Comic Book Brain

Last Update: September 14, 2019

Wanna buy DC Comics?

The website Cosmic News speculates AT&T will be selling off the home of Supers and Batman.

"Worth a mention is that Forbes recently pointed out that "it's telling" that new WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey, who is from AT&T, never bothered to mention DC in a recent article that promoted WarnerMedia (one of the only WarnerMedia brands that were not mentioned), leading to speculation of DC closing or being sold. The article also points to the fact DC has been downsizing its exhibits at comic book conventions."


All of this could of course be simple money-saving maneuvers, plus a case of AT&T dodging what level of commitment they're going to make while they try to get a grip on their new expanded empire. With Disney practically printing their own money with the MCU movie franchise, surely AT&T recognizes they've got the only substantial challenge to that franchise with DC Comics' library of comics and characters. Why would they want to dump that? Just the toy marketing and various licensing avenues would make a typical business venture think in terms of potential earnings, not how to get rid of a hot potato that has some malfunctioning pieces. It should be irrelevant in the long term that the recent spate of DC films haven't delivered boffo box office, everyone knows from cinema history that it can be done (Tim Burton's Batman films and Chris Nolan's Dark Knight films shows that two radically different approaches can produce major ticket earning). The problem with DC movies isn't unique, it's the same problem every Hollywood project faces.

The question that comes to me isn't whether AT&T would want to jettison DC Comics, but whether they'd want to jettison DC Comics' management.

Spider-Man's tragic mistake

Marvel MCU honcho Joe Russo on Sony taking Spider-Man home: "I think it's a tragic mistake." -

"Sony Pictures CEO Tony Vinciquerra spoke on the split and said "the door is closed" on the partnership."

Batman News

Gamespot - Batman won't take a meeting with Joaquin's Joker says director Todd Phillips: "No, definitely not."

etonline - Rihanna - she'd obsessed with Poison Ivy! - Rihanna " ...quickly admitted that her love for Batman is real..."

Joker Folk Hero - "With society becoming more disillusioned by the day, it makes sense that the character of Joker could be seen as a sort of folk hero or anti-hero among the cynical public."

August Comic Book Sales

Comics Beat has a host of charts to show how the various books ranked against each other. Analysis works on why graphic novel sales are down versus the same time last year.

Joker Joaquin

Joaquin Phoenix Joker movie wins the top prize at the Venice Film Festival

Man, if there wasn't already a land rush to grab superhero movie roles in Hollywood, expect it to turbo once the realization that a 4-color movie can get the primo honors in Europe sinks in. I don't know if this is good news or bad.

Chicago Tribune - "Who’s laughing now?"

New York Daily News - "Phoenix’s menacing portrayal of the consummate evildoer deserved all of the credit."

MSN News - "Joaquin is the fiercest and brightest and most open-minded lion I know."

aaaand, Bruce Pattinson "sparks theory that Joaquin's Joker will crossover into his Batman movie" - Indie Wire - - (UK Guardian talked about this idea a few days ago)

Tom Holland confidant Sony knows what to do with Spider-Man

Sept 3, 2019

USA Today is also confidant

"Solving the woes of an ailing comic book industry is one of comicdom’s favorite pastimes, with many a theory offered as to why any given direct market superhero comic book only seems to be able to sell to 100,000 or less readers, often far less..."

Ideas kicked around at Fanboy Rampage - Bleeding Cool

Black Panther and Incredibles Plates

Batman Movie News

September 4, 2019: Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne, blah blah blah:

Vanity Fair - He's "f*cking furious!"

Indie Wire - He "got furious!"

Variety - "The pressure of being Batman"

USA Today - "He's relieved"

MSN News - "He's unfazed!"

Frank Miller's Superman: Year One #2

Review at Newsarama - "an odd fit for Superman himself."

Tee Shirt Deadpool

Hey, Marvel Fans

"Hey, Marvel movie fans! Stop acting like outraged religious fanatics defending their belief system."

Comedian Marc Maron from the coming Joker movie on Twitter

Marvel screen news

Moon Girl headed to Disney animation - Story at Indie Wire

Ms. Marvel headed to TV then into the MCU - story at Wionews

Batman News

Matthew Perry: "I'm Batman" - Yahoo News

Arkham Asylum 10 Year Anniversary - Playstation News

No animations in Tell Tale Batman Game - COMIC BOOK


Coming MCU The Eternals film will go backwards in time to be the earliest period of Marvel filmdom - wegotthiscovered

A guide to all of the most important of the new line of Marvel heroes - Film School Rejects

"You are cordially invited to the wedding of Black Cat and Spider-Man!"

Thanks! I'll be there! Where are they registered for gifts?

Spidey marries the Black Cat ... coverage at The Four Color Media Monitor ("...Well I'm certainly not falling for this, even if it's just another marriage that'll never come to pass") referring to article at Newsarama.

