsewhere; he’s hardly the next Deadpool or Wolverine or whomever it is to get a litany of titles.
So while I enjoy watching Bleeding Cool and The Beat play against each other in a game of who can scoop who, I’ll admit that were I to throw a hat into the ring it’d be the dull hat of — “Or maybe he’s not writing anything?”
Look. I hate to be “that guy” at the party who just skeptically looks on at everyone having fun and wonders about what’s so entertaining about throwing a ball at a cup of alcohol, but I find it hard to believe that Andrew Hope is about to become as prolific as Bleeding Cool and the Beat would believe. This isn’t to knock any of their reporting (Rich is usually pretty good about hearing about things, and the Beat has a sharp record as well), but … where is the actual evidence of anything? The reports show comments from 2012 that seem to have no basis or even the tiniest of cordial responses from any of the litany of people tweeted at followed up by random re-assertions this past weekend that the Biggest Comic Event of the Year will announce that some guy you probably haven’t heard of is writing your new favorite comic.
Call me a skeptic or perhaps even a pessimist, but I’m calling shenanigans.
From where I sit, all of this ends up as a very fascinating story about a guy who is saying that he is writing a Marvel comic and that’s about it. Honestly, if that’s all it takes then maybe now is the time I admit that I too am writing for Marvel and that I’ll actually be writing an event comic in which Jack Kirby’s ghost shows up and beats the shit out of every hero in the Marvel landscape? It’s going to be announced next week!Continued below
Whatever it is Hope is or isn’t working on, he’s not telling. Just teasing. I suppose we’ll find out if MTV and CBR announce it next week.
I’ll say this: if Marvel is going to release a book written by Hope, whose credits in the community are next to none, it’d be astonishing. For all the things happening in comics right now, with the BOOM/Archaia merger and Image’s DRM-free digital comics, a random guy out of left field who hasn’t produced work for twenty years (as far as we can tell) writing a high profile title for a high profile company would be some kind of Cinderella story indeed.
In the meantime, we’ve reached out for comment about the subject. At time of posting this article, none was given. Can’t really say if that’s a tick in either column, though.