Comic News Reflections

Poster for Captain Britain and MI:13
I talked about Paul Cornell’s Wisdom mini-series, which means I can say that I’m looking forward to his reward of an ongoing series: Captain Britain and MI-13. Cornell has a nice writing style, good sense of plotting and a very British sense of humour, which should all make for an interesting comic book. And, with Leonard Kirk on art duties, an artist I’ve enjoyed since I first saw his work on Ultragirl (which I think was his first Marvel job), that’s a cracking creative team.

The combination of Captain Britain, Pete Wisdom and the marvellous John the Skrull is enough to convince me to pick up the book, but I really don’t know if it is going to succeed in the current market – it seems a very optimistic launch. The image above (taken from this post by Cornell on his blog) suggests that even he knows it’s going to be a tough sell. I can see that the Skrull Invasion crossover will help – there must be some connection with John the Skrull – but what chance does it have after that? How long is Marvel going to give it? I wish it well, but I do fear for it.

(And, special note to CBR about their article: Northumbria is not a city – it’s a vast area of north east England.)

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Talking of authors with series that had difficulties from the start – Priest is back. Sort of. He had a prose back-up feature in a new comic book. We haven’t seen any comic book work from him since 2005, when Captain America and The Falcon ended. He has found he enjoys the unrestricted freedom of writing novels more than the hassle of writing mainstream superhero comic books, something he did very well – his Black Panther run was the best the character has seen. It’s a shame that Priest isn’t working in the comic book field at the moment; at least we’ll always have his back catalogue to keep us entertained. Here’s hoping that he can be lured back again.

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A writer who doesn’t have to worry about lack of work in the mainstream industry is Brian Michael Bendis, whose work was recently examined by Don MacPherson. He looks at why he thinks that ‘the bloom is off his particular rose’. The strange thing is that he acknowledges the fact that he does different things (such as the Mighty Avengers return to thought balloons); however, it feels more like a fan of an indie band wondering what happened to the good, early stuff when nobody knew him. Nobody can produce consistently brilliant stuff, and Bendis would probably be the first to admit that he isn’t perfect. But he does keep trying and he thinks about what he is doing, which is more than can be said for a lot of writers working at the two big companies. The post led to discussion where BMB himself replies to the criticism (although he shouldn’t have bothered – let your work speak for itself, Brian). Even though I haven’t bought his work the way I used to (no Secret War or House of M for me), I am interested in the Secret Invasion storyline coming up because of the build-up he has created for it in the New Avengers, a book I am enjoying (well, except for the silly Collective storyline, obviously; I’m not that mad). Bendis may have his writing tics, but he is a technically proficient and always interesting writer, and long may he keep producing good work.

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Finally, a quick mention of the fact that the greatest comic book shop in the world, as far as I’m concerned, has its own blog: Gosh! step into the world of blogs, after their weekly How Late?! e-newsletter. Keep up the good work, chaps.

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