Mickey Rat

They seek him here, they seek him there, that damned elusive... Spider-Man?

Spider-Man departs Marvel's MCU

This story sounds like it can work in either direction: Sony takes back Spider-Man and this shows, post-Avengers Endgame, that Disney is losing it's deathgrip on superhero movies; or, Sony loses the services of ace Disney/Marvel producer Kevin Feige and is now left to figure out the (almost) impossible: how to make a Marvel superhero movie without Marvel's guiding hand. Either way, if the two mega companies don't come to a meeting-of-the-minds (and the news indicates that's not happening right now), it looks like Spider-Man will no longer be wistfully flash backing to Iron Man for fatherly guidance in his next cinematic outing.

From the article at Deadline Hollywood

"... it all comes down to money... "

At stake: the Deadline Hollywood article estimates 900 characters are available to Sony because of their hold on Spider-Man.

What about an almost utterly impossible future: with Spider-Man cut lose from Disney, what if Warners (now owned by AT&T) cooked up a crossover deal with Sony to spite Disney? Spider-Man V Batman, for example?

Marvel's Absolute Carnage #1 goes back to printer for 4th print run

Story at Bleeding Cool

Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen back for 12 issue run

Positive review at Yahoo on the resurrection of this classic DC title.

Hawkeye Tigra

Batman: Pierce Brosnan as Alfred? goes over the rumours, and the pros and cons of it really happening.

Marvel Comics #1000, 80th Anniversary

Aug 14, 2019: With cover art by Humberto Ramos with Mickey Mouse - Marvel superheroes together, plus at least another 32 variants (more about the variants at Newsarama).

Best Selling Comic Books of all time

Lists are out there on the internet, so we started to compile one too. The main problem is that the golden age of comic book sales was when the original comic books were first appearing, and the records for those days are very spare, to put it mildly.

See our list and the caveats - Best Selling Comic Books of all time

Jim Lee and Dan DiDio dispute the doom and gloom

Aug 7, 2019: Story at Hollywood Reporter on DC's new plans and what areas they're attacking in an effort to expand the DC digital world. Article goes over the failures of the last years such as the closing down of Mad Magazine and the Vertigo line.

Kevin Feige officially takes control of the future movie versions of Fantastic Four and X-Men

New info based on Disney's recent quarterly investor call - story at Movieweb.

The hazardous world of licensing

Though this article mentions Batman, its mostly a rumination on how licensing can be a help or a distraction to the original character or story (or song) and can serve, or hurt. Article discusses the war over rights that ensues when a creator tries to bust out of a contract, or the contract goes dead, or the creator never signed one when offered and now the interest has waned.

Article at Kriswrites

DC Universe streaming service

A tidy review of the new DC Universe service and what it has, sort've has, and doesn't have at all:

Whoa: DC Comics not important inside the AT&T Borg?


Aug 6, 2019: Scary article at Forbes

AT&T—now the parent company of Warner Media and its divisions, including DC Comics (previously known as DC Entertainment), HBO, Turner, and Warner Bros.—does not seem terribly interested in being in the comic book publishing business.

Predictions galore around the internet, some nearly apocalyptic, such as

  1. DC Comics will stop printing new material entirely and live off of old stuff with new covers (like what has happened to Mad Magazine).
  2. Go completely online digital with an end to "dead tree"products.
  3. Scrap the whole division and hand over the characters to marketing and product development.

Why do this? Because: the new Lords of AT&T will look at the print runs on the top selling DC Comics (80K) and just laugh and then shut the whole printing division down as not worth it.

Hey, man, what happened to Steve Rogers' Quantum suit?

Russos continue to clarify Captain America's status from Avengers Endgame.

Story at Comic Book

Overpowering the superheroes

Bruce Campbell ASH the Evil Dead

Bruce Campbell: Batman V Superman was a "stupid concept"

Story at Cinemablend

Aug 5, 2019: Campbell complains about how overpowered the super heroes are and therefore there's no real tension as there's no real legitimate threat to them, which he then compares to his character Ash, who is more like a real human being, who battles with a "real" chance of death (I guess if you don't concentrate on the various sequels and alternative entertainment forms that feature Ash, the number of which demonstrate how deathless Ash really is).

Superheroes being overpowered is an old complaint and has been around for as long as I've been alive, with the primary example being Superman going from originally being able to jump a building in a single bound to then able to levitate on demand and fly, his skin becoming bulletproof, all this prompting the question of how he is able to shave or get a haircut*. But more recent decades has taken the concept further, Supers has now been turned outright into a godling in various DC "mythology" series, a power-up that boosts the character right into an imitation pantheon of Ancient Greece (but with trademark and copyright protection.)

