Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Occasional Thoughts

Thoughts. I do have them.

So Incredible Herc beats Grant Morrison's Batman in January sales?

How does that happen?

Shouldn't Batman written by Grant Morrison be at least in the top ten?

I mean...this is a book starring Hercules. Hercules not written by Grant Morrison.

Can a total investment in Morrison for Final Crisis pay off? Will it be the instant blockbuster a comic with the name "Grant Morrison" had been in the past?

So JMS is no longer exclusive with Marvel.

"There's also something to be said for cross-pollination, for embracing a variety of universes and creative opportunities."


How long until we see him at DC?

Better damn well finish The Twelve, first. Thor is ok, but maybe Marvel can get Brian Wood to write it.

So, first Ms. Marvel's Aaron Lopresti defects to Wonder Woman, and now Wonder Woman's Terry Dodson is doing an interconnecting Ms. Marvel/Captain Marvel cover?

Do the publishers plan this out beforehand?

"I'll see your Lopresti for a Dodson!"

Why shouldn't Brian Wood write Batman? Jason Aaron is writing Ghost Rider.

I argue that Brian Wood's Batman would generate more excitement than Grant Morrison's Batman.

Yes, DC, we get it -- Teen Titans is a brand you want to "push," your X-Men.

Teen Titans, Titans, Titans Year One, Tiny Titans, Amateur Titans Go Wild, Retired Titans Adventures...

So The Perry Bible Fellowship's Nicholas Gurwitch is "retiring" from his popular webcomic.

He should write Batman.

Or at least Retired Titans Adventures.


  1. Grant on Batman is the best I could ever hope for, I don't really care that much if it sells 100,000 copies really as long as I can read it.

    Seven Soldiers was one of the best series I have ever read and it didn't really sell that well. Grant is just all awesome and little hype. More people naturally will gravitate to a big story where you know Hulk will throw down with all Marvel heroes than a Batman book written by a guy really well known by comic fans but not really anyone else.

    If he left, I'd vote for Paul Pope or Matt Wagner.

  2. I'd still be buy Morrison's Batman if Andy Kubert or J. H. Williams III were drawing it. And no, I wouldn't give two hoots whether it came out "every four weeks" or not.

  3. Couldn't the January numbers game be explained by Batman 673 coming out on January 30? Not a bad ranking for a two day haul.


  4. "More people naturally will gravitate to a big story where you know Hulk will throw down with all Marvel heroes than a Batman book written by a guy really well known by comic fans but not really anyone else."

    Actually, the issues she's talking about in Incredible Hercules don't have the Hulk in them at all. This is post-World War Hulk, and Hercules is the star of the book. So far he's run from SHIELD and fought Black Widow, Wonder Man, and Ares, none of whom are big name draws.

    Carry-over from World War Hulk is part of the reason it's selling so well, but only part- drop-off in sales is quick when an event ends. A major reason, I suspect, is that Greg Pak is writing a great story, and Leonard Kirk is drawing the hell out of it.

  5. Brian Wood seems to have no intention of ever writing a superhero comic. I heard he's been offered the chance but prefers to write his own stuff that he has control over and tell stories.

    Some guys do creator owned work in hopes of getting a chance at the Superhero stuff, but others are really happy with the system vertigo works at.

    Also, dude is making them duckets already. Did you see his crib? He's got a PS3 back before either of the price drops.

    As on Incredible Herc outselling Grant Morrison's Batman, outside of the JH Williams III arc, Batman seems to be alot setup for something that is going to read better all together than in a month to month pamphlet. I know I'm personally waiting for all the pieces to get together because it doesn't feel like a book that I need to read in pieces.

    Also, Herc did abnormally good, but I rather see how sales are on the book after the big event has faded. With Diamond's system, you really can't tell how a good a book is selling until 4-5 months after it ships.

  6. The main reason that "first" issue of "The Incredible Herc" sold so well is that no one knew what it was going to be. Diamond and Marvel showed a preview cover with the charcter and the title blacked out. It was pushed as the first issue of the Hulk after the end of World War Hulk. The hype and the mystery made it a high ordering point. No one knew what to expect, and people were prepared for another "death of Captain America" moment in this issue I suspect.

    I doubt the sales will continue to be in the range that first issue sold at.

  7. Frankly, I prefer Paul Dini's work in Detective to Grant Morrison's Batman. I loved much of Seven Soldiers, but Morrison's Batman is just too damn drawn out for me, and the whole Damien / Ra's al Ghul thing totally wore out it's welcome (I love how Dini dismissed Ra's in one issue after the excrutiatingly slow Resurrection and its build up).

  8. Kinda makes you wonder if readers have lost interest in Morrison, or just in DC generally.

    ...Oh wait, people are taking this discussion to heart. Never mind, I didn't say anything.

