By sora_thekey 15 Comments
This is a bit of an unconventional roundtable. We never actually got around to doing the best of 2012 roundtable and also never did one looking forward to 2013 so we decided to do both together though it is already three months into 2013 and away from 2012. This means that the “best of” format is not being adhered to very strictly and that we are taking a different approach. Also, go back and read our past conversations (Here) and share your thoughts...
So welcome to the 2012 (and 2013) Roundtable. Say hello everyone!
BI: Hello Viners, I'm Brazen_Intellect,
AKA: The last guy on Comic Vine who still likes Iron Man, no matter how hard Marvel makes it to do so.
AKA: That guy who blogs about Marvel sometimes
AKA: That guy who thinks Cyclops, Wolverine, and Captain America are all wrong.
B91: I'm Blood the most famous viner you've never heard of.
DS: Hi I'm Kurt. This is now the third time I've started doing one of these. Hey, maybe this one will make it to the website.
J: Hi, I'm Jawsh! I like sharks and peanut butter.
What have you all been reading lately?
BI: My pull list has been primarily Marvel for about as long as I can remember, but that list keeps getting smaller. I have been slowly getting further and further disenchanted with the Marvel U for some time now, there was a time I was never more than a week behind and now I find myself sometimes 3 months behind depending on the title. Bad event after bad event (damn you AvX) has just been grinding away at my patience and interest, but I am hopefully optimistic that Age of Ultron may be the one to get them out of their rut. Marvel NOW! Has really not wowed me so far, it’s more of a marketing ploy than any substantial change in direction that will improve the long term prospects of the Marvel U. I really just started getting back into DC again about 5 years ago and before you know it, BAM, New 52. I understand why DC went in this direction, but overall I am not a fan, too many of the changes are just not for the better IMO. I have tried out quite a few of the series but few have kept my interest for very long and most have been pale imitations of what they used to be. At this point I easily collect more TPB’s of the DCU than New 52 titles.
Current reading list (I pick up others here and there but these are the ones I keep up regularly):
Marvel: Avengers, New Avengers, Iron Man, Uncanny X-Men, Astonishing X-Men, Cable and X-Force
DC: Batman, Batwoman,
Indie: Saga, Invincible
B91: Oh my that is quite a list you're asking for.....
Alrighty § Uncanny X-Force § Aquaman § All New X-Men § Wonder Woman § Hawkeye § Batman § Avengers § New Avengers § Ultimate X-Men § Fearless Defenders § Justice League Dark § Wolverine and The X-Men § Captain America § Young Avengers § Gambit § Xtreme-X-Men § Journey into Mystery
DS: I just went through the hassle of moving my pull list to another comic store, so I was able to put the knife to a lot of my normal books. I've gone from about twenty books down to five, they are;
3. X-Men Legacy
I've just finished reading John Wagner's Darkies Mob which is a brutal comic set in the Burma Campaign during the second World War. It is firmly in the John Wagner wheelhouse of bad people doing bad things to bad people, both the Japanese and British are racist scum, both sides are filled with war criminals and by the end of it you need to have a bath just to clean your soul, and all came from Battle a 70's Boys comic aimed, well, boys.
J: My pull list of comics varies from month to month, and I like to read a lot of back issues, but as of this moment these are the comics I'm reading most fervently: 1. Superior Spider-man 2. Ultimate Comics Spider-man 3. Avenging Spider-man 3. Scarlet Spider 4. FF 5. Deadpool 6. Batman 7. Batman Inc. 8. Batman & Robin 9. Daredevil 10. Hawkguy 11. Red Hood and the Outlaws 12. Aquaman 13. Justice League 14. The Walking Dead 15. All-New X-Men 16. Nightwing 17. Invincible 18. Skullkickers
What is your overall favourite comic memory from 2012?
B91: Tough one... I think Hawkeye's censorship moment takes the cake "That was 2012 right?" The entire series has been really stretching the realm of superhero comics and while I have some issues with the characterization the series is still brilliant.