Part of the dilemma about overpowering the superheroes is just the presence of competition, if DC and Marvel don't push the limits of their fictitious characters, then they'll be left standing on the sideline as independent comic book companies run with the idea since clearly there is an audience for this. Which raises the obvious point: superhero comics have always been a reflection of society's needs and daydreams (among other things), so what is being supplied by turning the leagues of tight-suited heroes into pantheons of deathless gods? Is this just the predictable result of the erosion of traditional religion as a component of the majority of American's lives?

*The concept of the modern version of Superman doesn't work when explored logically, his mere presence among humans would constitute an enormous biological threat, let alone the issue of how he could possibly find a tool capable of clipping his toenails.

Superhero TV that's not kid-friendly

List of "adult oriented shows" and what is unique about them at Twin Cities.

Adam West in Once Upon A Time in Hollywood

Headline at Hollywood Reporter - Adam West's daughter reviews the Batman/Adam West references in the Tarantino film.

The coming Black Widow movie is connected to Civil War

Story at wegothiscovered

Affleck Batman

Before it got dropped, The Affleck Batman project was going to be centered on Arkham Asylum - story at joblo


Art by Elmore

Wonder Woman 1984 reshoots

July 31, 2019: Nervous superhero movie news item: Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman 1984 is getting reshoots, which causes Cinemablend to say " replying with fears -- or just jokes -- about Joss Whedon and Justice League-style reshoots."

Why Bucky ain't Captain America

And Sam is - Anthony Russo tells Yahoo Entertainment at UK YAHOO

Avengers Endgames still breaking records

The endcap for the 22-film MCU Phase One beat out Avatar for largest grossing film of Hollywood history, and now Fandangoplus preorder system reports it as the top pre-sell home video in history. More about this at Comicbookmovie

This reminds me of how well Tim Burton's Batman sold after hitting VHS, such that I remember seeing the film being sold in 7-Eleven and gas stations, this at a time relatively early in the home-video business, Burton's Batman blazing new ground for sell-through for the bulky VHS tape cassette.

Review: Spider-Man Far from Home

SPYDER BOY fart from home

Spider-Man Far From Home released July 2, 2019 in USA. Directed by Jon Watts.

Illusion is the theme of Spider-Man Far From Home and it is played up in a number of ways. By the end of the film two on screen romances have come together and dissolved in a fuzz of hormone-addled illusion, we see Nick Fury at a beach-front vacation only to discover its just an image on a projected screen, in fact we've got [spoilers] more than one Nick Fury running loose, and of course there's illusion-master classic Spidey-villain Mysterio [Jake Gyllenhaal] dishing out visual tricks. (Even a little Hollywood music criticism plays into this theme: Peter Parker mistakes AC/DC for Led Zeppelin.)

Beyond that there's Peter Parker and his friends going across Europe on a school vacation, and most of what we see of this Europe is the stuff of postcards. Whether Director Watts intended this as a self-reverential joke for the movie itself or just the unintended result of the centering of everything on the Archie-comics-like emotions of a group of high school kid characters, I don't know, but it certainly made Europe seem empty, especially London which appears to be only populated by automobiles. That the crown jewels are guarded by only two briefly seen bearskin-hatted guards with SA80 assault rifles was about as close as we get to actually viewing the native people. Unreal.

"Night Monkey" Spidey-suit is on screen a bit, along with a whole review of all the Spider-suits during a melange of Mysterio-theatrics.

The script by Chris McKenna is just about perfectly synced with the previous film with Tom Holland as Spider-Man (Spider-Man Homecoming) and whatever was good or bad about the 2017 movie is repeated here, though the spectacular CGI of Mysterio rampaging in Europe is on a larger scale than Homecoming's Vulture (Michael Keaton) tearing up New York. For 2019, seeing Venice get swamped was a disaster-film moment, but Spider-Man Far from Home is otherwise strictly contained like a two-part Spider-man comic book tale, a bit crammed in places and though I loath extended mopery from how Hollywood taught itself to do Peter Parker, there's not too much of it here to induce audience eye-rolling.

Is this the direction Marvel is going now that their mega-epic Avengers saga has concluded with Endgame? It appears more likely that they are slow-walking the emotional growth of Spider-Man so that there will be time to include an assortment of villains in future films, and to have a maturing Spidey play a part in whatever makes up the future hero team Hollywood-Marvel decides to risk its reputation on, a dilemma they can't avoid now that the series has topped out with so much money earned and the bulk of their actors outgrown (and contract-ended) their roles.

July 20, 2019: The Eternals movie gets previewed (as an idea, not as an actual made-film) at AV Club.


Super History

Super-history: Comic Book Superheroes and American Society, 1938 to the Present

The Spectre - Volume 1 (DC Archive Editions)
Tokyo Mix

Selfie with the heroes

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