I’m not covering Wizard Philly live. This makes me sad. But luckily for us, Newsarama and CBR are doing the usual bang-up job covering the event, and I still have opinions.
So here’s some round the clock punditry to match those great panel discussion summaries:
Mark Waid returns to Flash: Sad as I am to see Marc Guggenheim go, this is probably the right call. The reality is the Flash reboot with Bart Allen in the suit just didn’t take with most fans. The reasons are myriad: DC didn’t have the guts or sense to kill Wally West, so there was never a clean changevoer. The first arc of the new series was botched horribly. Aging Bart was a strange creative choice. I could go on, but why?
The bottom line is the guy who most people feel is THE defining writer of this book is coming back to it. Like most fans, I’m pretty pleased with this news. But I think it only increases the chances that we’ll see Barry Allen, NOT Wally West, back in the suit. Its hard to imagine that Waid has any more stories about Wally to tell; the only way he’d likely come back is to take on a NEW challenge.
One thing I’ve found strange is the lack of a fandom drive to bring Wally back. Most talk about Barry, even though really, Wally became a much more interesting character. Any writer that takes on Barry (who could be a bit boring at times) has a lot of work to do, but the fans will be pulling for them. I think this may be a sort of Hal Jordan side effect. For a while there, DC was dedicated to making a generational shift in their titles: Wally West as Flash, Kyle Rayner as Green Lantern, Conner Hawke as Green Arrow… I was a big fan of this direction for DC (the best use of it being Morrison’s JLA), and I’m sad to see it fall by the wayside.
Amazing Spider-Man goes almost-monthly: I liked this news. Instead of 3 Spidey titles, we just get AMAZING 3 times a month. This wil no doubt be a big sales boost to Marvel, too– plenty of fans only bought Amazing (well, or FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD for the anti-Stracynski set) and skipped the other two. That’s no longer an option, which means these folks effectively just added two titles to their weekly pull lists (or I suppose they could just drop Spidey all-together or go with ULTIMATE instead).
To my ears, though, this would’ve been a much bigger and more exciting move if they’d decided to just go weekly, maybe with some scheduled off-weeks to ease the burden. As ballsy as 52 was, it would be even bigger to see a company make one of their existing top titles weekly. If this Spidey move works, look for this to happen on other books, somewhere. Top candidate: X-Men, which has 3 titles now (Uncanny, Astonishing, and Adjectiveless) which see uneven sales currently.
Terry Moore takes over Spider-Man loves Mary Jane: This one warmed my cold heart up. Mary Jane has been one of my favorite books for a long time now, and I was very worried about writer Sean McKeever’s exit. But Terry Moore, of STRANGERS IN PARADISE fame, is far and away the best possible replacement. No word on an artist yet, but I’m hopeful they’ll stick to the manga style, its a huge part of the book’s appeal.
I’d like to take moment to interrupt this self-important pundritry and urge all of you to go out and pick up the digest versions of this book. With all due respect to ULTIMATE, or FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD, this is the BEST Spidey book you can find, and one of the best ever. I pitch it to folks as the SMALLVILLE/BUFFY version of Spider-Man, and people seem to dig that description. Really, just a wonderful book, and the art is gorgeous.
Now, onto some amazing artwork after the break…