BI: My favorite comic memory of 2012 would have to be Saga in its entirety. With so little going on in Marvel and DC that has me enthused, its nice to see there is something exceptional and original out there to tide me over. I could go on for pages about what this title does right, but I think just about everyone who has given it a chance has seen the light by now. While seeing Runaways come to a premature end was disheartening, if this is what we get in trade, I'll deal with it just fine.
DS: Going back to John Wagner, sorry. There is a moment during the six month long Judge Dredd: Day of Chaos story where Judge Beeny tries to hand in her badge. It was really the first point where I realised that Day of Chaos wasn't about the actual Day of Chaos, it was just a full stop to the destruction of Mega City One. I mean by this point in the story the villain was already dead, the Statue of Judgement had been destroyed, the Academy of Justice was destroyed and most of the Judges were dead. The Judges had lost three months prior and we didn't realise it, they didn't realise it. Hell I'm not sure that the current assistant to Tharg, Matt Smith, knew what he had allowed John Wagner to write. So for John Wagner and Henry Flint to take the time to show not only the Macro effects of the event, but to take the time to show the Micro effects of the event gives it a real human edge that I feel so often gets forgotten in comics. Also Fantagraphics publication of Wandering Son. You should own Wandering Son.
J: Wow, this is a tough one to answer. I would say 2012 was a year where I really recaptured my love of comics. I've read them for years, but this was the year I became absolutely obsessed again. There were so many good comics out there. I absolutely LOVED Sweet Tooth- that was such a beautifully woven tale that finished well. Punk Rock Jesus was an amazing story and a powerful satire. Aquaman became cool again! The Bat family's Court of the Owls was great. Luther Strode was a fun new comic full of action and gore. The Boys ended with an emotional punch to the groin. Peter Parker is killed and has his life taken over by Doc Ock! The Walking Dead made me cry my own tears! (Kirkman, you are so brutal bro). And then Hawkeye, a character I have never liked, is placed in the hands of Fraction and Aja to become arguably the best comic of the year. 2012, for me is the year where all my old friends who haven't read comics in years came out of the woodwork buying bat, spider and zombie comics and talking to me about them like we were geeky teenagers again. 2012 is the year I became re-obsessed with comics.
How do you think your favourite moment of 2012 will carry into 2013?
B91: Well with the dynamic duo of Fraction and Aja on the title Hawkeye is bound to become a cult favorite for years to come. It's always great when a character you love finally gets some real recognition.
BI: While I have followed the Marvel U for over two decades at this point, I have twice before taken a multi-year sabbatical when I felt it was creatively at a low point, 2013 may be the time for a third one unless things improve. If so I'll likely dip my toe into the indie scene more often than I do now, there are a lot of titles I have been recommended and have yet to try out. As for the New 52, I really hope Batgirl improves because I'm a fan of the character, but her new title has been underwhelming so far.
Shout out to Mercy - OG Birds of Prey > New 52 Birds of Prey
DS: Well John Wagner is coming back to Dredd some time this year to write a Dark Judges story, which should also see the return of Judge Death who is currently in hell. Adding in the factors of PJ Maybe is currently holding the souls of Judges Fear, Fire and Mortis in a wine bottle, and that Judge Beeny hasn't been seen since Chaos Day, which could make for a fun series of events.