  9. I think it is worth noting-- the Batman comic is GOOD. Not just Morisson + Batman, but = GOOD. Somehow people are buying Marvel but not DC & I...don't get it? Sure, some of DCs "flagship" titles are not so great (Countdown, I'm looking at you) but you don't have to get suckered into "flagship titles." Who cares about Countdown? It isn't hard to ignore. I do it ALL THE TIME.

  10. Oh, also, though, Incredible Herc is really good too. I am not trying to hate. Pak came onto my radar with Planet Hulk & he STAYED on my radar. I though WWH was a bit of a bust, but I have really liked Inc. Herc. ALSO HE IS GOING TO FIGHT THE SKRULL GODS? OR SOMETHING? WHAT THE HECK AWESOME.

  11. Well, just to add my three cents to the discussion:

    * I think part of Incredible Herc's success is that it is actually a very well-done comic. Its success and non-suckitude was a shock to me, as I was not a huge Herc fan. But it's a great book with beautiful art. Go figure.

    * I think Grant Morrison is a really great writer. I'm just saying that every creator has a "peak" to their success (as well as future "peaks" down the line). Right now, I think he's peaked. Doesn't mean he's not popular. I'm just saying he might be a little too overexposed. I think DC should shift him over to Vertigo after Final Crisis and let him juice up that line again, restart Doom Patrol, anything.

  12. I have never enjoyed Batman, and I gave Morrison a chance and tried reading it...

    But honestly? It's REALLLYY choppy and hard to follow. I just can't get into it.

    While I have never enjoyed Superman comics, either, but I love Geoff Johns' Action Comics, so go figure.

    While I like Pak, I don't really enjoy Incredible Herc, either, cause I think the character is just plain dumb.

    LOVE That Dodson cover, though. Wow.

    And would love to see Brian Wood do anything super hero related. He'd kick some major ass.

    Would also like to see Johnathan Hickman throw down too.

  13. Grant Morrison's Batman just confounds me. I enjoyed the JH Williams arc and some of the Kubert issues, but overall it hasn't been very memorable. Much of the time, it also doesn't make any sense. I'm not asking for my hand to be held, but confusion is confusing. Incredible Herc, on the other hand, is straight forward action. Very fun, accessible, and it looks great. Who can argue with that?

  14. I think that the success of Herc is only because of the Post WWHulk numbers, regardless of how good it is/isn't.

    If we had switched to Hercules without WWH being Marvel's big current event I bet it would not have increased Hulk numbers at all and would be selling at 30-40,000. If it is good, the numbers might go down slowly, but the numbers are just reflecting retailer orders. It will go down.

    Batman would probably be closer to 90,000-80,000 if the stories flowed better. We had the one off Joker issue, a BAD fill in, a weird crossover and a 666 issue that didn't tie in very obviously until now. I like it, but it isn't consistent or very clear what to expect.

    Unfortunately without a Final Crisis tie in the numbers aren't going to recover, but it seems like a natural crossover at least.

    Really if you look at numbers almost any book will only lose orders without an event, and many of the books we think are good don't sell that well. I just don't see much correlation between good stories and comics selling well (the Walking Dead being one of a few exceptions)

  15. It's a shame that the WWH afterglow (or whatever it is) that is making Incredible Herc such a sales juggernaut is not rubbing off on Damage Control, which is another great "Aftersmash" book that is holding a tiny fraction of the H-Doggs' sales. Come on people, it's funnier than Red Hulk, and it's trying to be funny!

    Personally I hope Morrison does some Vertigo work again soon too, but I don't see what pushing him over there does, particularly if you're going to task him with 'revamping' some existing DC/Vertigo property. All of Morrison's Doom Patrol took place in the DCU proper, and it seems counterproductive (and limiting) to bother taking old DC properties and making them exciting again if they just get walled up over at Vertigo.

    I think Morrison's Batman has been severely hamstrung by delays, fill-ins and an unfulfilling line-wide crossover. These same problems have caused the sales on Johns's Action Comics to dip even further than Morrison's Batman sales, but when he's given a big canvas and things go smoothly (Sinestro Corps War, JSA) Johns still brings the ruckus of fan excitement and sales. Hopefully Morrison will be able to do the same this summer with Final Crisis.

    Barring that, maybe Brian Wood will want to write Final Crisis instead!

  16. Kinda makes you wonder if readers have lost interest in Morrison, or just in DC generally.

    Thank you. The more DC piles up the disemboweled and headshot corpses, the farther away I scoot. Frankly, beyond devotion to cherished characters, I can't fathom why anyone's reading DC anymore.

  17. I buy both books and can easily say I look forward to Incredible Hercules a LOT more than I do Batman anymore. With Batman, I get the impression that Morrison wants to do more, wants to just take it outside the box but he's bound by the fact that Batman's a flagship character who can't be changed or tweaked too much from what the public perception of Batman is.

    With Hercules, it's just a great book with a healthy sense of fun about it. DC should definitely take a page from this: a "fun" book doesn't mean something wacky; it's just a big sweeping adventure with balancing elements of comedy and drama complimenting each other. I honestly don't know of a DC book I can say that about.