J: The Spiders- I think that Superior Spider-man will continue to go into interesting territory with Doc Ock in charge of the webslinger. We'll probably see him become both more heroic and more villainous as the year progresses. From the indication we read in Avenging Spider-man we're likely to see something pretty terrible happen this year. One wish I have- I would LOVE to see Kaine take on Octo-Spidey and just destroy him! This will likely be the year that Ock's secret is revealed, and I don't think the heroes of the world are going to be too happy about it! The Bats- I think that the Bat Family will go into a dark place after their defeat at the hands of the Joker, and the death of Damian. Dick has lost just about everything and everyone he held the most dear. I'd argue Nightwing loved Damian just as much as Bruce did. It's going to be a tough year for him. For Jason and Tim, they're both dealing with the effects of whatever the Joker has done to the two of them, and Batman will be more alone than he has been in awhile and dealing with demons that are darker than any he has faced in many years. I'm actually wondering how he's going to make it. Hawkguy- will continue to be a hilarious romp as faces off against the tracksuit bros, but I think they'll shift slightly away from the humor coming this year as he squares off against the King Pin. Lastly, I think the surprise comic success of the year will be the Skull Kickers! That comic is hilarious. I love their irreverent covers and new first editions which parody both Marvel and DC. Meanwhile, the anachronistic medieval fantasy satire is a really entertaining story. Other than the Spiders, the Bats and Hawkguy, this is the comic that my friends and I probably talk about the most. I think that will keep increasing in 2013 with the adjectivally laden, Uncanny, Savage, Mighty, All New Super Secret Skullkickers.
So let's shift gears a little bit. 2012 was also a big year for comic book movies, and 2013 is going to be big as well for a few reasons. Can you all highlight a few things that were most memorable from the big screen from last year.
DS: I saw Dredd. I loved it. Seeing my favourite comic character (Judge Anderson) get treated with right amount of respect and love just made me happy. I recommend you read Laura Sneddon's " Why Dredd 3D gets women in comics right" article if you haven't.
I didn't see any other comic book films. I'm sick of origin stories, I'm sick of Superheroes saving the city, I'm sick of these crappy PG13 action films.
J: I love the fact that we had a Spider-man man in 2012 that captured his humor and quips. It wasn't a perfect movie, but I had a lot of fun watching it. Also, I loved fact that the Avengers movie gave a new recipe for a successful super hero movie. It didn't need to be dark, gritty or realistic in order to be good. I think this was probably the best super hero movie to date. The one thing I loved most was the humor that was put into the action. It made me feel like a kid again. Lastly, I didn't love The Dark Knight Rises, but it did put a successful end to Nolan's fantastic Batman series. Loved Bane & Catwoman - my issues are more with the story, but it was a good movie.
BI: 2012 was all about the beginning of one franchise (Avengers) and the end of another for the time being (The Dark Knight Rises). Avengers was further proof that while Marvel has a lot of work to do with their comics line, their movie studio is a well oiled machine. I am not going to pretend that it was a perfect or even great movie, but it was entertaining as hell and gave fans of all the characters something to smile about. You can see how everything is tied together and one project is used to springboard into the others, hard not to be impressed with the process. On the other hand DC is still spinning its wheels, outside of the Batman franchise they are woefully incompetent, either unable to get things off the ground after years of effort (Wonder Woman, Flash) or pushing out films the fans are just not embracing (Superman Returns, Green Lantern). The Dark Knight Rises was a good movie, but also IMO the weakest of the trilogy, they need to build another franchise and soon because its going to be some time before they can reboot this one and not be trapped by Nolan's shadow.
B91: The entire Avengers film just raised the bar on Superhero films. Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises were alright and had some great moments. Hope to see this trend carry on now in 2013, but I'm skeptical of anything Fox makes, and Marvel's Ant Man and Guardians of the Galaxy are certainly.... Imaginative choices, but Marvel has proven they can make some fantastic things.
In light of recent news that the Bale Batman is going to be worked into the Justice League movie, plus the plans for phase 2 of the Marvel cinematic universe, do you think the ground has been set for the new movies coming out?
J: For 2013, I'm trying not get my hopes up for Thor, Man of Steel, & Wolverine. I haven't loved the previous movies for these characters so I'd rather be pleasantly surprised than disappointed again. Unfortunately, they are hyping up Man of Steel so much right now that you'd think it was gearing up to sweep the Oscars. There has never, in my opinion, been a good Superman movie yet. Until I see one, I'm not sure that it can be done. As for Iron Man 3, it's too late for me! The trailer looked amazing and IM1 & Avengers were so good that my expectations are already through the roof.
BI: As for 2013 and moving forward, I have to admit to being very skeptical with much that has been announced outside of the sequels to the established films. I am not sold on many of the properties being used as part of Marvel's Phase 2 being the right choices yet, many of these are going to be a hard fit into the existing Marvel Cinematic Universe and could just as likely be complete bombs as massive successes. With Disney, Pixar, and Marvel now all under the same roof, I would have really liked to see Guardians of the Galaxy be done as a Pixar animated film, yet still tied into the MCU. Of all the Phase 2 projects this is the one I am most apprehensive for, it just seems too easy to go astray for a number of reasons.
DC's future rests on if they can actually get their act together and turn the proposed Justice League movie into a reality. Even green-lighted and with Nolan steering the ship, there are a lot of things outside of their control that will determine if the film ever comes to be. Rumors aside there is no guarantee that Bale will return as Batman ( I will believe it when I see him in costume and on-set, no sooner), and if Man of Steel is not a huge hit the whole thing could get tossed back into development hell. If these two factors come to be, then DC might finally have the momentum to get the ball rolling on building their own cinematic universe and finally satisfying their devoted fans.
B91: Marvel definitely has an entire world opening up in their film franchises and I'm excited to see the different aspects of their cast of heroes explored and how they are incorporated. DC *Sigh* not sure what to think. It really is in Man of Steels success. If they can't make it work then I don't see them making a JL movie work.
Are there any comics moments from 2012 that you hope will get a do-over in 2013? AvX anyone?
B91: Don't even get me started. I've moved on from that mess. However I wish that Storm and Black Panther's divorce had been handled better. The situation hasn't gotten the attention it deserved and now it just lingers over both characters, so I hope to see more closure on their situation as both characters are really shining right now. Otherwise I'm enjoying Marvel Now so I'll let AVX slide as long as Marvel keeps up the good work.
J: The moment from 2012 that I'd like to see reversed is the origin of Tim Drake. Tim used to be my favorite character from any comic book. Now he's an unlikable jerk of character with a bad costume that looks like a lame version of the Falcon. Originally, he was a detective prodigy who discovered the identities of Batman & Nightwing. Now, that's been given to Dick Grayson, and by the way... he was never a Robin, he's the guy from the hamburger train. DC made my absolute favorite character into one I don't even like. My number 1 request would definitely be for DC to redo his origin or at least redeem his character. I know DC doesn't "owe" the fans anything, but there was a reason Tim was the only character to successfully support a solo Robin series for so long.
BI: I would not like to see an AvX do-over.
DS: Can I get away with saying all of DC? No. Okay here is the thing that made me the most mad. Ste phanie Brown's announcement as Nightwing, then replacement as Nightwing. Smallville did, as far as I'm concerned, the impossible, in that it made me care about Superman the character in a Superman book. You see I like the idea of Superman the Icon, the people around Superman, and how he affects them. But I don't care about Superman. I'm fine with Clark Kent but the moment he takes off the suit and glasses my eyes glaze over, because Superman punching things is really boring. So when it was announced that Bryan Q Miller was going to bring Steph to Smallville I was beyond happy. Then there were the rumours that Steph had been replaced, then Bryan Q Miller was dropped from the Superman Panel at The San Diego Comic Con, then it comes down to Dan “writer of nothing worth a damn” Didio to come out and say Steph has been replaced, by Barbara Gordon. Lets ignore the way DC tried to justify this falling back the term “Iconic”, which DC has used in the last two year as much as Marvel promises its “events” will Change the Marvel Universe. You see my problem with replacing Steph with Barbara Gordon is it is another case of DC pitting its fans against each other. We’ve gotten to a point now where you have three distinct fan bases inside the Bat-books alone (Babs, Cassandra Cain, and Steph) constantly squabbling over every little thing when we all want the same thing. We want to see the characters we love together in comics, and not written by Scott Lobdell. How are we ever going to get back the smaller characters like Wendy Harris, Nella, and an Anarky that wasn’t bastardized by Fabian Nicieza?
That is it for 2012 and for 2013 (for now). It is still early in the year and the best stuff is mostly yet to happen (though there have been some interesting developments thus far.) One of the things to depend on for 2013 is more roundtables.