  18. Oh, I'm loving Morrison's Batman run greatly. The numbers really don't mean much to me if the quality of the writing is there.

    While Incredible Herc is surprisingly decent, I in no way believe Greg Pak is as good a writer as Grant.

    Planet Hulk pedestrian and World War Hulk was just awful. But awful comics never stopped people from buying them.

    Love the Dodsons' art on Ms. Marvel! A shame I don't have any interest in those books. What a loss for us fans that were waiting for Simone to take over Wonder Woman- only to have the Dodsons gone. Boo?

  19. Morrison is like a lot of writers; he gains a plum title, writes it well for a while...then he gets bored with it and starts doing a half-assed job before running it completely into the ground on the way out the door to his next plum title. (Just compare the first and second halves of his JLA run.)

    I just read Hulk #2, and I was astonished by the slapheaded quality (It's a toss-up for which is worse--the splash page or "Oh. The. HUMANITY."), given how much I enjoyed the first issue.

    On the other hand, despite a minor tragedy the newest Hercules was great fun where the kooky dialog ("Hot damn, I'm evil!!") works wonderfully. I agree with Juan on World War Hulk (if not Planet Hulk), but I'm diggin' Hercules.

  20. Brian Wood on The Goddamn Hawkman. I'd be so there.

  21. I'm a huge fan of Grant Morrison's work, but frankly I bailed out of Batman after there was a four part fill in story somewhere around late 2006. I intended to try and pick up the Morrison issues when they came out but after long delays and fill ins the book just fell off my radar. I ended up doing the same thing with Dini on Detective. Maybe eventually I'll go back and pick up the trades, but even then the last Detective trade I saw was half Dini half fill in. Why bother?

    I don't think that Morrison is on a wain of his career so much as he is being horribly misused. His first year was great with books vertigo fair like Seaguy, We3 and Vinarama, and Seven Soldiers. Seven Soldiers in particular being an ambitious project and a fantastic read. but then it seemed like he others got swallowed by 52.

    And I really think that 52, while a big seller in it's own right, is a big reason why the rest of DC's line has suffered such a sales decline. Their five best writers were consumed with one book. And it's not like 52 was that great. I felt it was a mis mashed soup lacking any of the distinct style or voice that makes Morrison, Rucka, Johns and Waid so good.

    And I have to tell you, I'm probably not going to pick up Final Crisis either. I haven't followed Countdown, and I have to tell you, the concept of a multiverse as DC uses it is incredibly alienating. I'm sorry, I was born in 1980 and I started reading comics in 1991, I flat out don't know anything about pre-crisis DC or how the multiverse is supposed to work. And trust me, when a long time X-fan like myself thinks your books are too confusing, it's time to step back and examine the accessibility of your editorial direction. I used to love a lot of DC books before they became dense love letters to a time before I was even born let alone reading comics.

    That being said, you tell me that Grant Morrison is doing a Vertigo project or a stand alone project like Seven Soldiers... I am all over that.

  22. the never ending crossover that is DC comics right now is a recipe for a head ache and a empty wallet. they have exhausted most comic readers. This crossover stuff has got to end, it isn't any good at all, and because of reader fatigue even talent Like Grant Morrison can get people interested in their nonsense.

  23. Everyone wanting to see Brian Wood on superhero books, you could always track down GENERATION X #63-75, which he wrote (some co-written with Ellis). It's early work, but the man has done superheroes before.

  24. The success of Herc might be a fluke, the usual issue #1 bump (which it essentially is despite the numbering). Its too early to denote a pattern.

    As for Batman, there have been enough issues now for the Morrison bump to wear off. The simple fact is his run isn't all that spectacular or different then anyone else's Batman. A few ideas are tossed in, most forgotten or never followed and the end result is overall pretty dull run.

    Sadly, as is often the case, its hard to tell if its writer burnout, over exposure or editorial interference. I am leaning towards the last. Hard to make any broad long term plans for Batman when editorial may come down and change their mind on a whim especially with Final Crisis and later Trinity. Morrison tends to not think in 6 issue arcs like most writers but really 50+ arc broken down into 6 issue chunks. Because of editorial plans he is unable to work his usual MO (sadly cause Batman would have benefited) and the current run is the result of him trying to modify how he operates.

  25. I haven't thought Morisson's run was ALL good, I should say. I liked the Damien story-- I like the Son of the Bat. & this RECENT issue? Was, I think, "Great." As in, a finding of footing.

    & re: the Morisson "bump." Isn't All-Star Superman universally acknowledged as magically good? Isn't it?

  26. I've liked Batman, but I'd found it terribly hard to follow at times without multiple reads not just from fill-ins and such, but the narrative just seems all over the place and almost abstract at times.
    And I really can't imagine Wood doing superheroes against after his Counter-X experience and Joe Q killing the book pretty dead. Course, I thought the same thing about Ellis, so who knows there.
    And I just took Herc's initial sales to be carryover from WWH.